BBC’s Syrian Refugees
I just got the idea of how virtually no safe or ‘smart’ choices exist for refugees to take. A choice is never safe or adequate as it sounds from the outset. I just felt futile and slowly suffocating in the face of the crossroads, not maximizing gain or safety but minimizing threat, for – only then – one thing is certain: every decision unpacks a threat. I just believe the game could use graphical enhancements.
One of my two most favourite games shortlist. Spent, for a brief 20 minute-break, had me popped out of my highly privileged, socio-economic bubble, and placed into the shoes of a not-at-all-codependent adult struggling and striving to make ends meet. I felt fear, mostly, because I was given a certain budget, had to navigate through sudden expenses such as family expenditure, children, taking care of a dog, all of which (to my surprise) where extremely burdensome tasks as they accumulated. I found myself taking decisions that violate my highly revered ethical principles, a feeling that felt so palpable and touching. This is why I loved the game, because now I get to become empathetic and considerate towards/ of other less-privilged people and become more mindful of how judgmental one can become under certain circumstances towards said people. The game is just so good I think it would be better off being longer.
Fake It To Make It
Okay. To be fair, I like the game and think it requires a lot of attention to finer details like catering to certain segments of the population. The idea is so relevant in today’s extremely divided American scene, whereby, it seems, the mission of each side on the aisle is to alienate and demonize one another. Also, the other underpinning idea pertains to how media outlets operate for profiting off of clicks, without giving second thoughts to the facts.
Graphical Engagement: 10,
And I mean the ‘1000’ part in a bad way because after 7 stages of the game, I felt like “fine, we get the idea; can we move on?” since it became a tedious simulated task of copying articles and just sharing it to relevant audiences.
Orphan By Heart
This one was concise and interesting. The game did a good job evoking sympathy with orphans. The part about having to marry, albeit a rather rare happening, just to escape the hell that is the orphanage struck me. It reminded me of the harsh circumstances and environments – that is, the ones orphans are subjected to in Egypt. From experience, I know that orphans are subjected to numerous types of abuse. The game could use more visuals to spur engagement.
I loved it (though it took almost an hour). The elaborateness, the description, and the sequencing of events beautifully demonstrated why a depressed person acts in certain apparently strange ways. What resonated the most with me were the inner thoughts of the person that I played, especially the ones prior to social events because sometimes even I get this inexplicable fear before trying out something (going out with friends, attending a certain event, etc.). Also, the side-story of the friend, Attic, made me more attentive with my close friend who lives abroad as it reminded me of our online, deep, midnight talks and how comforting/ relieving it is to let it all out with someone simply truly gives an ear. The graphical interface could use an update because it seems rather outdated.
While I believe the topics of the covered games deserve attention and catering, the ones standing out were the most consequential – that is, where each decision I took gave rise to a whole new branch/ reality. This is why I loved BBC’s Syrian Refugees, Depression Quest, and Spent. Despite the different paths that you might possibly make, although it seems you have options and scenarios to choose from, you ought to struggle to meet ends meet or simply survive. Said games convey their message more powerfully because in spite of your perceived agency, you still suffer . On the other hand, other games, though very informative, deprive the player of agency and control and, thus, are not as impactful and moving as the others. On a philosophical level, the notion of consequentialism in each game was the most entertaining aspect to me since it underpins the reasons to one’s day-to-day decisions.
Thansk for this, Ali. You’re missing one game to make them 6!