Awkward Silence: Indie gaming and junk

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I've been sitting on this for a while. I hadn't given it too much time until today but I'm glad a I did. Awkward Silence is set up and produced by a computer geek called Beans who has a soft spot for Bon Iver. Although I am currently a little 'over' Bon myself… I like that this gamer is into his melancholy and that this melancholic manner finds it way into Beans games and narratives…. and thats what makes them good.

Here's a couple of interesting comments from gamers on his blog

"Few games can reach that kind of strong emotional atmosphere. I really didn't expect the game to be so moving. During the scene where you come back home and you find your wife had killed herself brought me to tears".

"I played through twice. The first ending was too sad for words. The second not much better. Please send me the route to a better one. I don't want to have failed this family in this way".

Sounds like a bunch of psychos to me…. but I have to say, despite the (intentional) low-fi aesthetic, these games really do have an emotional quality that is noticeably different to other games out there. Art, game, who cares….? What's happening here is good. Spend some time playing them. In 'The Body' you are killing others and then burying them, it's dark, monochrome and moody. In 'One Chance' you are scientist who is battling against the impending end of the world. And in 'Still', my favourite, you're a lone wanderer through a snowy forest.

They're all dark, the music is all somber and they're all low-fi. But, I think they are aesthetically and emotionally interesting.

And a heads up, if you play 'Still', click on the little guy with your mouse to get him moving. And be patient…. it turns into a wee video that is both sad and beautiful.... so hang in there.

Logan Bradley