TACK N°7 : Is video game consumption determined by age?

by Bastien Silty and translated by Maia Sefton

No one consumes video games the same way. If today, I choose to focus on the emotions involved, the depth of the story and the characters, it wasn’t always the case.Today I’m going to find out if there are different ways to consume video games? I remember the first big game my father got me. He’d bought it for the PS2, I must have been around 7 or 8 years old. It was a pinball simulator (Ultimate Pro Pinball). He seemed very pleased with this game since it reminded him of his youth and when he would play on an actual pinball machine with strangers in bars. The pinball machine’s moment in the spotlight started in 1965 and, despite it’s electronification around 1976, it was replaced by arcades and memorable games such as Pong (1972) and Pac-Man (1980). It should be noted that the arrival and democratization of these games in the European market was much later than in the American or Japanese markets. So when my father in 2005, joystick in hand, rediscovered similar feelings to those two trigger buttons on his student pinball machine: he was happy .At first there was the pleasure and thrill that comes with new technology but there was also the pleasure of the old and finding something you once thought was gone. We find this same phenomenon in much more contemporary games.

In LSD’s « Video games are life » , the documentary series by France Culture, we meet Marie-Jo Anduz Faris who is a huge fan of the Zelda game series and who is now 76 years old. She got her hands on Zelda Breath Of The Wild (2017) and she plays it quite often: “I spend a minimum of 1 hour a day playing and sometimes until 8 oclock . ” She then goes on to explain that this feeling of travel and discovery is due to the magnificent open-world and its intelligent sound design. It’s debut was made for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1992 with the game Zelda Link To The Past (1991 for Japan, and 1992 for Europe and North America.) Maybe we should also be asking ourselves what makes a kids game appropriate for kids and what doesn’t?

For example for 7-12 year olds, other than a few educational games such as « Dora the Explorer ”, I don’t know much about the subject and frankly I’m not that interested in it either. . But I know enough to say that the ruling classes understand this and have already appropriated this media themselves. The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) classification is used to advise parents on what is a good game for their children. But this system has a few mistakes since it’s based solely on the presence of verbal and physical violence as well as the scary / disturbing effect of the game. In short, the storyline of the game and its history is not mentioned. I prefer to use the differentiation that science-fiction writer Alain Damasio would use : « empowering » and “powerless ». If we use my example, during my whole my childhood I played two games almost exclusively: Sly 3: Honor among thieves (2005 in Europe and USA on PS2) and the Professor Layton series starting with the first opus Professor Layton and the Strange Village (2007 Japan and 2008 USA and Europe). The two have forged my personality: I resemble Sly Cooper with his confident side and his sarcastic /snarky side. But I also resemble Luke Triton, who kept his will to always want to do better and live by the rules of the gentleman who marvels at each cat that passes by, while also being quite panicked as soon as he is thrown into an unforeseen situation. Which could mean that parents shouldn’t base their judgement of games based on the PEGI mark, but rather the values ​​advocated by the games. For example Mario teaches players to persevere even if the goal seems unattainable. Always remember that your princess is probably hidden in another castle. As for the values presented in video games, I feel as if they are just as poignant as any animated film. We know that stories and fables can create a great number of values ​​but also fears in children.

These two games have been beneficial to me, thanks to walking down the streets of Venice (Sly 3, world 1), I have developed a good sense of direction since I was forced to remember the path taken in order to turn back. And the many Layton puzzles have allowed me to develop a logical mind and the ability to rethink every situation. This argument has been used many times to promote the game of chess that is now taught in quite a few preschools. I find this argument less powerful when used in this context since it’s not an interaction between two people. Moreover, this comparison can only be made because in both situations there is one goal : gain the upper hand over your opponent thanks to a series of well thought out movements made by pieces. So much pressure caused by the simple desire to dominate.

For 12 to 18 year olds, there are more violent games, with violence no longer being suggested for these kids. We’re going to have a look at games from middle school smash
bros to high school Tekken. Those were also the first weapon games: today there are Battle Royales such as PlayerUnknown’sBattlegrounds, before the deathmatches between buddies on Call Of Duty. There was this desire for virtual freedom or just to annoy people simply because I can. Whether it’s via the Far Cry series or Grand theft Auto. In brief at this charmiere? It is no longer a time where we are simply sitting in front of our PC’s, there is a need for adrenaline, even vertigo, we need everything to be fast paced, with more images,enemies and action etc… Some will get bored of it while others will stay. It’s at the end of high school that we notice a big number of players define their favorite genre.

It seems to me that the way we consume video games depends on one’s age and values. If during our first years of life we see our parents control alot of our decisions, it’s at this moment where we get our first values. And soon after we will feel the need to mix everything up and move on to something else since we are entering into the phase where we question everything. Find out who you are, and what you like. We follow the marketing that is aimed at us and the peer pressure of our friends all the while trying in vain to improve our aim (in FPS) or our look in FIFA. Then arrives the moment where groups grow apart and everyone is forced to think about what defines them. It’s easier to do when you’ve tested quite a few different things. Gamers that are older than 20 tend to keep playing the same genre of games that they’re used to. After reaching their thirties, marketing tends to focus more on nostalgia as a selling point. So then come all the remakes, and you can now replay your old favorite pokemon game and reconnect with our first sensations while playing Mario. This movement is accentuated as we get older which surely explains the comparison marketing and the famous “ this game is the Dark Souls of it’s genre” gimmick.

Walden, a game ou l’art de se tirer une balle dans le pied.

Si vous avez lu les différents articles de présentation de jeu indépendant, vous avez sûrement pu remarquer que j’aimais les jeux centrés sur la question de l’Homme dans les grands espaces. J’ai grandi avec les idéaux des wanderers, ces êtres paisibles, au cerveau torturé, qui marchent vers un but inconnu. Cette admiration pour ce type de personne a démarré avec Into The Wild (livre: Jon Krakauer, 1996. Film: Sean Penn, 2007) et la philosophie de Christopher Johnson McCandless (1968 – 1992), est ensuite arrivé Jack Kerouac (1922 – 1969), le plus connu de ces clochards célestes (The Dharma Bums, 1958) vagabondant sur les routes américaines. Cette envie de liberté s’est forgée à la suite d’un appel de la forêt (The call of the wild, 1906) de Jack London (1876 – 1916), et je souhaite toujours construire ma personnalité de wanderer comme le décrit Sylvain Tesson (1972 -) dans son Petit traité sur l’immensité du monde (2005).

