I love almost every form of creative media. Film, games, books, music, paintings/drawings all bring all bring emotion, whether that’s happiness, sadness, confusion, love, love lost, or so on and so forth. Some particular media that I enjoy have something very specific in common. Films like: Inception, Shutter Island, Silence of the Lambs, and The Martian. Songs like; Alt-J’s ‘Interlude 1(Ripe and Ruin)’ or Bright Eyes ‘Poison Oak’. Games like Portal for its ARG(Alternate Reality Game) elements or FEZ for its binary code puzzles. Books like Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’. I like all these because they require thought, they reward higher order thinking.
Both Inception and Shutter island don’t truly tell you what’s happening till the end, when all your work to pay attention pays of and the whole film makes sense at once. Silence of the lambs really gives depth to the thoughts of a mad man. The Martian compliments those who can understand the science and maths. The Road leaves a lot for the reader to discover by dropping hints and only ever eluding. Ripe and Ruin tells the story of a woman with OCD, but only ever infer through describing her actions. Poison Oak tells the story of a lost love, it describes drug abuse death without mentioning either and through the description of the poem revealing the story and bringing more emotion because of the effort put in. Portal was updated over the course of 10 days in 2010 to implement an ARG. This arg would lead to the eventual announcement of Portal 2, giving the players excitement and satisfaction for uncovering the announcement themselves. FEZ has many puzzles in it, but one of the most interesting is the binary puzzle, which required the player to convert a sequence of flashing lights into 1’s and 0’s then into Hexadecimal and from there into ASCII. This then gave the player a code which needed to be entered into the game in a certain location, giving them a secret reward.
It’s the way that these media delay the satisfaction and make the consumer work for it that makes the experience so satisfying and memorable. Creating almost secret in jokes within themselves to reward those who search for them. I absolutely love moments like these because of the way they make an emotion so much more powerful and meaningful. I would love to be able to one day put something like this into the games I create, to give the people who follow me the satisfaction that I was able to receive.