A candle that burns for half as long doesn't always burn twice as bright.
as my friend has yet to respond I'd like to return to one of his points which I find interesting, namely the enslavement interpretation. ultimately I think the general tone of the game goes against this idea, and there would be too many unanswered questions for me to make it plausible imo, but its an interesting idea which is worth entertaining, and one which regrettably I had not even considered. and I got to thinking about it today.
what if the entire "Journey" is in fact just a system of control? what if the white cloths are indeed manipulating and controlling the red cloths into doing their bidding? pacifying their minds with theatrics and then luring them to their deaths like sirens?
the obvious question might be, what for? for what purpose? to what ends? how do the white cloths profit from this? are they harvesting energy from the red cloths which they're using or plan to use somehow?
in fact who are the white cloths? the ones presented to you in the visions I mean. are they even real? what if they're just ghosts, echoes of the past, attempting to influence the red cloths from beyond the grave?
what if the visions are actually automated programs designed to run automatically when the headstones are activated? they could have been designed by the last of the white cloths before they died as a way of continually controlling future generations?
are the white cloths attempting to use the energy harvested from the red cloths to resurrect themselves? or perhaps they need a continuous supply of souls to maintain themselves in limbo. or perhaps they need the energy to trigger another creation event from the mountain in order to restore their civilisation to its former glory?
so what happened to the last of the white cloths who made that fateful journey to the top of the mountain? did they die? did they transcend to a higher plane of existence? are they still alive somewhere, plotting and waiting?
~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~
I wouldn't argue this in circles. This is probably the same Auldwolf who posts on the Gone Home forum responding to every criticism with that the person just "isn't capable" of understand that game and is on some lower plane of intelligence than him/her. An "unwashed tribal" as he / she puts it.
So I imagine a similar skewed attitude towards this game. I had to stop reading this writeup once it starts rambling about "aryan ideals."
haha! yeah I think I scared him off because I've been waiting days for a reply and have heard nothing. a bit disapointing really.
anyway most of his rambling is just pretentious, self-aggrandizing, egotistical BS. so you're not missing much.
but if you want a summary it goes soemthing like this: The reason he did not like the game was I suspect pretty much the same reason many people did not like it - because of his personal distaste for the concept and themes of the game. which is perfectly understandable. but instead of just saying that he attempted to mask it behind a series of paranoid assertions about how the game developers were conspiring to push some authoritarian, religous ideology onto players - the three main tenets of the game according to him are "creationism, conformity and neo-luddism" - while he insisted that anyone who didn't see this blatant agenda by the game developers must be some brainwashed ignorant moron. ....really foul stuff.
anyway he kept going on about being "pro-science" so I tried to help him out with the science side of things. and I haven't heard back.
~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~
If you don't "get it" then you don't "get it." Represents people who can't/won't enjoy stopping to smell the roses and fits well with the rest of Journey's parallels to real life. The game maximizes the difference between these types of people by evoking experience reports containing crying, religious experiences, best game ever experiences, etc. Not to mention every major GOTY award and the first ever videogame Grammy nomination.
I totally disagree with this interpretation, but I can see the logic behind it at the same time.
I find it intriguing that someone would come to this kind of conclusion after playing.
This variation in experience is, of course, exactly why I'm still playing (and enjoying) the game. Seeing and hearing and reading about different experiences and different perspectives then replaying to see how I can translate from my own experience to what I'm hearing/reading is an interesting experience for me.
As mentioned, I don't agree with this interpretation of the game.
You're claiming no player agency because you didn't bother to experiment with the - admittedly limited - tools provided to find your own way to play. You claim homogeneity of character appearance while every playthrough iterates on your cloak's patterning, and every player you encounter has their own unique symbol appearing when they sing, and that's before considering the red/white robe differences. You claim uniformity of player behaviour when the patterns of chimes each player uses to convey different expressions/requests/emotions are different from one encounter to the next, let alone one playthrough to the next. You claim the game speaks of technology as evil, and yet there are so many machines you activate along the way which aid your progress.
Yes, the "core" of the game is linear, but people have found so many ways to enjoy more than just rushing from start to finish. Climbing the tower without flooding it with light. Glitching through walls into the spaces behind the map and spending hours trapped in a beautiful, but distorted, world. Dancing around one another singing to keep each other airborne. Simply sitting in a place you find beautiful, and watching others pass you by on their own Journeys. Rushing into danger to divert an attacking war machine from another player so it rips your scarf instead of theirs.
Yes, there is a negative impression given by much of the darker technology in the game, but the implication I saw was that technology can BECOME bad if other things are neglected or subverted in favour of technology. Crops were replaced with factories. Living creatures were used to fuel machines to be used as weapons. You still use many of the machines in the world to progress. There needs to be balance though, some of the decisions the previous inhabitants of your world appear to have made involved forgetting about that balance.
Yes, the tools at your disposal are limited. You can jump, or fly a short distance, with one button. You can sing, and recharge another player's scarf, with another. Staying close to another player also refills both your scarves. You also have freedom of movement in 2 dimensions at all times, regardless of the length or charge on your scarf. Within those fairly restrictive confines, you can fly indefinitely with help from another player, use various combinations of chimes to portray emotional responses (something you rarely hear of in any other multiplayer game - other players intentionally portraying emotion), and travel within the bounds provided by the developers (or occasionally slip outside them). You might find a player who, like I do, stops to sit and "say hi" to Gary the scarf and his friend. You might find a player who chimes rapidly when something unexpected happens, or another who uses the same pattern to indicate "come here" or "keep up".
"I want my meals to think for myself"