Pour comprendre pourquoi j’idolâtre toute cette philosophie j’ai souhaité lire l’oeuvre à la base du vagabondage : Walden ou la vie dans les bois (Walden; or, Life in the woods, 1854) de Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862). Mais bon, enfant emplit de rêves, je n’ai jamais réussi à finir ce livre, l’imagerie dépassant ma pensée, ma concentration s’enfuyant un peu plus à chaque ligne m’empêchait de comprendre ses idées.

Après tout, j’étais devenu un enfant du XXIèmesiècle, un enfant du jeu vidéo. Ce média qui se fait aujourd’hui source de contemplation, de réflexion, d’éducation et trop souvent, de prolongement de notre misérable existence. J’étais donc le plus heureux de ces milliers d’enfants quand j’ai appris qu’un jeu retraçant la vie de Henry David Thoreau existait. Ce jeu: Walden, a game (2017, USC games innovation Lab). Commençons par expliquer le jeu, ce qui résulte à en dépeindre les points positifs, puis on développera l’ensemble des points négatifs le rendant désagréable si ce n’est injouable.

Ainsi, le jeu s’ouvre sur le chemin du Walden Pound (Étang de Walden), Massachusetts, United States of America, où en deux minutes on comprend l’ensemble du gameplay, d’un côté il s’agit de récupérer les pointes de flèches pour que Thoreau lui-même nous narre sa pensée. D’un autre, il s’agit de lutter pour vivre décemment, couper du bois, prendre de la nourriture, construire sa cabane, rafistoler ses vêtements, rester éveillé et inspiré.

Pour le plaisir de tous rien n’est laissé au hasard. Pour se reposer, il suffit de se poser près d’un feu ou de marcher dans la forêt, plus poétiquement encore, pour rester inspiré il suffit de se balader et d’écouter les bruits de l’eau ou des animaux environnants, ainsi que de lire les livres cachés un peu partout dans ce semi open-world. 

Pour que la magie soit complète, la voix de Thoreau reprenant ses dires sur la faune et la flore locales et ses pensées extraites de Walden sont doublées par Emile Hirsch. Les plus férus de films de voyage reconnaissent l’acteur principal de Into The Wild. Sa voix chaleureuse, discrète, rassurante va alors nous accompagner, une fois de plus, le long de nos rêveries. Dix ans après la sortie du film, et après une peine de cinq ans de prison pour attaque et empoisonnement d’une productrice de cinéma, l’acteur prête sa voix au philosophe. Bien que je ne sois spécialiste de la vie et des oeuvres de Thoreau, il semble que tout ce qui est dit soit juste, surtout sur les parties énoncées de sa vie. Le jeu ne vous accorde qu’une année dans le bois, bien qu’il semblerait qu’il y a vécu au moins deux.


Pour nous faire comprendre les liens que partagent Henry avec sa famille, avec son ami Emerson ou bien avec la presse écrite, le jeu fonctionne par un système de lettre que l’on peut lire et relire autant que nous le souhaitons. On retrouve aussi, sous forme de manuscrit, les différents traités qu’il a pu produire, le plus connu étant peut-être celui sur la désobéissance civile, écrit en prison ou bien ses traités contre l’esclavage dans le sud du pays (contexte de guerre de sécession suite aux désaccords concernant l’esclavage notamment). Ce soucis du réalisme se ressent dans les actions que le jeu nous demande de faire.

Le gameplay est au service de l’histoire, on se déplace bien sur avec ZQSD mais lorsque l’on souhaite couper du bois ou lancer sa canne à pêche il faut alors réaliser soi-même le mouvement adéquat. Un coup avec notre souris/stick vers le bas pour couper du bois ou planter des clous pour notre logis ⤸, et des inclinaisons horizontales pour les coups de pagaie et le rafistolage de nos vêtements ⤻. Enfin, la musique d’ambiance, très douce, est propice à l’évasion. Celle-ci est doublée d’un sound design centré sur les bruits de pas, de l’eau et les bruits de la faune locale du massachusetts.

En soit, le jeu semble parfait, on rentre dans la peau du philosophe, on s’y plaît, on y reste, on se balade, on écoute, on voyage, on profite, on apprend une philosophie inattendue, on joue et on ressent quelques émotions. Tout ce qui est bon dans ce jeu est quelque chose que l’on peut faire simplement et à bas prix. Il nous suffit d’aller voir notre bibliothèque préférée, prendre le livre, se remplir une théière, aller dans la forêt et profiter des écrits magnifiques de Thoreau. Le jeu va alors tenter de se démarquer en reprenant les codes du jeu vidéo, pour sa plus value et l’amener à un plus grand nombre. on fait alors face à un jeu hors des codes, tentant de rentrer dans les codes, faits par des personnes qui connaissent trop peu ces codes. (the national endowment for the humanities sont les premiers contributeurs du projet.)

Tout d’abord, une des premières questions que se posent un créateur est celle du genre du jeu: action, RPG, éducatif, platformer, roguelike, etc… il semble préconiser de n’en choisir que deux. C’est dans cette confusion des genres que Walden, a game a le plus péché. Le jeu se souhaite contemplatif et éducatif, pour profiter de la vue du lac et de la forêt, des lectures et des pensées émises par Thoreau. Mais il se veut aussi life simulator et survival.

Le jeu t’impose de faire une expérience semblable à celle de Thoreau, tu dois cueillir et pêcher pour te nourrir sinon tu es affamé et  risques de t’évanouir. Tu dois couper du bois afin de te réchauffer ou tu risques de ne pas avoir assez d’énergie. De même pour tes vêtements à rafistoler, et si ton abri est en ruine tu récupéreras moins d’énergie lors de tes nuits. Le seul endroit au Walden Pound où toutes ces activités sont à proximité, c’est proche de ta cabane. Donc, pour pouvoir explorer, contempler et étudier, il est nécessaire d’avoir de l’énergie, il est alors conseillé de rester à proximité des feux , trop espacé des uns des autres. Pour explorer tu vas pouvoir utiliser le bateau , ou traverser directement l’étang à pied lorsqu’il est gelé en hiver.  Si seulement cela ne prenait pas un quart de ton temps à faire le même mouvement répétitif qui marche une fois sur deux. Une fois arrivé là-bas, vous pensez être arrivé au bout de vos peines puisque le solitude cairn est enfin trouvé, avec un peu de chances, vous avez même peut être trouvé un livre narrant une pensée philosophique, mais en fait, vous êtes tombés dans le plus gros des traquenards. À peine vos yeux posés sur la faune ou sur les mots, l’ensemble des témoins se mettent à clignoter car votre toît manque de s’écrouler, votre estomac s’est retourné de douleur et vous commencez à geler. En bref, c’est pas fou comme condition de vie, même pour un type perdu au milieu des grenouilles et des rouge-gorges. Vous vous empressez alors de faire demi tour, ramassez le petitbois ou les planches des abris en ruine . Vous cueillez des baies en prenant compte de passer par un feu pour pouvoir continuer de courir et entretenir le rêve de comprendre peut-être un jour ce livre. Mais là, tristesse infinie, la nuit tombe. Au matin le narrateur vous somme de retourner à votre cabane car une lettre urgente vient d’arriver. Vous apprendrez que vous êtes chargés de déposer des habits pour deux esclaves en fuite. Sans votre aide, ils seront capturés et très possiblement violentés et tués. Vous faites alors demi-tour à votre cabane et abandonnez tout espoir de vous coucher moins bête ce soir. Après c’est un choix: le plaisir personnel passe, selon moi, après la survie d’opprimés·es ou l’aide que je peux porter à mes amis·es ou ma famille. Bien que le jeu insiste sur le fait que j’ai le choix, plusieurs tâches te sont demandées , et ta soeur Sophia te demande aussi d’explorer plusieurs recoins de l’île (il s’agit d’un jeu de piste autour des solitudes cairns).

