When I was little, I remember running as fast as my legs would carry me around the playground in spring. My arms were outstretched as far as I could reach them. My eyes were closed tight. Occasionally I would bend my knees, dip and swoop my body as I streaked across the tarmac. Introducing a few spirited leaps and turns, the fresh air would coolly rush over my skin and through the spaces between my fingers; it would whip and snatch up my hair in its torrents. In my mind –and imagination- I was soaring high from the clear blue hues of daytime through to the pinkish wisps of cloud hanging in the dusk sky. I was flying. But what I remember most about this ‘pretend’ was the very real feeling that swelled up in my chest; it felt a bit like awe, only more… enlivening. I’m also a little embarrassed to admit that I even remember holding back tears as that ball of awe hit the base of my throat.
Using the aforementioned ritual of my childhood is perhaps the best (and only) way I can describe my experience in playing Journey. A frankly stunning metaphor for the journey of life, the game is an experience I won’t forget. It is at times touching, beautiful and elating. But it can be bleak, too, scary and above all hard work. Journey speaks to me in ways that many video games do not.
I have titled this post a ‘Love Letter’ because I want to take the next line or two to thank TGC (thatgamecompany.) I want to thank them for opening a window to a place that I could not only reach out to, but a world that reached right back. I want to thank them for injecting some much needed spirit and imagination into the video games industry and for further inspiring this fledgling storyteller.
Megan E. Smith copyright 2012-12-28