10 Things I Thought About During WITH THOSE WE LOVE ALIVE


After finishing Howling Dogs, I thought I would start to explore Porpentine’s other games, and I was led to her latest creation, WITH THOSE WE LOVE ALIVE, a game about a servant to an empress in one of the most surreal and fascinating worlds of poetry I’ve encountered in some time.

  1. A game world can be both poetic and repetitive.
  2. It is about the details that we can concern ourselves over time.
  3. Finding those details and pointing them out can be more powerful than plot, narration.
  4. I appreciated the element of “dream” and “color” in the design of the Empress’s world.
  5. The understanding of gender (and the blurred lines between the abstract gender) is powerfully indicated here.
  6. Writing on your body I did not, though I imagined what it would look like to do so, as others have.
  7. I only played through this once and felt somewhat disappointed in myself for not reliving the servant.
  8. There was a mystery to the sense of creativity instilled in object-making.
  9. We create and impress our symbolic understanding of the world in individualistic ways.
  10. Past lives are sometimes hidden until the right time and then explode forth drastically.

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