Alors pas besoin de se presser sur les tâches, de toute façon vous ne pourrez pas toutes les effectuer pour les raisons énoncées précédemment (la partie survie du life simulator.) J’ai tout de même fait certaines tâches, comme celle de ramener un livre à Emerson (il m’a mis la pression ok?!), je n’avais pas pris le temps de le lire puisque le jeu m’avait prévenu que je pourrais tout lire chez lui plus tard. En rendant le livre, Emerson me propose d’échanger sur un certain passage, je décline gentiment n’ayant pas le passage en tête, le livre non lu. Si j’ai fais ça c’est parce que je me suis dis que comme je peux lire le livre à tout moment, j’aurais le droit à cette discussion à tout moment.

Quelle erreur avais-je fait… Emerson, fort déçu de mon manque d’intérêt (enfin, de mon manque de temps) souhaite alors se consoler, en me disant d’aller chercher un autre livre, de l’autre côté de la forêt. Depuis cette demande, Emerson est incapable de se souvenir de quel passage il souhaitait discuter avec moi. Je n’aurais donc accès à aucun esprit critique sur The Laws Of Manu et autre livre de théoriciens, à mon plus grand regret je vous le concède. Pour continuer, sur les lectures et dialogues: le jeu s’adresse à peu de personnes puisqu’il souffre d’un manque de traduction. Même avec mon niveau décent en anglais, il est parfois difficile de comprendre puisqu’écrit dans le langage courant de 1850. Il m’est encore plus difficile de se souvenir des préceptes de Thoreau au vu de la quantité d’informations dont nous sommes abreuvée. Le jeu propose alors d’écrire l’ensemble de ses pensées dans ce cher livre. Pour s’y retrouver on voit un découpage en saison. Chaque pensée forme alors un paragraphe qui s’enchaîne tous sans lien concret et sans rappel de ce que nous faisions pour obtenir ces précieuses pensées.

Si l’un de vous est apte à comprendre à quoi il fait référence, et ce qui l’a mené à dire cela, je vous salue.)

Enfin, certains problèmes peuvent être outrepassés. Soit par une force mentale impressionnante, soit en achetant des ressources telle une canne à pêche pour pêcher plus de poissons, des bocaux permettant un stockage accru de la nourriture, d’autres objets pour le foyer, le bois ou les vêtements. Mais cela pose deux problèmes, le premier est celui de l’argent, acquis en faisant certains travaux . C’est une honte lorsque l’on souhaite faire vivre aux joueurs la vie de Thoreau qui, lors de son excursion au Walden Pound prônait le retour de la vie sauvage avec le moins d’objet artificiel et le moins d’interaction humaine possible. De plus, cet argent peut aussi vous servir à payer vos taxes annuelles. Chose à laquelle Thoreau se refusait, c’est de cette obligation que naquit son traité sur La Désobéissance civile. Ainsi, la présence quasi-nécessaire du travail à des fins différentes de la survie (le philosophe n’avait rien contre la satisfaction de faire pousser un potager à condition que les ressources n’aient pour finalité d’être vendues) met ce jeu dans une position bâtarde. Il ne peut te permettre d’incarner Thoreau en te proposant décemment d’aller contre ses principes. 

Ainsi, Walden, a game est pour moi un mauvais jeu mais un excellent premier jet. Il nous propose d’excellentes idées et de nouveaux buts à ce média récent qu’est le jeu vidéo. À l’inverse, ses problèmes sont trop nombreux et nuisent fortement à cette expérience poussant à la survie en dépit de la contemplation et de l’érudition. Je suis peut-être seulement frustré car c’est un de mes auteurs favoris qui a servi de brouillon dans ce média qui me complait. 

TACK N°6 : SUMMER IS CALLING : Which body for the summer ?

Wrote by Mayli and translated by Nolwenn.

Always under the spotlight, the woman’s body doesn’t have to be functional, strong or healthy, but pretty. Muscles are necessary to seem toned, but they must not be too prominent, at the risk of not being perceived as a REAL woman. Appearances are far more important to women than it is to men, because they introduced this « activity » in their lifestyles as a task to accomplish. As they say, you must suffer to be beautiful, otherwise you will never find a husband ! Aristotle, who influenced philosophy forever, kindly wrote « the male is separated from the female because the principle of movement, which represents the male in every born beings, is better and godly ; the female merely is the principle representing the matter ». Yet, the matter that is the body, is inferior, repugnant and passive compared to the great spirit represented by the male. From then on, women are only identified by their bodies, as they don’t have enough intelligence to stand out otherwise. To slack, especially on pilosity, is intolerable for women and translates a lack of discipline – for men, its a symbol of virility. Since a few years back, with the injunction to have a perfect body, we’re being asked to love what we have with a two-time guilt-creating #bodypositive : I have to try to love my body when everything I see tells me to change it.

Wanting everybody, but first and foremost women, to look alike thanks to « 10 tips to slim down before summer ! » isn’t an ideal, all the more so as women must tend to slimness, which for Noémie Renard, represents weakness. Indeed, from the start of the 1930’s in the US, when women begin to liberate themselves from the norms, and start to bare their bodies more and more, this obsession with thinness appears. The latter is often perceived as a patriarchal backfire, in which in exchange of certain rights, men then have the right to ask the women to be more obedient regarding their own physical standards for them. As a study demonstrated, sexism and adhesion to social norms are really tightly roped, and the most sexist men only find the slimmest bodies attractive. The philosopher Sandra Bartky, leaning on some of Foucaults’ works, explains that the beauty practices are in fact disciplinary practices, allowing to create more docile, weak and helpless bodies for women. For example developing biceps on a woman’s body is very badly considered since it’s a symbol of strength and we want female bodies to remain powerless. The male body also suffers from some beauty standards – although a lot less – however to be associated with strength – muscles – is a more enjoyable than having to stand with weakness.

