Killing time at normal speed

This week I found time to play Killing time at light speed, by John Kane. Boy did I have a great time. This game is definitely stuck in my mind. The game places you in the position of someone traveling away from the earth at near light speeds, so close that for you, your journey will only take under half an hour, but in earth it will take 29 years. But like the normal person you are, you can’t entertain yourself for 30 minutes, so you have access to the social media site “friendpage”. The story was entirely captivating to me and it left me wanting so much more. John Kane has done an excellent job making me feel isolated from the characters and making me interact the way I would if I were using Facebook or twitter. I rarely like any posts and don’t often comment but do that more than liking. I think this was surprising because I couldn’t escape the way I normally interact even within the game. I also enjoyed the way the game told large portions of world and it’s progression through news articles. There was lots of speculation and the articles were appropriately extravagant which made me feel less sure what was true within the game. These article also gave some slight comic relief with minor references to doctor who and Back to the Future, which I particularly enjoyed. I think some of the conversation prompts were a little limiting but they also gave the uncertainty that online conversation brings. After finishing the game I read THIS article and it describes my feeling towards Killing time at lightspeed very well. However I do not agree with their view on some of the conversations. The author found that the prompt responses often played out as if they were instant messages, but actually take place across years. While I understand how this can be found from the game, a fair amount of the prompt discussions regularly reference the time gap and it’s really only specific characters that accommodate your time difference and treat the conversations like IMs. I really would love to be able to create games with this much emotion, and to know that the game was made by an Australian fills me with hope for my ability to do it one day. But for now, i need to learn a lot more.

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