Solitary (Confinement)? No, A Video Game

I decided to choose the video game Solitary created by Luca Hibbard-Curto. This is a video game that is somewhat interactive. However, this is not your typical video game when you think of a video game. Solitary is a game that challenges people’s idea of a video game. This game is a computer game where you read sentences and then click on a word to continue on.

The home screen of Solitary says the name of the game, who it is by, and the word “begin”. The background of the game is black with grey and white lettering. To start the game, you click on the word begin. You wake up in a room. The room is about as plain as you can get it. Grey concrete walls box you in from every side. In front of you is a door, but it is locked tight, and the hatch is close. To your left is your cot. The words walls, door, and cot are the three words that you are able to click on. When you click on either the door or walls, it brings you to the next page but then you can go no further. However, if you click on cot you can read the next couple sentences and then you can then continue the game by clicking on the word sleep. After about two more words you click on it will direct you back to the home screen and there will be an added sentence to continue on with the game.

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Solitary has the tendency to make me feel sad. This game reminds me of solitary confinement in a prison. When I was playing this game I thought about Prison Break and shows and movies similar to Prison Break that put a good picture of solitary confinement in my head. I can only imagine that being put in solitary confinement is one of the worst things that could ever happen to a person. With a topic that is so sad and depressing, why would one make a video game based off of it?

I believe that Luca must have a little bit of depression or something if he is creating a game such as Solitary. I have a very hard time thinking about a video game like this one and actually thinking of it as a video game. Something so depressing and on the totally opposite spectrum from being fun should not be considered a video game.

This video game is the furthest thing from my definition of a video game. My definition of a video game is an interactive game that which is played to have fun. According to Merriam Webster, a video game is “a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or other display screen.” As one can tell, this definition does not say anything about a video game having to be fun.  I always thought that a video game had to be fun to be considered a video game, until this semester because of this class. I have learned a lot from this class already and am sure I will learn a lot more.

At one point in time video games were used for entertainment purposes for people to have fun. Now, they are so commonly used that they do not necessarily have to be fun. According to The State Of Play, “A few short decades ago, video games were considered a niche hobby for nerds or computer geeks. Today, they are an inseparable part of global popular culture. Video games are everywhere, played by people of all ages, faiths, and nationalities” (Goldberg and Larsson, 7). With games being so popular in today’s society, there are going to be some games that challenge the idea of a typical video game. Solitary is definitely one of those video games that challenge this idea.

While I was on Luca’s personal website I came across a number of his other video games. Although I have not played these, I can only imagine that they also challenge the idea of video games due to the names of the games. A couple of the other games Luca created are called One Gun and The Dream Surgeons.

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Above is a link that will direct one to Luca’s personal website. This website has an About, Games, Photography, Blog, and Contact page. If one goes to his game tab, Solitary will be found there.

In conclusion, as much as I do not want to consider Solitary as a video game, it still is one. Like mentioned earlier, a game that is not fun in any way and it more so depressing than anything is hard for me to look at as a video game. Solitary challenges the idea of a typical video game. Games like Solitary are the reason for this post. These types of games have gotten people thinking about video games in such a way. Video games can bring out any emotion in people and can have a ton of different effects towards people but at the end of the day they are still a video game if they are interactive and played electronically.


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