In Super Hexagon, the moment you cannot decide between two choices, the moment you hesitate, is nearly always immediately followed by the moment you die. This correlation is made abundantly clear by the paucity of choice within the game: You have two options– I suppose three, if you include staying motionless. In most circumstances, the correct choice is obvious, but it’s often very difficult indeed to realize which choice that is before time passes you by and–
Life isn’t much like that. Life doesn’t move so fast, and we often have more time to make our decisions than we know what to do with. Sometimes the excess of time makes the weight of the decision all the greater. Usually, really. Life also doesn’t give us just two or three choices. Life gives us a near-infinite number of possible approaches at any given moment.
It would take a depressingly naive mind to believe that this makes things any easier.
It’s painful sometimes how much video games addict us to making the right choice, to discovering the correct path to victory out of a small set of choices. How terribly misleading. It’s a cruel thing that we do to ourselves. We are doomed to agoraphobia in a field of decisions.
The Walking Dead got one thing right for sure: There are no correct decisions in that game, just… decisions.
So we do what we can to collapse this world of limitless possibility into something we might be able to comprehend. I wonder how much of my and others’ tendency to self-sabotage come from a desire for such simplicity, for a world where our reduced means have compressed our available choices down to a manageable level.
Right now I’ve got a lot of decisions to make and they exist in an endless spectrum of possibility. Fortunately, there are other methods than self-destruction to reduce the field of choice. Love, loyalty, greed, hatred, dedication, fame: We sacrifice our lives at these altars and pray to them for guidance, define our personalities by them and live by their code and their decree.
Hey, director, tell me: What is my motivation?
I just want to make things. I just want to put things out into the world that people will see and hear and read and play and maybe change their lives very, very slightly. I want to find a way to dedicate myself to this, completely, forever. I want to find a way to achieve this without existing in perpetual loneliness or poverty.
Selfish? Perhaps. I am okay with that. I will fight for what I need to survive and to live the life I want to live. Of course, saying that means nothing. Everyone says they’ll fight for something. The tricky part is finding out where the battle is happening before it’s all over.
Yeah, there’s still a whole lot left to decide, so much, so much. But at least I can define my victory conditions before I start playing the game.
Not easy, maybe, but at least comprehensible.