When school winds down every summer, I take proactive measures as an older brother to ensure my youngest sister’s brain doesn’t go to complete mush by the time the new school year rolls around. She’s only 13 years old, and I’m 28, so luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve to stimulate her mind in different ways. I’m a big believer in the humanities & arts, and I love how video games combine narrative, music, visuals, & player interaction into one comprehensive artistic vision. Journey is one of the finest examples of what real video game art should look like.
Case in point, I played the first run of Journey for her so she’d get the grasp of what’s going on. It was a crash course in the story’s basic arc for the both of us, but when she took the helm, however, she managed to find, entirely on her own, one of the nicest players out there very early into the gameplay. This person was wearing a white cloak with the longest scarf possible, and he/she was so generous & patient in pointing us to many of the game’s secrets. My sister was playful at times, “calling” the person with quick bursts of excitement. The other player “called” back to us several times too in the same playful manner. At one point, we sat & meditated for much longer than the alotted twenty-second “Reflection” period, and when we finally reached the summit of the mountain, my sister & the other player took turns drawing hearts & flowers into the glistening snow. It was clear that neither side of the Playstation console wanted the story to end, but as they say in entertainment, the show must go on. We slowly yet proudly stepped through the crevice side by side, and we waited eagerly through the credits to learn our companion’s name.
For privacy’s sake, I won’t reveal the name of the player. We’ve already established a private connection with this person, but I feel like I should publicly thank him/her for teaching my sister a valuable lesson in online video game etiquette. Not everyone has to be cutthroat enough to shove all others aside, and not everyone needs to cut down the other players. All it takes is some patience, kindness, & a bit of fun to realize that true appreciation of art lies not always in the finished product but sometimes in the process itself; not always in just the destination but also in the Journey.
(Above is an iPod snapshot of the game we were playing. We hope to find some of you players out there too!)