This was the first time I played a computer/video game in a very, very long time. I’m not very good at them and I definitely do not consider myself a “gamer”. I was a little hesitant when the homework assignment was to play Braid. Kelly and I sat anxiously as the game loaded- what had we gotten ourselves into we thought.
We started to play and it didn’t seem too hard. Space bar to jump, right and left arrows- even I could do this! It soon became clear that the goal of the game was to collect the puzzle pieces, it was the game progression behind the narrative. However, it got more and more difficult to get the pieces. The game defied the normal notion of moving forward to achieve a goal by allowing us to reverse time. At first it seemed as if we just couldn’t die, which was awesome since jumping into fire pits and getting killed by little monsters happened more often than not. Then we realized manipulating time was a key strategy to the game! We were confused as to how we were supposed to know this, but I guess that is part of video gaming- not having the rules explicitly spelled out for you. It kept the game interesting and allowed us to think of other possibilities of manipulation, like using the puzzle piece as a bridge. We soon got into the game and found ourselves talking to Tim as if he could hear us rooting for him to make the big jumps. I’m a little embarrassed, but hey I guess the gamer in me has been unleashed.