A portfolio. I know, it sounds like sort of a cop-out project, and you know what? I’ll admit that it sort of is. But since it’s something I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, and I’m finally getting an idea of how I want the final presentation to look (which would require custom coding this entire site, which I’m not ready to jump into just yet; one of these days…), I’ll consider it an achievement.
The real reason I didn’t really get to work on a more extensive project, though, is because I was feeling completely, utterly depressed yesterday. Not even hyperbole depressed, but genuinely I-can’t-get-off-my-ass (although for me, I guess this literally, this is every day) depressed.
It probably sounds really dumb to most people, but the reason I suddenly plunged into the doom was all because of a game called Life Is Strange.
So the basic premise of the game is you’re an teenaged aspiring photographer who has the ability to rewind and change time. You and your childhood best friend Chloe are investigating the disappearance of a classmate as well as trying to prevent a huge natural disaster that’s supposed to hit the town you live in (which you know about because you’ve seen it in a vision, naturally).
Anyway, about two-thirds of the way through the game, you get to change the past and prevent the death of Chloe’s father. The price of this, among the many other departures from your original timeline, is that Chloe ends up a quadriplegic. There’s this big reveal where you’re trying to get a handle and all the things that have been altered, and you run to Chloe’s house, only to have her come greet you by rolling up to you in a power chair.
For obvious reasons, I immediately found this hugely disturbing. For one thing, I’ve been playing games lately to feel “enabled,” like I can move the way I used to before. For another thing, this was obviously a ploy to make you feel an immense gush of pity.
It didn’t help that I felt so ambivalent about the entire thing. In a way, I was glad the game creators highlighted spinal cord injury, because so few people have awareness about the condition, much less understand what dealing with something like that really means and feels like. And I have to say, someone must know someone with SCI, because they really hit the nail on the head on a lot of fronts.
But at the same time, the story leads to a point where you have to go back in time to fix what you’d changed — basically, to choose between Chloe’s dad’s life and letting Chloe get hurt. And right before you do that, Chloe decides life isn’t worth hanging onto anymore, so you have the choice to decide whether to participate in assisted suicide.
Okay, okay. I acknowledge it’s not actually that simple. Chloe’s parents are dealing with medical bills they can’t afford, and Chloe’s health is rapidly deteriorating, and her doctor’s don’t know whether she can actually survive her lungs going to shite. But I guess to have paralysis actually portrayed in a game, and then to make it into this horrific, sh*tty thing that it’s better to die and kill a loved one to escape than to deal with… I just, I don’t know. I have to live with this — like f*ck, should I just kill myself or kill someone else to be “happy”?
Anyway, I’m totally ranting, and I don’t mean to whine or especially not make people sorry for me. I guess sometimes, I just wish people could understand how much an SCI can f*ck you up, but it seems like, short of somehow making them experience for themselves all the crap I have to deal with every day — even for just a single day — no one gets it at all.