Monday, April 23, 2012


Okay, I've tried to write this post three times without any level of coherency. First it was going to be part of another 5 video games writers should play post. Then it was going to be another ost lowdown post. And now it's just a ridiculous mess and to hell with it.

Uhh . . . Journey?
Journey is a video game designed and developed by thatgamecompany for the PlayStation 3. And I love it. Irrationally, irrevocably, and, uhh, irresistibly.

thatgamecompany describes Journey as "an interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure to experience a person’s life passage and their intersections with others" . . . which just sounds weird. And Journey is more than that. While there's a plot, this is a game you experience instead of just play . . . so there's a huge emphasis on atmosphere and mood and what you as a player put into it.

This isn't your standard shoot-em-up. This is a game about feelings.

And if that's not enough to hook you, there's singing and scarves and magical carpet things and ruins and sand and glyphs and mysterious other players and a mysterious history to uncover. *flail*

Let me tell you how lovely it is
Because it's really lovely. Just look at these pictures. Tell me they aren't epic. I dare you.

Okay, MAYBE I'm biased. And MAYBE I'm like a crow with something shiny . . . but still, you've got to admit: pretty! thatgamecompany may have picked a fairly simple aesthetic, but it works.

And the visuals are only half the package--the score for Journey is some of the best music I've ever heard in a video game. Yes, it's that good. I just . . . there's no way to describe this without sounding ridiculous. But if you like sweeping, epic glory, you'll love it. And if you like writing to sweeping, epic glory, you'll really love it. Seriously. And if you need one more push, you might be interested to know that all 18 tracks are on iTunes (or the PSN) for only $5.

You should care
Yes. Yes you should. And here's why: as writers we are trying to create stories that make people feel something. We want our writing to have power.

Although Journey is simple, it achieved that goal and made freaking waves in the gaming community. Not only has it become the fastest selling game on the PlayStation Network ever, but it freaking moves people (including the tough dudes playing those aforementioned shoot-em-up), and the reason you can buy the soundtrack is because fans demanded it. Craziness!

So I guess my point is that I've learned things from Journey. And it was beautiful and heartbreaking and wonderful and I want you to learn them too. So play the game if you can, or at least give the soundtrack a quite listen. You won't be disappointed.

Okay, now that I've babbled like a fangirl and italicized half of the words in this post, I want to hear from you. How do you feel about video games? Have you ever played one that moved you, or are you mostly familiar with Angry Birds? Give me a heads up in the comments!