Bijan Stephen – Side Quest Issue 139

Here is a selection of some games that have been mentioned:

  • Tale
  • The Leftovers of Edith Finch
  • Disco Elysium: The Game

It is possible to avoid plagiarizing by restructuring the original text while still maintaining its core meaning and context. This can be accomplished by altering the order of the words and/or phrases, as well as by using different words and phrases to express the same idea.

The utilization of renewable energy resources is becoming increasingly important to power our society.

As our demand for energy continues to rise, so does the need for alternative energy solutions.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are becoming increasingly popular and are proving to be viable solutions to our current energy crisis. Investing in these forms of energy is essential for the continued development of our society.

When dealing with endings, there is a variety of possible outcomes–they can be melancholic, hopeful, dejecting, or definitive.

They mark the end of the story, and we are left to our own devices. In video games, the endings are dependent on how the player has navigated the world. For example, in Fable, the players’ moral decisions will shape the ending they receive.

In contrast, endings in games like What Remains of Edith Finch are predetermined, and the mission is to create a record of the world for the character’s unborn child.

Lastly, in Fortnite, endings are based upon the player’s skill and the skill of other players, as the goal is to be the last one standing.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the game Disco Elysium, mainly because it requires a lot of effort to discover who you are.

It can be simply labeled as “a point-and-click role-playing game,” but this does not capture the unique charm of the experience.

The main character is a blank slate, and the game is focused on both learning about yourself and exploring the war-ravaged city of Revachol. It is a place full of life, but the people are aware that they can’t escape the past.

Decades before the game, a communist revolution replaced the monarchy and was then overthrown by the Coalition, a group of capitalists. You can talk to veterans of the revolution who still mourn its loss and find old, discarded weapons left by their owners.

At the beginning of the game, you wake up from an alcoholic haze not knowing who you are.

Thus, your mission is twofold: to find out your identity and why you are in Revachol. The game allows you to escape from yourself, but you can be just as easily killed by an emotional blow as by a physical one.

As an example, you can attempt to get your tie from the fan, and if you fail too many times, your wounded pride will be your downfall. In Disco Elysium , your morale is just like your health status – if it reaches zero, you lose. Although, this kind of death is usually hilarious.

In Disco Elysium, one of its most interesting features is how it manages character stats. Character capabilities in role-playing games are usually expressed in numerical terms, for instance strength is a measure of physical power and charisma reflects how one is perceived by others.

This has been a trademark of the genre since Dungeons & Dragons – it is an attempt to replicate reality, however inadequately.

This quantified self is then put in unpredictable situations, which are resolved through a dice roll, where the higher number wins. Failure is typically more captivating to a player or game master than a victory.

In Disco Elysium, the player’s character is quantified in a mystical fashion. Intellect, Psyche, Physique, and Motorics are the four main attributes that influence your character.

These attributes are connected to different skills, such as Intellect overseeing conceptualization, Psyche managing esprit de corps, Physique controlling the pain threshold, and Motorics governing composure.

Additionally, these abilities are represented by literal voices inside the player’s head, each having its own unique character.

This is how the player interacts with themselves in the world of Revachol, and the dice govern it all. Two six-sided dice are rolled against the game each turn, with some rolls being repeatable and others only able to be done once.

The climax of the story poses a thought-provoking question: How have you picked to live, and could you keep on doing it? The answers remain unclear, as they do in actual life.

The final act of the game is a confrontation.

Your former police circle arrives, and you must respond to them for what has happened in the game: Did you decode the secret? Did you put yourself back together, or are you still a messed-up disappointment? Are you able to go on from the close of the affair that set you on this long-term drinking spree?

Leaving Revachol, I had the knowledge that I could return, yet I was aware that the environment would not be the same. Disco Elysium is a game that centers around living–every single day, you make decisions that shape the type of person you become. What kind of person would choose to eat a particular sandwich for lunch? Who would be discourteous to a stranger on the train? Who would appreciate a movie with a predictable plot?

The same reasoning applies regardless of the situation’s size. The path of choices we usually take in real life doesn’t stop until we do. However, this path is altered in a place like Revachol, where a joyful conclusion is only possible since a conclusion is provided.

At the end of Disco Elysium, you come across a giant insectoid cryptid that is fictional within the game, yet very real. It converses with you, talking about its history and how it managed to remain undetected. Additionally, it reveals that the individual responsible for the game’s plot was driven mad by its presence.

Even though the cryptid is captivating, it is not clear whether anything it tells you is genuine. Its decisions are so bizarre that it is difficult to tell. The cryptid is amazed by your ability to keep living, yet it has compassion for you.

The gap between us as humans cannot be crossed: Can you truly be aware of what somebody else is thinking? Are you aware of their feelings? This essential division is, I believe, a thing of beauty; I can be constantly astounded by how diverse other people’s perspectives of the world are.

I can only comprehend others through what they tell me in their words and actions, although that is all seen through the lens of my own subjectivity. Nevertheless, we communicate. We take the stories we are part of forward, even after they have come to a close, because we wish to understand ourselves better. And there are tales in real life that are defined by their conclusions. There are also as many methods to end a story as there are to start one.

That first significant relationship of yours, it’s over. You reflect on it and take away lessons. Then, during the pandemic, you cook dinner together over a video call, yet it’s a different story, since you both have changed.

Or, perhaps an old friend passes away, unbeknownst to you, and you hear it from another. You and this friend get very intoxicated in mourning, and you remember that your phone still remembers his name, but you no longer have any proof of those conversations you had years ago. He won’t be forgotten.

This is the kind of environment that Disco Elysium strives to recreate. When characters become increasingly realistic and similar to the people around us, it brings the fiction to life. Playing a character in a game gives us the opportunity to provide them with a satisfying conclusion, since we don’t have to struggle with the hardships of the real world.

Let me tell you something: You are Harry, a damaged cop who has been summoned to Revachol to investigate a murder. You feel a powerful desire to self-destruct, but maybe, if we work together, we can make things better.

For me, the allure lies in a satisfying conclusion that doesn’t necessarily follow the expected path.

In our opinion, a satisfactory conclusion involves someone making you an integral aspect of their narrative–infusing what they know of you into their own being. A satisfactory ending in a game gives you one option–maybe

Harry gets better and learns to carry on even though he really wants oblivion–and also allows you to contemplate other possibilities when your head is quiet. What would have happened if you had chosen to stay the same? In any event, the potential for change radiates out from you, the center.

After all, with a game, you can always begin a new playthrough which is very similar to the first, but the outcome will be a bit different.


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