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‘Sea of ​​Loneliness’ brings together the loneliness and anxiety of the pandemic

‘Sea of ​​Loneliness’ brings together the loneliness and anxiety of the pandemic

For the first time meet Kay, the protagonist The sea of ​​loneliness, he can’t remember when he finally saw the sun and no longer knows its reflection. The dark fur covers the limbs and the eyes glow with embers. Consumed by loneliness, he has become a horrible caricature of himself. This nightmare of Berlin-based developer Jo-Mei Games takes place inside a young woman’s psyche, depicted as a drowned city populated by the appearances of her inner demons. There’s a hateful monologue to himself with a scream in Kay’s head and a snake-beast hiding under the waves, a giant that threatens to overthrow his rough ship. All the people in Kay’s life — his brother who is being bullied at school; parents, involved in divorce; and his partner, swallowed up by clinical depression, have also degenerated into monsters to see a solution trapped in their cyclical trauma as well.

Kay’s struggle to keep afloat, literally and figuratively, may be familiar to many people who have had an uncomfortable time locked in their thoughts for the past year. In the right way, he released Jo-Meik The sea of ​​loneliness: the director’s cut, A collaboration with French developer Quantic Dream, for Nintendo Switch only March 4. However The sea of ​​lonelinessThe initial publication, published in 2019 with Electronic Arts Originals, predates the pandemic. There are few works adapted to the claustrophobia and alienation of the world we live in now.

With the director’s cut, “we had the opportunity to refine or change everything we ever wanted to do The sea of ​​loneliness“, Says creative director Cornelia Geppert Jo-Meiko. In addition to innovating the gameplay, adding photo-like features, Jo-Mei hired author Stephen Bell to recreate the script and read a group of professional voice actors. Geppert acknowledges the original German accent. that the dubbing was “distracting,” and why some critics were involved called the game “missed opportunity”. The revised script has less of an approach, pairs the dialogue with ham fists, and allows atmospheric vision to exert greater force. The result is clearer, sharper and allows the emotional core of the game to shine through.

From the initial publication, The sea of ​​loneliness Geppert has had a much broader impact than ever anticipated. Other games include One night in the woods and Hellblade: Sacrifice of Sense, have studied mental health issues, few have managed to show depression, anxiety and loneliness in such a wonderful way. The seascape, which, according to Kayen’s mind, blends between saturated colors and dark and disturbing tones, feels like a running children’s book. The players had an echo of something about the amazing artwork and the archetypal struggles it represents. Within months, emails from all over the world were leaked.

“Hundreds and hundreds of fans — children, adults, parents — contacted us and expressed how much it helped them not to feel so alone,” Geppert says. Discussing the game around the table that parents wrote allowed children and teens to open up about their problems. “Some changed their lives for the better. One person abused her ex-husband and they wrote to us a year later to say they are happy in a new relationship. “

Although depression and anxiety are common feeds for film and television, Geppert believes they have a tremendous potential to explore video games in a different way. Unlike passive ways of telling stories, games force players to take over.

“In movies, everything is thrown at you,” Geppert says. In The sea of ​​loneliness, is a different experience. “It was interesting to hear from fans that they were sometimes afraid that they would prevent them from moving forward, but in the end they realized they had to do it. [You’re] to move the story at your own pace, to decide to overcome your fears “.

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