Far too often, I walk away from a game highly satisfied, yet unchanged. I’ve been tested on the limits of my brutality toward other beings, been given a chance to reflect my secret aspirations onto a customizable character, and have been allowed to be as creative as I want in building towns, homes, and people. But still, I continue my life unaffected. “Save in Progress” will be one of my features that focuses on games that do manage to spill over into my reality, and make a change for the better in my life, proving that games can do more than just entertain. They can save lives.
I’ve never believed life was something special; merely a cycle, a passage of time and physical deterioration. The heartbeat, the breath and the state of consciousness never stirred any sense of value in me.
I have never known someone who has died. I always felt I was the wrong person to talk to when death affected the lives of people I knew. All I could ever muster was, “I’m sorry for your loss.”
Yet something is different about me now. I have been forced to think about the value of life and the pain of death, by a simple game. Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360 relies on life and death as key drivers of story and plot.
The story is centered on several different characters, four of which are immortal. They’ve lived for 1000 years and have witnessed everything. After losing their memories, they set off to reclaim them and along the way bond with mortals. Their unique relationships with the mortals emphasize the pain of dying, as well as living forever.
The most touching parts of Lost Odyssey were the recollection of dreams of Kaim, an immortal. After experiencing certain situations, he recalls a memory. These memories are told as simple text, still images, and music. I cried after reading almost all of them, but one of them rang clear to me and made me look at my own beloved one.
My grandmother, who just turned 96, means everything to me. And up until recently, I have done nothing but treat her as any other person in my life. I didn’t show her how special she was to me. I didn’t take care of her.
The other day, she had an accident in her bedroom. She blacked out, fell, and her fan hit her on the head. She was bleeding so much and I wasn’t there to help her. I came home to see her and she was walking with a cane, something she never needed before. And all she could tell me was that she still loved me.
I made a promise to her that I would be there to take care of her, just as she did for me when I was a child. I realize that she won’t be around forever, so I need to make her last days as happy as possible.
Lost Odyssey‘s story makes you think about the value of your relationships with people and how your life changes after they’re gone. All you have left of them are memories, but these are powerful as long as you keep them. Just don’t forget them now, you hear?