Monday, 13 February 2017

Discussing the themes of "Homogeny"

After a lot of actual game development/other writing/other things, the analysis post is here!

If you haven't already, you can download and play Homogeny for free right here.

A fairly notable focus of discussion is actually as to why I even decided to create this game. The answer is split between because I liked the art style after having created Yet Another Puzzle Game, and because I wanted to create a very art-centric game.

The latter was actually prompted by a few very "avant-garde" YouTube videos, and I got jealous of the fact that the medium of a YouTube video can be used in such a way. It was shortly afterwards that I realized I could probably do something pretty similar in a game, so I tried to do just that(minus the "horror" aspect, which was incidentally very present in the two I linked).

The themes in Homogeny are, as you may have guessed, not intended to be frivolous.

To sum it up in a single word, the game as a whole represents "realization", as I retroactively fit it into a three-part story centred around misanthropy -- but we'll come to that in a few posts' time.

The full script - i.e the correct answers - can be found here.

The first presentation wasn't particularly special in that the first few sentences were a little bit clunky, entirely unguided and not really intended to mean anything. The first sentence I put some thought into was "The future of this convention is concerning", which serves to set up what comes next.

I mentioned that this trilogy - and by extension, this game - is ultimately about misanthropy. This is manifested in the character's fairly inelegant suggestion to totally disband the convention -  the character is callous either to the possibility that others may take offence to this statement, or totally callous to it altogether.

The next presentation immediately starts immediately with a continuation the first presentation - a year ago in the game's universe. The lack of new material to discuss enforces the idea that the character, despite their arguably gauche attitude, is correct in what they are saying. They do not offer an apology, but instead passive-aggressively chastises the attendants for not following an instruction which he did not actually deliver.

A common trait of people living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is to claim that they did say or do something which they did not, or vice versa. This is known as "gaslighting", and gaslighting is exactly what the character is doing here. Additionally, at no point does the character actually apologize, and in fact goes so far as to shift the blame by implying that their "intention" is something separate from themselves - but immediately claiming a much more amiable position of wanting to "inspire innovation".

The third and final presentation is fairly short. It consists of only a few sentences, in which the character does almost directly chastise the audience for not innovating, nor heeding his advice.

Though it's fairly insignificant, this is the place to mention it: In this paragraph, the character creates an excuse to scold the audience twice, by rephrasing their first sentence despite its almost identical meaning.

The character claims that they will not be attending any more conventions. The term "convention" in itself implies that it is normal or "conventional"heh to attend them. The character ends the first game with a perfect lead-in to the themes of the second game.

The penultimate thing to notice is the final sentence of each presentation - "Thank you for your time". It was intended to be perfectly carbon-copied between presentations to imply that the character does not find it easy to abide by social norms/pleasantries, but manages by way of rote memorization.

Perhaps that was a bit of a stretch. A lot of what I put into this game was never intended to be picked up on or realized, because simply put - people don't (and shouldn't) put in enough time to try to scrape this much meaning out of what is a fairly short body of text.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading this! If you have any alternate interpretations, even if they starkly contrast with what I've written here, I'd be interested to hear them.

If you have done, thank you for reading! Stay tuned for a similar post on "Banality" in a week or so!

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