THE summer body, as found literally everywhere during the preceding months of summer, only seems to be a matter of will : the will to exercise and eat healthier. Yet, the Arte documentary « An obese world » shows us that obese people for the most part are not lazy nor failures, but they really are not entirely in control of their weight. We are talking about a « liberal society who hates fat but creates fat people ». The conception of being overweight as being fat because we don’t do physical exercise is nothing more than an alibi for the food industry ; the reciprocity of this statement being : if you do exercise, you can eat and drink whatever you want. However, despite all the reality shows showing us the miraculous power of the gym – which can allegedly help us lose dozens of lbs in only a couple of weeks without the yo-yo effect – physical exercise alone, is in fact inefficient : if a 230lbs weighing person was to run 7 miles, they would have consumed 1000 calories, or 2 chocolatines [pains au chocolat here in the South of France, Translator’s note]. To change dietary habits is therefore crucial if a person doesn’t want to intensely exercise for two hours to only barely eliminate their breakfast. Thus, by encouraging fast foods implantation especially in poor neighbourhoods – where obesity levels is already high – the american government is subsidising to this obesity epidemic. Obviously, the poor and middle-class people are the most affected, this can be seen in supermarkets : fatty and sugary foods are far cheaper than organic, healthy and natural foods – complete and organic coconut sugar is five times more expensive than white refined sugar. In many grocery stores in Mexico – country devastated by the American’s sugary drinks industry -,  bottle of water is more expensive than a bottle soda.

Nonetheless, as the culture of diets is well engraved in our societies, a heavy responsibility weighs on those who dare to be physically outside the norms, in an often open fatphobia. Let’s remind ourselves that the argument of health in not valid, partly because the size of an individual’s body doesn’t specifically tell us a lot about their health, but mostly because if the « anti-fats » really wanted to increase humanity’s lifespan, their focus would rather be on economic inequalities – in average, the poorest French people live 13 years less than the richest.


TACK N°6 – SUMMER IS CALLING : Sea of Solitude: the sea, fear, acceptance and surfacing it’s conditions.

Personally I’m not a big fan of summer, I find that this season is just a large amount of time where people force themselves to complete meaningless and futile tasks under the pretext that it’s to get us out of our comfort zones. This idea is not necessarily contemptible, but personally summer has always taken the form of a trip to the Atlantic ocean. An ocean from which the only thing we take full advantage of is this incomprehensible body of water that is a constant reminder of how insignificantly small we are. Unlike other landscapes, but the ocean is the only one to make me feel this heavy weight that is loneliness. Being at a loss in the face of the incomprehensible, and the fear of getting lost, never being able to find shore. I always assumed that I wasn’t the only person who gets this feeling of discomfort when faced with the seemingly endless body of water that is the ocean. So when a game decided to exploit this feeling and made it a starting point for the development of all their ideas, it piqued my curiosity.

I saw this game: Sea Of Solitude. (July 5, 2019, available on PS4, Xbox and PC) while it was competing for the title of best indie game at the 2019 Games Awards. I’ve already had the opportunity to talk about Sea Of Solitude in a previous issue. Although I mainly focused on its creator Cornelia Geppert and her approach to video games. Today I’m primarily going to focus on the use of water, the omnipresent and founding landscape. A quick reminder, this game from Jo Mei Games shows us that we need to embrace our fears like the creator did by staging her trauma with this game.

We follow the journey of a character called Kay on her little motor boat, who is travelling around a small town submerged by the sea. In this town there are two different types of living beings: monstrous black animals (crows, jellyfish, chameleons, wolves, crustaceans and a whale) and luminous beings. There are also two types of humanoid beings: Kay and a radiant young girl dressed in an anorak with a bright yellow bob. This contrast between light and dark, fear and hope can be found throughout the game. Monsters hide within the black water with the sole purpose of destroying you. The water is your enemy just like in many games, touching the water or staying in it for too long will lead to your death. This is to add a more practical side to the game since it makes it possible to delimit the playable areas from the non-playable ones and to ensure a logical end to the rest of the story. The notion of this limit is particularly visible in the passages where Kay remembers her past, since she should have her feet on the ground for these moments: the water disappears.

In Sea Of Solitude, water is present visually but it is also there to represent morality. What Cornelia Geppert is trying to explain to us through these stories and these moments of life, is that if we understand our fears we will be able to control them. The water goes from being this hostile place to a haven of peace. So now we can jump head first into this place that understands us, a place that has sheltered our sorrows, our fears and our sufferings. After all, these are the places that know us best. Once we’re free of our fears, diving into these places can only be a source of happiness. We reminisce over the miles that our little boat helped us sail across. It’s as if these places kept all our happy memories, the pleasures that were made invisible by problems that are out of our control. And it is then, at that precise moment, that we are able to see them for the first time, and we become one with ourselves and the monsters living inside of us disappear forever.

I would like to end this article with a quote from Christopher Johnson McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp the hero of the film / book that retraces his story: Into The Wild. He spent the last three years of his life trying to understand the demons that surrounded his own Sea Of Solitude. It’s only by facing the ocean that he realized the distance traveled and all that he still has to go through to reach his completion: “The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and, occasionally, the chance to
feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.”

TACK N°5 – WORK : LO-FI « do it yourself » and Soundcloud, workers more than solo artists

by Hugo Verdier and translated by Maia Sefton.

The theme of “work” led me to evoke a subject that is close to my heart within the music industry. The goal here is to understand these artists who seem to need no one at all or almost no one. They are composers, lyricists, but above all multi-instrumentalists and are extremely competent with sound techniques: they can therefore easily self-produce. Then does that mean that there is no longer any artistic work?

Overdubbing​ is a studio technique that became popular throughout the 1960s. It simply relies on adding an instrumental track, a guitar riff or vocal harmonies for example, on a rhythmically timed basis,with the whole thus forming the finished mix of the song. I have introduced this into the article because its development will allow a single individual to record a « complete » song in terms of the instrumentals. In the same period, many artists have stepped back from concerts and tours, which are seen as a « right of passage « . And on the other hand there is a greater demand for albums that have had more work put into them. And gradually the idea that one single person can play all the instruments for a song doesn’t seem illogical since it was not meant to be performed live by several different performers.

