welcome to the media info dump page. I have a habit of consuming a lot of art and media, and I also have a habit of talking people's ears off about what I think about the afformentioned media. I treat this page as a sort of outlet for the crowding thoughts in my brain so I stop torturing people with my opinions against their will.
There is no search bar or sorting feature. You're gonna have to settle for control+F.
Content warnings will appear at the start of every post. I'm not trying to force feed anyone sad shit.

Rainworld Essay

RW cover

Rainworld is a survival platformer that was developed by Videocult and published in 2017 by Adult Swim. You play as a Slug-cat, who was separated from their family and now must find a way to survive the unforgiving environment on their own. You are provided very little in terms of direction and objective, similarly to the Slug-cat, starting off you are meant to be lost and confused. It is up to you to explore, survive and uncover a way out of the situation you are in. Gameplay wise, you are provided a simple, move-set that is very challenging to master, and a timer. After a set amount before a deadly amount of rain pummels the earth, and all creatures who haven’t found shelter will quickly drown. Slug-cat will meet many creatures on their journey, the most common being dangerous lizards, each of which have their own unique skills and weaknesses. There are also creatures you can befriend and build a reputation with, like scavengers and their tribes. With each new creature you meet, and area you discover, you begin to piece together small hints about the world you are trapped in. The shelters, the giant industrial structures, even Slug-cat are all remains of a long gone ancient civilization, one completely unlike ours in every way.

I don’t want to go into detail about the lore and narrative of Rain world, because I don’t believe its necessary to appreciate the game as the experience it is. There is something so distinctly novel about the game even on just the surface level of gameplay. If theres anything Rain world is famous for, it is that it does not do any hand-holding. Ever since video game development became an industry, the creative will of dev’s very has to be undermined for the sake of creating a more marketable, therefore more profitable product. Accessibility, and ease-of-use are some of those aspects that make a game more profitable at the cost of artistic vision, but this does not apply to Rain world. Rain world puts narrative over all, and opts instead to keep the player as blind as possible. Playing Rain world for the first time is a thrilling and confusing experience. You learn the hard way, by dying a lot. My most fond memory of my first time playing Rain World was when I was playing with an experienced friend, and inexperienced me decided to eat a little bug. My friend suddenly went quiet and just looked and me, I remember just saying “What?” before a giant mom bug suddenly murdered me with her giant proboscis. We were screaming, it was so much fun.

Another thing I love about Rain world is how the art and music reflect the narrative perfectly. There was a very conscious and deliberate effort to create a distinctly alien world, with themes of bio engineering, rebirth, and spirituality. Almost every element you can point to fits in one of the motifs or has something strange or otherworldly about it. Even the music fits in this description with its robust mix of synth, drums and various experimental instruments and sounds. To me, this mish-mash of sounds is like an audible recreation of the visual clashes present in biomechanics. The style and texture of the sound goes perfectly with the setting. I’d like to use the track “Five Pebbles” as an example, because I distinctly remember the chaotic industrial humming and scattered melody made me feel like I was in a bio mechanical super-structure. The music plays a key part in building the atmosphere for the game, and immersing the player, while the art and setting takes the lead in narrative and world-building. Each region in the game is distinct and builds on the narrative in some way. One of the most visually stunning regions of the game, “The Exterior” is an area in which you scale the wall of the super-structure known as “Five Pebbles”. While climbing up or down the structure, you will realize that the rain timer has stopped. Now, high above the clouds, you can see several more superstructures in the distance, peaking above the thick layer of clouds. This is when I first realized where I first began to realize where the rain came from. Ever since I first stepped foot in outskirts, I was fascinated by this world and wanted to know more. So much can be deduced about the narrative just from exploring the various regions you find. Its a novel experience, and It shows how much thought and effort went into the conceptualization of this game.

The final aspect I want to touch on before finishing up this love rant about the game are some of the details in the narrative that I was so enamored by I felt they were worth mentioning. First and foremost I really appreciate the unique and refreshing approach to a post apocalyptic sci-fi world. Instead of the typical spaceships and holograms, the world of the ancients is bulky, industrial, and deeply bio-mechanical. Some of these bio-mechanical purposed organisms feel like they came straight out of “All Tomorrows”. The most fascinating ones to me being the living tube-like organisms that store memories in the region Memory Crypts, and the iterators of course. But its not just their technology thats alien, its their entire way of being. To give you a taste, just listen to their naming conventions. We have names like “Droplets upon Five Large Droplets”, “A Bell, Eighteen Amber Beads” and “Six Grains of Gravel, Mountains Abound”. These names are so long they have commas! I deeply appreciate the effort that went into making this civilization as other from human as possible. The last detail I’d like to mention is the deliberate exclusion of certain information from any possible source. We don’t understand what certain mechanics of this world are because its meant to be beyond our comprehension. Many things in our reality remain unknown and unexplained, and the same applies to the world of the ancients. There is strange, eerie sensation when diving into the void and undergoing an abstract process that has never been described or explained properly anywhere in the lore. I must admit, It leaves a very familiar sinking feeling in my chest to hear “we don’t know what happens, It’s beyond us”.

To wrap things up, and tie a lil bow on this essay-ish love letter— I believe this game is grossly under appreciated despite being such a masterpiece. Although It’s a challenge to initially find your footing in the game, its all ultimately part of the experience. I cannot recommend this game to everyone, its not product made to be consumed with ease, it is a piece of art. If you come in with an open mind, and a lot of patience, your brain WILL DISSOLVE IN THE VOID SAUCE sorry im bad at writing conclusions

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Emily Austin

Emily Austin Book Cover

read this book a few months ago, writing some thoughts up rn but its still a wip ill add it here soon.