Let’s face facts, growing up can be incredibly difficult sometimes. I mean that in a lot of ways, because even adulthood has its many (and I mean many) disadvantages and a lot of the things that were unbearable in childhood just get worse as you age. There are a lot of things that you are told get better or easier, but the truth is, they really don’t. I remember in highschool how I was so pleased with the idea of leaving behind all of the things I deemed to be trivial bullshit, only to later realize that highschool was simply a microcosm of the whole, a miniature if you will. Part of what makes it so difficult to be younger is how your environment can sometimes feel like a prison and how it spills over into every other aspect of your life and be detrimental for years to come.
This short film from a filmmaker in Dallas has been getting some attention in the gaming media recently, and there is a good reason for it; it depicts a lot of the things that people don’t like to talk about and shows how entertainment can serve as a form of escapism. The irony, of course, is that this video comes out in the same year that the truly heart-wrenching PSN title, Papo & Yo, was released. I have been meaning to write something about Papo & Yo for a while now, because not many games have the innate ability to push me into a headspace that I haven’t been into for a very long time and even trigger such a sense of foreboding, bordering on a panic attack. I have yet to beat that game and chances are that I won’t, and that is my decision to do so.
This short, Escape, shows the darker side of what childhood can be for some kids and does it well, while highlighting how a troubled child can handle living in a hostile world. Danni, the child in the film, retreats into her own mind with the world of Hyrule from Legend of Zelda as her place that she escapes to. Escape, much like Papo & Yo shows the profound impact that a troubled upbringing can have on a creative mind as well as how that creative mind copes with it these situations.
Gamers are starting to grow up now, and as they do, games and the media surrounding them will evolve as well, and so far, 2012 has been a year when this has been on display.
Click here to watch the short film on YouTube.