21 October 2015
21 October 2015
The meaning of life through Life Is Strange as of age 16
Choice in video games is usually offered only as an illusion, because the designer can only make a controlled environment, could only think of one thing at a time, and therefore could never design the ever expanding universe of space time, of all the possibilities... Life is strange is limited, but from the time manipulation mechanic allows the player to take as much control in terms of interaction as possible to get the very best ending possible, to be the best version of themselves as possible, to help everyone, to fall in love and be loved in return. It ironically shows us all at our best and our worsts in the dark room of behind our computer monitors in a case study, except for this one is ethical in it's reproduction, since it's virtual. The whole point of art, of video games is to be an empathy machine where we can learn to understand ourselves through our own choices, to learn about others, so hopefully we can all at some point as a species be on the same page on something for once, before it's too late.
So I panicked, I played the game until I knew every cause, effect, timeline, until I thought really hard about how none of my choices mattered, even when offered an seemingly infinite amount of them. Yet, I couldn't bring myself to come to that conclusion. Because it wasn't true. It isn't existentialism, some french fancy, some philosophical conundrum. It's us. We're relative, everything we see could possibly be there only when we look at it, thus explains quantum mechanics. I refuse to accept that we are in a video game, or simulation, because even occlusion culling has it's issues. At some point you can give up, not accept anything, not believe in anything, but that's not only a waste of your own kinetic potential, but selfish considering how much co2 we emit on the daily, therefore since you are already alive and have hopefully learned something even though you may not know it yet, you matter. We all matter. None of us are right, wrong, good, bad. We aren't victims of our environment either, we need to take responsibility and own our own lives, because otherwise we are just playing the roles people expect us to be.
Even random isn't random, because the more abstract the more complex the patterns become. The key is to observe, experience, play, and find beauty in these patterns around us. These infinitely complex systems ranging from theoretical physics (macro) to psychology (micro), and the crazy thing is both of those sizes are meant to simplify, but in reality are the same size... I chose everything, I chose nothing... I chose to both sacrifice Arcadia Bay and to sacrifice Chloe... it doesn't matter that I may be a human being and made the ethically wrong choice first, I made the choice to follow my heart regardless of how cheesy that just sounded, I chose her. I chose to save Ellie too. I've made the right choice for me and the wrong choice for humanity twice, because I'm a human.
Life is Strange attempted to pick up the pieces of a broken experiment on the human condition from The Last of Us by giving us the option to consider Newton's third law and set the balance, and according to statistics almost half of humanity represented by the simple random sample of gamers would throw the rest of the world away for love. Because prolonging the inevitable isn't good enough for us, and shouldn't be good enough. Sometimes the beauty is being naive, otherwise the black will swallow the red.
This essay doesn't have any answers for you, in fact it only poses more questions. We can spend a millennium and never figure our the answers, but we'll still try. This is what makes us human, what makes us imperfect, but there's perfection in imperfection. There is beauty in ugliness. There is always going to be the good to the bad, you just have to remember and relish those memories each time, because they are going to fade like a zerox of a zerox, and all that's left is emotion. But if that emotion is strong enough it can stick to all of time, through the thick, the thin, it's what will be left after we are all gone. It very well may be the fourth, fifth, sixth, whatever dimension. It's there, and it's real, because we are real. To ourselves, to our friends, our family, our lovers, our companions in life. So just remember that what you feel, what you've ever felt in your life is the story of the universe. It's the eulogy of our existence, and how beautiful a ceremony that will be.
I love the English language because even if it isn't the prettiest in sounds or pronunciation, there's a word for everything, and if the feeling is in explainable, which is often the case it can be further adapted to and patched, and if not... that's when art happens. Our own efficient mode of communication isn't full proof so we look inside each other for the words, pictures, songs, systems, ideas, dances, films, photographs. It's neither good nor bad, but it is exactly what people want. What they will always want, some get lost in looking for what will make them whole, what they will be satisfied with. It's understanding, to be understood. That's all it's ever been, and one day I hope I will be understood in my lifetime and the person who understands me mutually as much as I understand them will be my husband/wife, and I'll love them to the end of existence. If that does not happen, let me be understood only through looking through all my work including but not limited to: my writings, visual art and paintings, songs, and extensions of myself onstage, all of my video games holistically played in chronological order from when I started in the 8th grade in playful competition with Matisse to my last hopefully finished and released game and pastiche it to create my image. Let the image work on you, but work with it, treat this collection of art as you would me.
If I ever do pass unexpectedly, I want it to be known that I never meant to do any harm and hopefully had not wronged anyone. I did always try to find the balance that worked for me for everyone. I lived.
P.S. Hopefully when I do die, don't have a shitty cliche funeral. Have it be hosted at an art exhibit with booths showcasing my life in my art, with all the fake walls, and pretentious art critics and loved ones alike. This is the most sincere honor I can be blessed with, as I'am vain. Afterward set everything I've made solely alone free for as many people to understand, as I live longer that way.