The first big example is former Beatles member ​McCartney i​ n 1970, when he released his first solo album. He recorded it in his suburban London house with only basic equipment. Other than the vocal harmonies performed by Linde McCartney, Paul recorded all of the instruments, the voices, wrote and produced everything: he didn’t need the studio musiciens or a producer. All of this and the relationship formed between an artist and his music became a precursor for not only Lo-Fi music but also indie, Paul had simply pursued a musical experience that already existed since in the white album he had already experimented with songs where he was the sole artist. Finally I shall remind everyone that the mainstream contemporary critics were very harsh with this first album saying that it was unfinished, badly recorded and rushed.

How has the production method evolved? How and why become the sole artist of your own productions?

Something that is even more impressive, two years after that first example, Mike Oldfield unveils ​Tubular Bells.​ This is categorized as symphonic rock, a subgenre of ​rock prog ​with a complex variety of instrumentals. In total there were 274 overdubs, that’s to say tracks were added on for the equivalent of 50 minutes of mainly just instrumental music, divided into two parts. He plays almost the entirety of the instruments but particularly the eponymous ​tubular bells. ​That same year Todd Rundgren released his third album ​Something/Anything?​ in which for three quarters of the disc he executed not only the instrumentals but also, contrary to Oldfield, the productions. The latter will impact a more recent artist which will tie in perfectly with this subject.

From the 1980s to the 2000, the great multi-instrumental artists are in chronological order: Prince with Dirty Mind,which was in my opinion very underestimated compared to the following albums. The wave of the alternative music was accompanied by Trent Reznor, the face of the Nine Inch Nails ​indus​ project, Beck with​ Mellow Gold​ that was carried by the

single, « Loser », recorded in a friend’s kitchen. Dave Grohl, who just like McCartney launched a solo career, at the end of Nirvana, with a homemade album. We can also mention PJ Harvey or Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who mastered several instruments, keyboards, wind instruments, in their respective projects.

Today it is Kevin Parker with his Tame Impala project that best illustrates the subject. On his four albums from 2010 to 2020, starting with neo-psychedelia, which was particularly inspired by Todd Rundgren, up to a more soft rock with a touch of disco, he thinks, creates, plays and produces some of the most influential songs of this past decade. The production of an entire album by a single artist is often justified by the « limits » that working with a group or studio represents. When a composer has a particular idea for a song, it can be difficult to explain to other members, even with partitions. It won’t completely be what he had in mind and for some artists it can be something very frustrating. Thoineau Palis with his solo project TH da Freak, had a similar configuration before 2018 and the participation of the other musicians in the studio, evoked the « dictators methode ”which makes it possible to be the exclusive heavy head on a song or an album.

Therefore we remember that these artists are first and foremost multi-instrumentalists, generally composers and lyricists but above all else they imagine the music recorded here and differentiate it from the music that will be played live ; it’s difficult to interpret very complexe songs alone. Their talent allows them to play all the instruments of a composition where they are then the only one « responsible ». Also if the DIY (“Do it yourself”) is very much linked to lo-fi sounds, especially with R. Stevie Moore, we notice that it also appears in “labeled” music.

Recently many hip-hop projects ( the term lo-fi is today more of a simplification of « lo-fi hip hop »; homemade music and instrumentals that are developing on ​Youtube​ and ​Soundcloud​), electro sounds like synthwave, are made by a single artist. As for the genres that resemble ambient music,​ the instrumentals are less varied but remain of excellent quality. One example is Liz Harris’ project, Grouper with the 2014 album ​Ruins​, partially recorded in the south of Portugal; we can almost feel the landscape of the shores, the villages and cliffs in this extremely personal piece. Jenny Hval produced Blood Bitch with a similar idea in mind; it is an excellent concept album from 2016 previously mentioned in Tack n°2, inspired by fantasy and horror.

Today with the internet and lots of access to platforms like Bandcamp or Soundcloud, the number of solo projects are increasing. Luna Li, for example, took advantage of the quarantine to post complex and diverse instrumentals on Twitter; harp, guitar solos with a chorus, keyboards and even violins, that were shared a hundred times over, which illustrates artists contribution to social networks. ​Youtube’s a​ lgorithm has also allowed ​indie​ artists to surface; after appearing in recommendations or suggested content. This also happened with folk music​ ​and ​psyche I Didn’t Know of Skinshape​ (William Dorey). On another note the term indie by definition, can also imply a recording and/or production done by a single individual. As for Soundcloud, it was the solo project of Marie Ulven Ringheim, girl in red, who debuted with the single « I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend « at the end of 2016, a single that quickly reached thousands of listens after several weeks.

To conclude, multi-instrumentalists first recorded demos for their group, sometimes with a variety of different instruments; the main examples being Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.

In the 1970s the idea of « DIY » appeared as a finality to the album and even as something that would characterize it, like for Mike Oldfield who is now renowned for that exact reason. From the 1980s this principle continues to circulate between pop genres, however it is mainly associated with alternative and indie music. Since the late 2000s, the existence of various software has first of all favored musical creations with a number of various instruments: with a midi keyboard you can create an orchestra or play common sounds that are increasingly realistic and more complex. The platforms previously mentioned are full of workers who are always pushing their creativity and they have opportunities to express themselves as much as possible.


by Bastien Silty and translated by Nolwenn.

If this tweet from Siobhan Thompson is sarcastic and only partially true, it makes us see that depression holds a huge spot in video games. Rightfully so, because it plays a great part in the making of a game, and for very different reasons, wether if we study a Triple A (or AAA which stands for every game made in a big production), or an indie game. So in this very article, guaranteed without any spoilers, we are going to see the links between work and video games.

Let’s begin with the independent games, which seems to have a favorite theme, grief and depression. We are going to talk about two indie games, Celeste (Jan 25th, 2018), from Matt Makes Games and Sea of Solitude (Jul 5th, 2019), from Jo-Mei Games. We will finish by talking about the burn outs caused by Epic Games and Fortnite (Nov 2017).
An indie developer, as suggested by Bounthavy Suvilay in her book « Indie Games », has too much problems to handle during the creation of their story, that they cannot think of what’s next. She insists that an indie game is a total investment. A financial investment, but also and foremost an investment of time and energy. The creators of Flappy Bird (2013), Antichamber (2013) or even Ridiculous Fishing (2013) sunk into depression at the launch of their game. For diverse reasons ; they found themselves without a goal after the launch, or they were guilt ridden when their money incomes were far more important than what they had hoped. This brutal change of situation added to the incomprehension happen with most indie games, especially in debut games, a creator’s first game. Indie games are made by groups of passionate, often 10 to 15 or less, either in a garage or small locals. For instance, in Extremely Ok (Celeste and TowerFall’s creators) there are 7 people, Jo-Mei Games are 13 and at Nomada Studio (GRIS’ creators) they are 10, with 7 for the music only.

