Over the the last few months I have been going back to much older video games to pick up where I left off and finally complete them. Among those games I’ve returned to is Remember Me, a 2013 video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published under Capcom. I had forgotten that the studio behind the widely successful Life Is Strange series were the same people who did Remember Me seven years ago. After playing the game and beating it a few weekends ago, one of the things that stood out in my mind was the recurring theme of memories that has popped up in the French studio’s later titles.
The video game Life Is Strange 2 drew to a close with the release of its final episode last week. The way the story ends is dependent on the choices you have made throughout all 5-episodes of the game, similar to the original Life Is Strange. No matter which ending you get, it’s just about guaranteed you’ll be affected by it in some way and it’s a testament to how strong the writing and characterizations have been in this second outing.
Video games are often a form of escapist entertainment. We play to have fun, lead lives that are different from our own, and forget our real world problems for a little while. But what happens when you combine fictional stories with today’s commentary about current events? Can we still view these games as pure fun and escapism when these messages, subtle or overt, become unabashed in their intention to drive a point home?