Posts tagged video games

There was one time, in a swamp, where I struggled to bring myself to hit the “delete world” button. Back home, where I come from, the land has been drained for a century, but the soil remembers when it stood under water. A piece of crown land attached to my family’s property hosts one of the most notable seasonal swamps in the district. I suppose not many people get nostalgic for the scent of drying clay, the whine of mosquitoes and the sticky black mud and pollen that follows you home. But I do. There was one little shack I built in the spreading arms of a great mangrove, torchlight wavering in the corners. In the evening, in the rain, I could squint a little and pretend to be somewhere so much more beloved than my overpriced, roach-infested inner city rental.

No game has ever scared me quite the way Miasmata did.

Just the word - miasmata, miasmata, a nonsense sound, a catechism, the rolling of the waves and wind - is enough to make my chest constrict.

Here is a puzzle of the true sort; an exploration of the senses and the mind. It taps into instincts you had forgotten you had, a memory not for faces and landmarks but for the shape of the world; a pigeon-like sense of the way back.

And darker instincts. The fear of darkness, of exposure. Of small sounds that may or may not fit.

Your mouth really does go dry, you know. Your body does tense. Your head pounds with your pulse. These are things that happen outside the pages of literary clichés. To be alone in the wild is to know, intimately, the limits of the flesh, and to feel that all one’s courage, all one’s cleverness, and all one’s confidence in the body can be rendered moot by the faster and the stronger and the sharper.

It can smell you. And you, you can’t even lift your heavy limbs. And when you do it is only to stumble, to not so much run as to never quite fall, to tumble down into shelter with hand over mouth unable to stifle your breath, let alone the half-formed words that rise there.

I can not go back.

Miasamata is #3 for the next two hours in GOG’s summer sale.

Is Sheik Zelda in disguise, and therefore a tomboy? Yes. Is Sheik Zelda’s butch lesbian form — the Hylian equivalent of Shane? Yes. Is Sheik Zelda utterly transformed into a male counterpart, and therefore a trans* hero? Yes. Is Sheik the red-eyed antithesis of the gender binary, as fluid and as free as the water in the Zora Kingdom? Hell yes. Sheik’s gender is time-traveling bard. Sheik’s gender is shoulder muscles. Sheik’s gender is my hair’s falling across my eyes but I’m too busy playing the harp and fighting blood spirits to worry about that right now.

The godlike are the children of humanoids (most often humans) who have been “blessed” (or cursed, depending on personal or social view) with the physical manifestation of a divine spark granted by the gods. Godlike manifest their divine heritage in a variety of ways: wings, horns, strange birthmarks, talons, odd eyes - but they always manifest it somehow.

Godlike concept, Polina, Project Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment on Kickstarter