I finished the video game Disco Elysium in the last half of 2022. I haven't gone back to replay it, but it's been stuck in my head ever since. The music, the art, the story, the voices.
I love my video games, I see them as an artform. I adore a game that alters me in some way, making me view things differently. In 2020 I was lucky enough to play Outer Wilds, went in blind and unaware of what I was about to experience. I was treated to an audible, visual and narrative feast I didn't think I'd experience again, till Disco Elysium knocked on my door.
Outer Wilds was initially a nihilistic gut punch that ended with hope and optimism, beauty and splendor. The inevitable heat death of the universe has nothing on this little melody I uncovered, piece by piece. Come, sit around the final campfire.
Disco Elysium waged emotional warfare on my psyche, asking me some deep fucking questions and demanding I face the unpleasant answers that arose. I'm not happy with how I handle some things. I'm not happy with how I cope. At times I've been a shit, arrogant, dismissive, selfish and cold. At the end of a week of playing, unravelling the story in the evenings, I simply wanted to be a better person. I saw how the creators of this game teased hope for the future out of a miserable existence. Not that I'm miserable, but I saw myself reflected in many, many of the events that unfolded. In the regrets the main character expressed. In the ways he chose to hide from those regrets.
When I'm feeling stressed, or down, my mind invariably casts out to something I read/heard in that game, puts it into my current context, and helps me deal with it. Some of the songs from the OST are in my Spotify 'On Repeat' playlist. I'm quietly, subtly being nudged and inspired by artwork, to try and do better each time.
Gotta love it.