Below are three things you should consider joining me in playing, reading, and listening to this week:
- VIDEO GAME: Oxenfree, PS4 (available on other platforms as well)
I am obsessed with story-driven video games, where the struggle doesn’t revolve around avoiding death and the inevitable restart. Instead, the player is asked to build relationships, uncover an emotional narrative, and go on a journey of discovery.
Satisfaction lies in the game’s ability to establish an emotional connection with the player. The ability to create a universe and characters that the player wants to immerse themselves in.
Oxenfree is the story-driven game I’ve been playing this week. So far, it has proven to be deliciously atmospheric, mysterious, creepy, and fun. You play as Alex, a teenager with tragedy in her recent past. Together with her new stepbrother and a friend, she travels to a small isolated island for an overnight party…what could possibly go wrong?
The gameplay is simple but effective – you choose Alex’s dialogue from a number of speech bubbles as you explore the area with your friends. Along your travels you use a handheld radio to find the correct frequency that will help you solve the unravelling mystery of the island. So far the journey has been great. Let’s hope the resolution lives up to the intriguing groundwork.
- COMIC BOOK: Saga volume six (Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples)
About every six months or so, I am blessed with a new volume of the epic space comic book series Saga. Written by the always brilliant Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by the magnificent Fiona Staples, Saga is such a rich, surprising, and fun read.
It is always exciting to see, which new alien creatures will appear, whose morals will be compromised, and what profound life lessons baby Hazel will encounter this time around.
Saga gives the reader a wonderfully diverse world filled with extraordinary extraterrestrials. Themes of family, love, sacrifice, pride, pain, loyalty, and loss are however amidst the strange still heartbreakingly familiar and true to a human experience in Saga’s many deliciously outrageous portrayals. Saga continues to resonate and impress in all its colourful glory.
- PODCAST: Oh No, Ross & Carrie! – The Scientology Series
There is something endlessly fascinating with cults. They evoke fear in most of us. The fear that comes from the thought of any organisation claiming ownership of your mind and body, moulding you into a perfect representative, mimicking lines from their chosen leader’s manifest, slowly capturing you in a prison of uniform thought. It is a terrifying prospect. Scientology is particularly fascinating due to its carefully cultivated high profile status and seemingly effective grip on quite a few celebrities.
Listening to Ross and Carrie as they journey through endless self-improvement courses, delve into the advanced and often-times hilarious vocabulary of Scientology, and try their hand at the infamous auditing sessions is intriguing, often funny, and soberingly tragic. It is impossible not to feel for the people whose lives have been stolen by greedy and power-hungry men at the top of the world’s most famous and well-funded functioning cult. Ross and Carrie cover Scientology in 9 episodes on their podcast Oh No, Ross & Carrie! on the Maximum Fun network.