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Dark Souls III - Embracing the Bad Times

by Aubrielle, 2016-07-01 01:13:13

Game Informer takes an introspective, thought-provoking look at using games as a lens through which to see our own lives.  For the author, it's Dark Souls.

Halfway through my second semester of teaching, I popped Dark Souls into the disc drive of my PS3. I had already played through the game before, understood its insistence on making you earn your victories through many, many failures. But I felt drawn to replaying through it for some reason, so I created a new character, and became hollow once more.

Lordran, the setting of Dark Souls, took a different shape this time. It was no longer just a spooky kingdom filled with all sorts of baddies that I had to get before they got me. Instead, it was an absolutely haunting place, a world of the dead and the damned, a realm of silence. I actually took the time to examine my surroundings. The algae green stone bridge guarded by the fiery Hellkite Dragon, the mountains of bloated blue corpses that lay at the bottom of New Londo Ruins. I witnessed a kingdom that had, perhaps in another age been one of great beauty and wonder, fallen so short of its promise and sunken into ruin.

I saw the unhappiness of my life reflected back at me in fragments, being fed to me in bearable installments, and I was engaging with it in a battle doomed to fail because I was confronting that misery without actually confronting it. Instead, simulating confrontation through an interactive assemblage of fantasy archetypes. But that was important for me...


Sometimes, as silly as it sounds, it’s easy to forget the human experience is not a universal one, and that we are all different entities constructed out of our own personal experiences and socio-economic circumstances. Each and every one of us prescribes different amounts of emotional and logical value to objects and experiences we come across in our lives. Someone might have some kind of deep moving emotional attachment to Watch Dogs, a game I truly despise, or Bubsy 3D. Unlikely? Sure. But it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Besides, who am I, the guy who chose Tales From The Borderlands over The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt for his Game of the Year, to judge anyone on what they find meaning in?

Perhaps in the end it’s as simple as the right game at the right time, and for me in the fall of 2014, that game was Dark Souls because it allowed me to get away from my troubles without really getting away from them. Lordran is, to me, just as much my home as that little duplex in the heart of Georgia was, filled with memories good and bad, and an essential part of my experience as a person, cracked and broken in more places than the human eye can see, but also housing pockets of light burning well into the neverending night.

Source: Game Informer

Information about

Dark Souls III

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released