Celeste tells the story of Madeline, depressed and trying to climb a mountain. On her track, she meets several characters who are going to help her in different ways. To rough it up, the story translates her will to get back on her feet helped by her friends. Matt Makes Games, after the success of TowerFall, went to live in a shared-flat with three other creators to create their next game. Nonetheless, he found himself surrounded by work on the development of TowerFall on other consoles. He explained that TowerFall’s loud success could crash his relation with his flatmates as most of the large money incomes would come to him. A new source of anxiety coming from creating video games, which he got over with the help of his flatmates. A similar scheme can be found in Cornelia Geppert and Boris Munser’s Sea of Solitude’s creation.
We follow Kay in her introspection who is trying to fight her demons, helped by her boat and her memories. Each phases of metaphoric depression can be seen. Cornelia Geppert had wanted to tell her own story through the art she excelled best in : video games. That is how we find ourselves lost in a sea of solitude in this depression filled work. In several interviews, Cornelia Geppert has described herself in her depression as a mere shadow of herself, and this metaphor is the game’s base design (cf. a picture taken from the game showing principal character Kay). In those same interviews, she has explained that the characters depicted are her own friends and family; the second to last being her ex boyfriend, suffering from a mental illness, who brought her to depression in 2014. Thus, when an indie game talks about depression, it often is because it is the creators’ (only) way to exteriorize everything they can feel inside, work becoming emancipatory for them.

For AAA games, what happens is the contrary, burn outs are present but for other different reasons. In big productions, there is a lot of people. I am not teaching you anything here, but it defines work as a whole, there is a LOT of people. In capitalist’s logic, a game has to be sold to the greater number, the story must therefore be marketable and watered-down, the artists’ visions and personal work being wiped out. Not only that, but with the logic of competition in the industry, games have to be released ever quicker and at their maximum quality. Employees are then forced to do as quickly as possible. This regularly leads these people to have burn outs. An investigation has been made with Fortnite’s developers after its global success in 2017 by Colin Campbell, from the website Polygon. He exposes the real necessity for the game to keep its leader position, Battle Royales being the most popular play mode of the last couple of years, and competitors beginning to make these kind of games. First observation, a vast majority of employees admit they have worked between 70 to 100 hours per week during the making of Fortnite. Quick reminder, the french legislation sets the maximum legal working hours at 35 per week. These overtime hours can be explained by two major factors. The first one being the practice of the « crunch », an efficient pressure tactic consisting of asking employees to work harder and for longer hours only until the game or one of its extension is launched. At Epic Games, these crunches have lasted for weeks, even months, and have often been renewed. The second explanation is the lack of syndicate in the video game industry. The IGDA or International Game Developers Association calls to an important unionization to stop these destructive practices over the employees’ mental health. The latter, often called to work on menial or precise tasks, are hired as temps, so that they cannot gather up and fight their employers and their ideals. This article still brought a bigger feeling of empathy towards the developers from the players, who then asked for release dates to be postponed, to allow the employees to have a personal life outside of their work. In 2019/2020, several games have seen their release dates delayed, without any outrage from the public. Some players have even asked Masahiro Sakurai to take a break from developing Super Smash Bros Ultimate as he seemed more and more exhausted in interviews. Thus, if Triple A doesn’t speak publicly and freely about depression or burn outs, it is mostly because it is experienced by employees who cannot express themselves, forced to follow strict agendas from their bosses, whose only concern is for their competitors’ sales revenues and always making better ones.

Links :

The Story Behind Celeste

Celeste’s creation team

Sea of Solitude’s creation team

Colin Campbell’s article

Trailer Sea of Solitude

Trailer Celeste


By Heoluz and translated by Maia

It’s hard to find a definition for the word work. In cinema but also in the world of art where it is especially difficult to associate the artist with the amount of work that goes into a piece. What I mean by the difficulty to define the word work is that we imagine the artist’s brush moving naturally across the canvas. As if, the artist manages to effortlessly control his mouvements. We only see the canvas as a summary of its beauty and as a unique product of human genius. Generally, we only see the artist’s works (whether cinematographic or in another form of art) as the final result.We ignore the process and all the work that has been accomplished, we are oblivious to the trials and to all the problems that came up and were eventually resolved.

If we were aware of the efforts made to achieve these results, if we celebrated them for their true value then Humanity would undoubtedly grow from it. However, the society in which we live places more importance on the final product than on the process.

The excessive consumption of goods due to capitalism (of which films are an essential part) has not drawn the eye of the general public to the work provided by the artists, but instead has only shown the completed and polished products.

To link the subject of work to the film that I am going to present to you, I will rely on the concept of a painter. To create his paintings and his drawings, he needs colors which are present in nature, but also knowledge, and control which is passed down through the ages.

Thus without further ado here is Gabbeh a film that shows the transmission of this eponymous traditional carpet (gabbeh), a particular heritage in Persia.

Released in 1996, it is an Iranian film by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who at the time was a very popular director in Iran. He has directed numerous films but he also starred in one: Close-Up (1990), a work that was inspired by a news story where a young man pretended to be Mohsen Makhmalbaf himself so that he could live a more dignified lifestyle. This film was also directed by the other great Iranian director of it’stime,AbbasKiarostami(youhavetoseeThetasteofcherries​-1997).Mohen Makhmalbaf wasn’t looking to be on the big screen since he was a writer. Partisan of the Islamic Republic and opposed to the Shah of Iran, when he failed he published two novels and then turned to the cinema. Although he fully embodies the regime’s values, Mohsen Makhmalbaf discovered in the national archives, the existence of different works that changed his world views. From that point on he became a critic of the regime. And he could afford it (Iran would only experience an authoritarian turn around in the years leading up to 2000) since in 1987 ​The peddler was met with great success and he acquired a certain notoriety with the Iranian public. However Gabbeh​ is one of his first works that received international recognition.

And Mohsen Makhmalbaf follows it up with incredible films such as ​The Silence (1998)​ or Blackboards – 2000 (a film directed by his daughter, Samira Makhmalbaf and produced by Mohsen and his company), the latter will be rewarded at the Cannes film festival. Nevertheless the success at the end of the 90’s concealed the Iranian state’s disinterest in cinema but also the increasing amount of private investments.

