My mom died two years ago. I'm finding the anniversary tough. We were close.
There are a number of games that deal with mortality (in a serious way, I mean), but What Remains of Edith Finch is the one I keep coming back to. It actually helps me with perspective a little bit. The game's vignettes depict the deaths of the various members of the Finch family, who, in the game's story, have believed themselves cursed for hundreds of years such that only one Finch from each generation survives to reproduce another generation. This, ironically, causes the player to focus on the details of their lives instead, as the titular Edith has tasked herself with discovering the truth behind the legend of the family curse. That focus cultivates a sense of empathy for each one that in turn builds a cumulatively powerful sense of loss and temporality.
One can't help but come to love the game's characters. Lewis's death vignette is...wow. Some of it I relate to in the sense of being a perpetual menial laborer myself who kind of hates my life and spends the bulk of any given day daydreaming, although psychosis hasn't been a struggle of mine. I love how the game conveys its progression like how video games have evolved over the decades. I also really liked Barbara's backstory and how that was told in a comic book style inspired by Tales From the Crypt. It's really for anyone who feels used. Her life is one gigantic abusive relationship with most people.
My favorite of the backstories though is always Molly's, which is the first one you discover. Molly's tale about her own impending doom is just the funniest, with her morphing into various animals every time she finds herself in a predicament and concluding that she's delicious. That always makes me smile. I used to be pretty carefree and Molly's story reminds me of that time. It's bittersweet because, like how it inevitably concludes with Molly's death way back in 1947, similarly my own carefree days feel like a very distant, but very fond, memory.
Dawn is a lot like my mom was: genuinely loving while also being strict and a bit secretive and mysterious, but you understood why once you got to know her. My dad taught me to hunt too, much as my mom's dad had taught her as well. I think she would have appreciated this game actually. Mom was never much of a gamer despite my best attempts to interest her in games. We rarely played video games together when I was growing up, though after I left I noticed on my return visits that she'd started playing simple computer games as a hobby. She was easily frustrated by the types of challenges that games typically offer. Besides her casual puzzle and simulation games (we're talking Candy Crush and FarmVille) and the familiar board game style of the Mario Party franchise though, she liked games like Gone Home and Beyond: Two Souls when I introduced her to them, as they didn't revolve around tough, traditional gamey type challenges. I think she'd have liked this game too. There's a lot I find relatable about many of this game's characters. I think it's supposed to be that way.
The bottom line of the game is that life is, by nature, a fleeting miracle, and that one should do their best to appreciate the miraculous nature of it while there is time to. The way the game communicates that idea is effective for me. I'm not very good at letting go or at not worrying about the future all the time these days. I don't really think I have one. Sometimes I just need a game that understands that and is there to to help put the whole nature of life back in a better perspective than I naturally have.Last edited by Jaicee - on 21 July 2019