Empty. – Empressions

Empty. is a very simple game.

In developer Dustyroom’s Empty. the player is presented with a room. That room has objects inside of it. You make those objects go away.

Each level of Empty. is a different room, the walls painted different colors, and each space is full of multi-colored objects. You spin the room in different directions and through changing the line of sight, match colored objects to their corresponding background. Empty. layers on a few other sets of mechanics which make each scenario increasingly more difficult. It’s a neat little puzzle game, but its mechanics aren’t what drive me to keep playing.

Empty. embraces the sensation of removal.

By de-cluttering a space you make something more pure and simple. The act of making a lamp simply vanish in to thin air scratches an itch that is core to my human experience. I don’t want anymore material objects in my life.

4-1024x576

 

Perhaps it’s a symptom of living in a small apartment in the middle of Chicago, but the idea of having more “things” is unappealing at best. But I think there is more to unpack there. All of my peers in their late twenties and early thirties grew up in the wake of 90’s consumerism.  We’ve watched a generation of people really care about what car they drive and what brand of polo they’re wearing. If I ask any of my friends, I don’t think any of them would tell me that they have a great drive to buy more objects.

We also grew up during the birth of the internet. A lust for objects has been replaced with a lust for more information, content, and ideas. This is a broad generalization, but we value what a person says, does, and thinks, more than what they own. I don’t want this to sound too altruistic though, as that obsession with information has its own dark side.

Playing Empty. isn’t just zen-like because of its music or aesthetic presentation (both of which are sublime) but because of the sensation of removal and making void. In some ways it’s a great game to be playing in the socio-political garbage fire that is 2017 so far.  When I’m feeling stressed out about the increasingly terrible things going on, it feels great to just make things go away.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s