The film Gabbeh refers to a Persian carpet, it is a very colorful film. By definition Persian carpets are, they have all kinds of colors but there are many different types.

Like the Ottoman carpets, they are made thanks to a developed and highly specialized craftsmanship.

They only represent forms (in Iran, religion does not allow for human representation) and are made with precious fabrics. The one we see in the film is not meant to be sold, but to be given as an inheritance gift. The carpet is an important object for the nomade Persian community that we will follow throughout the film. In addition it is a very rustic object, it is not seen as precious in the sense that it won’t be worth a lot of money. It is their tradition, they weave both human and animal forms and it represents the different stages of life of the people in the community. For example a marriage, a birth or even a death … It is twice as important since in this film it also embodies a woman who is desperately looking for a husband, she is the « Gabbeh » and first appears after an elderly couple’s discussions from the region remembering their lives.
It’s the beginning of a long love story and we quickly understand that what for us was simply a colorful carpet is in fact a representation of Persian history. These intertwined stories of these nomadic people who are one with nature celebrate a life which unfolds to the rhythm of travelling and discovery. With the uncle teaching young children what nature has to offer, and picking flowers it allows everyone to be reminded of what eternity really is. We can thus grasp that the « gabbeh » is not only a useful object but it’s also knowledge, an object that has a soul and a lifetime worth of work put into it.

To conclude, Iranian cinema is not just about Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami, although they did and still do great works like ​The President (2015)​ or Like Someone In Love (2012). And you might even have heard of Marjane Satrapi, author,designeranddirectorofPersepolis(2007).​Thereisalsoacinemaforshort Iranian films and one I think that is quite interesting to watch is ​Tribute to the teachers (1977)​ by Abbas Kiarostami who wanted to show the dedication of teachers, their hard work and determination under difficult circumstances.

TACK N°4 – NOSTALGIA : Embrace the old way or the new one ? Game design being put to the test by nostalgia.

Which games age the best ? Does the remake of an old game or the revival of a worn out genre necessarily need to be accompanied by a change in the game play mechanics or should they be left as they were to better embrace the return to the past.

Some of Tack’s readers probably grew up with the Nintendo 64, the console that welcomed the first 3D games created by the company nippone. With the rise of 3D platform games, initiated by Super Mario 64 in 1996, Banjo-Kazooie developed by Rareware, was a striking milestone. The flawless precision of the platform, levels designed with distinct environnements, a memorable soundtrack, these were the elements remembered by the raving critics. The first one of the “Banjo” saga impacted a whole generation of players, hungry for similar experiences such as “Spyro the Dragon” or “Rayman”.

Even though 3D platform games were incredibly popular during the second half of the 90’s, the concept slowly died out due to the fact that they were quite redundant, apart from the very successful Mario Odyssey & Galaxy, the more recent productions relied on different genres. But after two decades of nothing, a group of former members of the Rareware studio decided to start a Kickstarter to fund a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. With its colorful and dreamlike universe and it’s gaming system worthy of a 3D platform game, the game Yooka-Laylee charmed it’s players. The duo (Yooka a green chameleon and Laylee a purple bat) could have been mistaken for the original protagonists of Rare’s golden age : the hero with a big heart and his flying sidekick. Released in 2017, Yooka-Laylee wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped, with fans being unpleasantly surprised: the gameplay was seen as archaic, the movements hadn’t been updated since the Nintendo 64 era, an unmoving camera and the many positioning flaws are a hindrance to the players movements. Beyond the homage that it represents, Yooka-Laylee is weighed down by the basic Game design mistakes that were already present in the 90’s.

A video game can testify to the passage of time, with the graphics and game mechanics
leaving their mark on the design models. Thus, it should be interesting to compare the
original Doom released in 1993 and the 2016 reboot. The game designed by John Carmack and the id Software Studio, was one of the first to use 3D immersive graphics, and offer the opportunity to use an array of frantic mouvements and a first-person perspective.

In the 90’s Doom became the inspiration for a new game genre : “Doom-like” is what first person shooter games were called before being replaced by FPS (first person shooter).

After a few follow ups and adaptations, Doom was rebooted, with it’s univers intact. And in 2016 players could once again find themselves on planet Mars with the demonic portals and the Cacodemons, Revenants and the other creatures risen from hell. In addition the id Software title was entirely reimagined to better conform with the design essentials of a worthy modern FPS. The inertia and the players movements underwent huge improvements and the level design was better arranged to allow for more verticality. These modifications are still consistent with the ideas introduced by the original Doom, the levels architecture already proposed battles on different levels, inclined walls, open spaces and lifts.

Doom 2016 largely reworked their battles so that it would offer a particular rhythm. To recover ammunition and life points, the hero has to fight demons in single combat. The game design forces the player to throw direct attacks, the games system doesn’t rely on the “covering” mechanism like in Gears of War, where the aim of the game is to hide behind a part of the decor before attacking. Through these combats the game-feel aims to make the player feel a certain kind of power via the avatar, by chasing and squashing these demonic creatures, in a very fast game with fluid movements to allow for better action.

Modern FPS borrow many gameplay elements from role playing games such as the skill set, grinding, the dialogues and interactions… present in Far Cry or Destiny. Doom made the choice to offer an immersive experience, with an unrestrained rhythm of action like it’s predecessor. These choices allowed it to stand out among the new releases and bring back a cool breeze of the old school.

The Doom remake succeeded in modernising a 30 year old formula by awakening the player’s nostalgia. The game design choices are a tribute to the 90’s productions with a return to the source for the genre of fast paced FPSs.

TACK N°4 – NOSTALGIA : GREECE a country of memories

Rich in histories that constitute for many a huge part of History itself, Greece is undeniably one of the oldest civilizations of the world.
In the lands of Southeast Europe where they witnessed the birth of democracy you can discover the unforgettable stories that Greece has to offer.

In it’s capital, Athens, named after the goddess of war Athena you can be enraptured by the Acropole, the Pantheon, Erechtheion, the Propylaea and all of the other temples and edifices that were once the heart of the city of Athens. Behold the enormous and impressive stone ruins, that are over a millennium years old, these ruins that have known grec religions, the birth of christianisme, Judaism and Islam, the discovery of America, the french revolution, the philosophy Lumiéres, colonisation, world wars, the internet, the presedential election of Donald Trump in the US, Covid-19 and now us, wide eyed and gaping at these huge monuments that show us just how insignifficant we are and how they will surely outlive us.

