domingo, 8 de novembro de 2020

Strangeness in games

If you, like me, are a fan of Kafka’s and Don DeLillo’s books, like the way David Lynch directs his films, and know how to appreciate the dark atmosphere from Lustmord’s compositions, you are certainly a person who loves to experience a feeling of strangeness in different mediatic productions.

It’s hard to explain; you read the book, watch the movie, listen to the music etc. and, at first, can’t say with clear words why you liked the content so much. This bizarre feeling of strangeness possesses your inner self as a familiar memory and generates an equal strange feeling of pleasure.

It’s also difficult to explain in a few words all the sensations in this context, but in this post, I want to talk about some games that brought up this feeling of strangeness in me. It’s a short list with brief comments of each one. I hope you like the titles and feel free to share in the comments what kind of game gives to you this feeling of strangeness, too. =)

1. Paratopic: characters with distorted voices and faces, extremely dark soundtrack and a fragmented script that invites the player to complete the narrative in his mind. Paratopic is a short game but with a great experience (especially if you like David Lynch’s movies).

2. North: this is a bizarre title about an immigrant from a distant land arriving in an industrial city trying to earn money for his family. Gray aliens NPCs, cameras following you all the time, a temple filled with people praying for a huge eye are some of the elements that make North a unique game.

3. Here they lie: this one is a Kafkian nightmare filled with anthropozoomorphic beings. It’s a narrative about finding love in the middle of corruption and filth. One point to highlight: the sound design is extremely exquisite.

4. Bloodborne: well, when I talk about games that bring up a feeling of strangeness in me, I’m not talking only about indie titles. Bloodborne is strange from the beginning to the end. The scenario’s medieval structures with demons and the elements of steampunk are a perfect mix for a very rare experience.

5. YINSH: this is a board game. So, you can ask me: how can a board game create a sense of strangeness in its experience? I can tell you that the game’s box cover always takes me to a distant place; to an alien landscape in which we are commanding living geometric shapes dueling in a colossal arena. I think all abstract games have this effect in me, but YINSH specifically affects me more in this sense.

Well, without doubt, this post is one of the strangest from the last years. Hope you like the references and the ideas.