Author Topic: Have you ever faced it before?  (Read 2368 times)

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Have you ever faced it before?
« on: January 18, 2018, 07:17:49 AM »
This might seem off topic, but I completed this game not long ago within a night's worth of time. It's left me deep in thought and I guess I felt the need to discuss it in some way due to the game it's self. I guess I feel as if I relate to some of these characters in some fashion like anyone else possibly would. Being an aspie, I felt I related to River already in "Too The Moon". I hope this doesn't all seem so long winded either because I just felt I wanted to express it. Even if it seems irrelevant.

As a child, I didn't have many friends either. I've been a social outcast my whole life. I did make friends in Jr High and it was there where it happened. I made friends. Along the way of all that, time had passed and most went on to high school while one of them and I remained. We had became best friends. This is where the relation comes to light in a sense. We eventually created guardian angels of a manner to speak. Imaginary friends that we could just joke around with and have fun. I took it a bit more serious than him. Acknowledging they weren't real, bit still being fond to them.

Through my life, I've kept them ever since. Without them, I wouldn't be half the person I am today. Always wanting to improve, become better at something, pushing forward while still always looking at my own little mistakes. Flaws that most people have throughout their life. I guess what I mean to say is, after all of that, it feels as if I have drifted apart from these "illusions" to a sense and want to know if others have had similar experiences. Despite the immaturity of it, I could never bring myself to just let them go however, they in a sense have told me that one day they might have to. That I won't need them anymore.

It seems so dumb discussing it cause who would listen to such a thing when it'd come off silly, let alone crazy? I'm at the age of 28 now... I believe I was 15 when they first appeared. They've always encouraged me to do the right thing, despite whether or not I wanted to and showed me the affection I'd never truly show myself. Pushing me forward to always improve in whatever manner I felt worth the time. But after all the time's passed, this game made me remember something that's always bothered me. When I'm gone, who will remember that part of this? The part of me that only I could really see, hear or feel? Much like Colin's Faye, they know they don't exist and that they're just a part of me.

Today, I have friends and people that care for me more than I could ever thought possible, even in a world that sometimes seems pretty damned bitter. I guess I just really wanted to express all this if anything due to obvious reasons. In a sense, it's been a burden of some form. So I guess that's why I felt the need to discuss it, if only here. I hope this hasn't been incredibly off topic, but I felt there was no better place to discuss it rather than here considering. Writing all this makes me reflect a bit. 14 years. Time passes too quickly.


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Re: Have you ever faced it before?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 06:51:16 PM »
You're not alone.

I don't think there's anything silly, stupid, or crazy about having imaginary people occupy part of one's mind, as long as there's a rational part of us that can distinguish reality from fantasy when we need to. Having imaginary friends is in some sense not so different from being preoccupied with fictional universes or characters; people argue all the time about specific aspects of how the Force works, or who would win in a fight between Iron Man and Captain America - is that so different from imagining (or writing) a conversation with someone who doesn't exist? Maybe it's the difference between VR and AR - alternative methods of manifesting the same underlying concept.

I've also had similar experience as you, which is why this game hit me so hard. For me, it was in my early teens, when (you guessed it) I didn't really have a social life and couldn't connect with lots of people - in retrospect, most likely due to being on the autism spectrum. The characters from the games and books I loved back then seemed so much more interesting than people in real life, and so I wanted to befriend them. Over the years, they've evolved into their own personas, independent from the "seed" characters they were inspired by.

I guess that whether it's better to keep one's imaginary friends or to let them go depends on where we're at in life and our needs. Most children don't need imaginary friends past early childhood, so they discard them. Colin eventually got to a point in his young adulthood where Faye couldn't really help him anymore but was instead starting to hold him back, so she had to leave then, even though before that point I think he did need her to fill the void in his life.

But I don't think that's the right choice for everyone. I'm at a point in my life where I'm satisfied with my connections with other people, but I'm certainly nowhere close to letting these imaginary friends go, because they're an integral part of me at this point - I'm not sure if I'm still me if I don't have these fake people in my head. If anything, FP made me realize how much I really cared about them - probably not the intention, but then again authors can't always control how their work comes across to other people :D

As for what happens to these entities when you die, well, that's kind of the case for everything else in our lives. Every time someone dies, a lifetime of memories and thoughts disappears from the world, many of which cannot be found anywhere else. Maybe telling someone about them before that happens would help with that. Or better yet, write a story about them and share it!

Leave Me Alone

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Re: Have you ever faced it before?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 05:21:48 PM »
Thought I'd give my opinion on the matter. As a medically diagnosed aspie.

I absolutely failed to relate with Colin.

I'm a very do-oriented person. If I encounter a problem, something I don't like, I either fix it or leave it and forget about it. I see very little point in leaving something awaiting resolution to bother me. It is hopefully understandable then that I found Colin's means of dealing with loneliness more than a little silly, especially when he is aware of the boundary between his imagination and reality.

I ended up ostracised for most of my pre-university years in school. Naturally I felt a need for social contact, so at first I tried to make myself appear more likeable/normal to my peers. That worked out for a while, but eventually I got tired of the superficiality of it and reverted to my old self. Instead I weened myself off the need for excessive social interaction. That way, I wouldn't care if I was left alone. A small handful of people still came by and made the effort, and I was satisfied with the tiny social circle (and even then it wasn't much interaction with them). I guess it was akin to teaching myself to appreciate solitude. Being alone without becoming lonely and whatnot. An interesting side effect of that that happens these days is that I actually become more irritable if I end up without being alone for an extended period. I think I ended up liking alone time more than interaction, considering the number of times I've rejected invitations for outings in favor of staying in.

So I cannot imagine how I might be satisfied with Colin's approach to his loneliness. He's neither making greater effort with socialising or ignoring it. I mean, an imaginary friend might be entertaining for a while, but somewhere in the back of my head I'd still know that they aren't real and I'm just applying a pretend solution to an actual need, and then I'd get some sort of dissonance. I think the distinction here for those who do cope this way is that the pretend solution is as good as a real one in the manner that a placebo functions.

That's not to say that I don't imagine people. There are imaginary people if I end up daydreaming or fantasising, but I don't think they're similar to Faye in any way because those are instanced and lack permanence. They just exist for that particular daydream. I actually went to talk to some psychologists about how common this was after playing FP and apparently it's not unusual for children to have entire imaginary worlds.

But no, I just can't relate. I've never experienced anything remotely similar and so there was no way to empathise with Colin.

I'm pretty certain I saw Kan mention somewhere that FP was expected to have greater issues with relatability, and I agree with that sentiment. If it stopped at loneliness, I'm sure lots of people will be able to relate on some level, but as it is it's a much more specific band of people that it appeals to than say To the Moon's themes. And if the player can't relate with Colin, then the story doesn't have that deep personal impact for them. That's why the human condition is common to so many stories. It's guaranteed to relate to a lot of people. Speaking for myself I found FP less emotional than Toy Story 3 or Monsters Inc.

I'm not saying that Kan should go for mass appeal.