Next up you should visit the Museum of Athens where you can find out how the ancient Greeks and Atheniens lived down to the minor details of their everyday lives in a world where Greece was the birthplace of Europe’s wisdom.
Discover greek culture that holds many mysteries that even today, historians are trying to uncover. You can see the many reconstructions of the capital that happened over three thousand years ago, the preserved graves, weapons and armour, sculptures… that will give you the impressions that you had in fact lived there yourself.

Then head off to the other side of the country to Delphi, a historical village that the Greeks considered to be the center of the world, that is surrounded by mountains. There you can visit the infamous ancient theater of Delphi and then the rest of the greek temples that were built long ago during antiquity with one of the temples being the Sanctuary of Apollo where at its center was Pythia,also known as the Oracle of Delphi, who would communicate with the Gods on behalf of the villagers who would seek her out once a year to ask for favours or
answers from the Gods.

Today all that is left of these places are ruins, animated solely by tourists, but they were once home to one of greatest Greek cities that ever existed, reminding us how time wipes out far more than just Mankind, because amidst all the chaos it’s life itself that’s swept away. After having discovered all these new things and the journey coming to an end, an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia will set in, memories of the journey to a land full of memories.

TACK N°3 – NATURE : Video games: The answer to the question about human ?

I would just like to warn everyone that there will be spoilers in this article and also trigger warning that there is mention of rape and assault in this article so if you are triggered by that i advise you click of this article.

The Witness(2016) is a first person point of view game with no story, barely any action and no music. Created by Jonathan Blow, a game developer known for making players question their every decision.In this game, after exiting a cave the player is sent to a desert island where they have to complete puzzles within a maze. To push the player thought process further, he has hidden audio tapes of philosophers, scholars, writers and all sorts of different artists talking about a wide range of subjects such as atheisme, borders, knowing oneself and art.

This is a very complexe game so we are going to concentrate on the two different types of puzzles that are present within this game. These riddles can be found 15 minutes into the game and are designed to make the players change their way of thinking. If the player focuses solely on the riddle itself he will never find the answer because the answer is hidden in a passageway just in front of him for example. The first maze is shaped like the trunk and branches of a tree. To answer the riddle the player has to point to the branch where an apple previously mentioned in the game had grown. The key to the second maze relies on the player tracing the contours of rocks, trees or other natural elements, so sometimes he will have to look around to find the right angle or imagine the height of a tree that has fallen. The answers to these two puzzles are quite unique, and no matter what defines the player “In real life” he will have to think like everyone else. His past, his encounters, zodiac sign and social category are of no importance in the face of the natural instinct every human being has that pushes us to think like everyone else. Does this instinct imply that there is an innate human nature? Is it conditioning us to deny our uniqueness ? I would like to set myself apart from Jonathan Blow with the analysis of Nieztsche theory that “ God is dead !” and try to further it by explaining his theory by talking about another video game: Hollow Knight (2017). First of all though I would like to mention the australian developers of the game who are known as Team Cherry. In this Metroidvania ( subgenre of action-adventure made popular by the games Metroid (1986) and Castlevania (1997) ) the player embodies a young knight arriving on the unknown lands of Hallownest. You quickly understand your role in the game: you must choose whether you kill the God named Radiance or canalise his power through you. In the bestiary Radiance is described as : “ The plague, the infection, the madness that haunts the corpses of Hallownest… the light that screams out from the eyes of this dead Kingdom. What is the source? I suppose mere mortals like myself will never understand.

Her story is a classic one, at first she was a source of life, but sadly she was imprisoned by a greedy king who wanted to become a God. She was forced to transform and take possession of the weakest people in the realm.
We can compare this to some of Nietzsche’s findings, the difference being that the god Radiance is represented by the christian God and the greedy king resembles capitalism and the alienation brought along by the industrial revolution. For the philosopher, this murder (the neglect of God that led to his death) inplies a change within the deicides minds. There are now two solutions: be weak or ascend to the rank of a God. Hollow Knight retraces this dichotomy. With the exception of one character and our knight, everyone had lost all hope of being rid of Radiance the wrongdoer. Nietzsche would qualify them as weak since they’re unable to step up and play the role that was intended for them. And what of our character? He can also choose to undo his role by deciding to limit Radiance’s powder instead of getting rid of him all together. By doing this, you accept defeat and acknowledge that the role you were given is too demanding for one person. This defeat leads us to ask the following questions: Do we all have the same role to play? If so are we capable of carrying it to fruitions ? Would we be able to do it for the rest of our lives? Do we all have the same nature?

The two games previously mentioned take place in purely fictional worlds whereas this last one is very much based on reality. Life Is Strange : Before The Storm ( August 2017) takes place in the American University of Blackwell situated in a small town called Arcadia Bay. We follow the story of Chloe Price, a young student whose life isn’t going too well. Her father recently passed away in a car crash. Her mother is dating a man who represents everything Chloe hates and her best friend has moved away. All these events lead to serious consequences in her life. In University, even though she was one of best in her class during all of her school years, she starts missing classes, her grades plummet, and she turns to drugs which leads her to owing a lot of money to her dealer. In this point and click narrative created by Deck Nine Games we are going to follow the stories of a few youngsters, uncovering all of their problems and insecurities. For example, someone who is going to become extremely important to Chloe is Rachel whose life is going to be overturned very quickly. Some are discovering their sexuality, others racisme, fatphobia, parental pressure, some students are assaulted, raped, and drugged. To be put shortly all the horrors banned by society can be found in this video game. All this is a huge weight for the students and also for the townspeople of Arcadia Bay which proves that a human nature cannot exist in the face of oppression, recurring problems, or the structural problems caused by a society that prones individualisme. Social trauma forces people to deal in their own way. All these problems rain down on us and stop us from ascending to the rank of God as Nietzsche so hoped we would. Even if video games hadn’t created a tightly knit community between people with shared characteristics that qualify as G@m3R, they have uncovered new answers and a different point of views on the questions regarding the existence of human nature. Even if video games cannot have the answers to everything, they encourage us to ask questions and develop our curiosity just like in the Croatian game; The Talos principle (december 2014) where you are an Androïde, born to a God of creation in search of your identity, free will and self consciousness, will you prove the existence of human nature by doing what everyone else does? Or will you try to evade natural laws and society like Stanley in The Stanley Parable (october 2013)

The Witness trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPMMKFX78x0
Hollow knight Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAO2urG23S4
Life Is Strange : Before The Storm trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QD_4St79-Q
The Talos Principle Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAVh4_wnOIw
The Stanley Parable Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1S796fXtl4

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