It has been a very long time since I played any video games, but, recently, watching my partner indulge her puzzler in the puzzles of the beautifully designed Machinarium, I thought to myself, “Oooh. Cool.”
And then I remembered that I had downloaded Limbo a few months ago because my partner told me it was a cool game.
And it is AMAZING. A lovely combination of mystery, terror, and beauty. Sometimes you die in scary ways. Sometimes you swing among ropes and turn the whole world upside down.
The thing that’s cool about Limbo, beyond the atmosphere of silhouettes and fog, is the sound. It creeps around you, layed, hinting. A rolling boulder coming at you from off screen. Arrows or spears loosed and falling. Rain. God, the rain. It’s beautiful.
The thing about video games that I forgot is how much they honed, maintained, and sometimes dominated my focus. After playing Limbo for a few days, I found myself more alert, more capable of concentrating on things for longer periods of time–reading, writing, etc. I suppose any activity that promotes and rewards the practice of concentration helps to embiggen such muscles. I forgot. Now I remember. You just have to throw yourself into things now and then and possibly always.
p.s. Among my list of things to play next: Machinarium, Braid, Gone Home. Any other thoughts?