In case you were wondering if I meant addiction, nope I meant every word in the title. Recently there is a game that is in the development stages called A Song of Viggo, a game that begins after you, a parent, have accidentally killed your own son, Viggo. This game is interesting in the fact that it is made out of paper, and makes an analogy that a world fresh out of tragedy is as thin as paper. Easily torn, crumbled, and even burnt. This world threatens to collapse with every decision you make in the game which, needless to say, has irreversible consequences.
The game starts with you arranging your son’s funeral alone as your wife fell into deep depression after his death. Thereafter you will have to put up a façade of an ordinary everyday life whilst battling with your psychological scars that your wife also bears. This game seems like a morbid version of The Sims. Having to pull yourself together despite your burning guilt and pain and carry out your life’s responsibilities while trying to save your marriage is a nightmare beyond my imagination. If anyone’s interested in this game, you can check out Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects like this, for more information.
I get that the developer, Simon Karlsson, is trying to impart a simple and well-meaning message to audience that despite the tragedy: “Life goes on.” I do, I really do. It is also really impressive that he actually created the game to manage his depression, as a creative outlet of an expression of his emotions rather than wallowing in depression. BUT. But I can’t imagine just how depressed I would get if I ever start playing the game. Though it is an interesting concept, and I must say I am quite tempted. But, to better understand grief and depression is one thing, to fall into depression because of a game, erm no thank you.
While people might say that it is only a game, and that drama, movies and novels also move people to tears. What’s the big deal about a game? But to me because a game is interactive, you get to be in the character’s shoes. Unlike in novels and shows, you are only a passive observer at the sidelines. Though some might beg to differ that the use of 1st person perspective in novels can make us feel like as if we are the leading protagonist in the books, my point is that a game is interactive, and that’s what may lead us to delve in really deep into the tragedy, and end up being depressed ourselves. A vital point not to be missed is that when we get depressed, we are not the only ones suffering. As the game play highlights, we deal with our dearest family daily, so depression does affect the people around us as well. Perhaps even more than we would care to think.
In fact this game reminds me very much of acting. Especially acting in tragic roles. In order to make our pain seem real, we have to really feel the pain. Should I ever try it for the sake of perfecting my art then? I… honestly don’t know if the pain may be too much for me to bear considering the fact that when I play games I can go on for hours. Unless if I practise meditation to release my sad, dark feelings after every game play. I would guess that’s why it has been stressed by my seniors that it is important to let go of the emotions after filming has ended, so that we do not bring any negative emotions back home and affect our family. Though it has also been mentioned that it is incredibly tough trying to strike this healthy balance. I do hope that I will be able to achieve this balance in most, if not all my projects in the future, so that my dear ones will not have to endure crazy leftover emotions from filming on top of my own (sometimes) mood swings.
Meanwhile, while I am of the thought that this game will definitely make me depressed, I can’t say the same for everyone. After all people do relish the thought of committing crimes and violence like in Grand Theft Auto. So there should be some who are into such depressing topics, though I’d very much prefer to play games that make me escape from the real world myself. Like making myself have limitless wealth in The Sims, for instance. Anyway, I digress. Whatever I think of the game, I still wish the creator success, after all it is a pretty original thought. 4 more days till the end of his fund-raising for the game. I am infinitely curious as to whether he can really get the funds (approx. $4000 more to go) and come up with the game by 2015. Though I am not too eager to try the game myself, for fear of sinking too deep.