Gameplay Journal 7
Over the course of last summer I finally decided to play Death Stranding, a game known for how little anyone actually knew about it. Going into it I was not very sure what to expect but by the end of its narrative it had become one of my favorite games. What struck me the most with Death Stranding was its seemingly direct commentary on modern society and its effect on the shape and health of the world. The basic premise of the game is to connect various locations and waypoints to create an interconnected web that would allow for humans to aid one another in research, resources, logistics, etc. It is then the player’s goal to journey from spot to spot to essentially bring people together to increase the chance of surviving the aftermath of a cataclysmic event.
I full heartedly agree with Bogost’s expression that “videogames are increasingly becoming a forum for artistic expression and, more importantly for the present discussion, social expression” (Videogame Histories). Death Stranding touches upon the increasingly volatile and lonely nature of human discourse and interaction. Another commentary the game provides is social media culture, but rather than showcasing the cynical and soul nature of it the game uses it as a gameplay mechanic. Although the game is singleplayer the game’s world is filled with the touches of other players, touches that help to guide, protect, and serve other players. You can even ‘like’ contributions and markings left by other players. This game pushes forward the need for human connection if humanity is to survive. In a time where lines are drawn pitting people against one another, Death Stranding demonstrates that we should be drawing lines that connect us instead.
Bogost, Ian. “Playing Politics: Videogames for Politics, Activism, and Advocacy”. First Monday Special Issue Number 7, 2006. Web.