Journey

Released on Playstation 3 by thatgamecompany in 2012. Played on Windows 10 in 2022.

The slow-paced opening scenes, alternately surfing down and trudging up sunbaked desert dunes, failed to sustain Zander's interest, so I ended up playing through its short runtime by myself. In some ways it's an inditement of videogame culture that ten years later it still feels so fresh and radical to pair players up with another internet rando, while giving them no means to communicate or interact other than helping each other out, or walking away, on, across the endless desert. Leading by example, and exchanging wordless shouts seems like a pretty limited repetoire. Then, you find that standing close enough together recharges each other's magical flying scarves. It's enough. I don't know who the two internet randos were, with whom I shared the first and second halves of my journey. But in those minutes together, we lived a lifetime's worth.