Thursday, August 27, 2015

Feeling Alone in Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

At least these doomed brits had company.
I'm going to be honest. I don't think Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a good game, though I do think it's an interesting one.

It's not that I care whether Rapture is a game at all. Really, that question is sooooo 2012. I actually find myself more frustrated with the story than the slow pacing (I never found the "run" button, so when I say slow, I mean slow). I like the characters of Shropshire, maybe too much, so its this push to accept their disappearance like some blessing instead of a curse I find so disconcerting. Even if you take the most optimistic perspective, these people transcended into "lighthood" completely unprepared for the trauma they would endure.

Yes, that's what life and death is like, but I don't have to be happy about it.

My reaction to Rapture is actually similar to my reaction to Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. That novel is about a group of students whose lives are meant to follow a specific, tragic, and deeply upsetting trajectory. They know no other existence, and so they accept it. Their agency exists within that framework and the live and love as furiously as the rest of us with our short time here. It's a staggering work, one I really enjoy, but I still want to rail against acquiescing to the inevitable.

There is a humanity to a shared anger at our own mortality, and for that reason I really enjoyed Stephen's story in Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. It's Kate's final narrative I find pedantic. Maybe I needed a comforting voice there in the end. Faith is so much easier to maintain with help from others. For a game about connections, it all felt too lonely.

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