There’s a Party in Limbo

A brief thought on playing Limbo this evening. Well, on Rilla’s playing of it, actually. As I’ve discussed, it’s a pretty flat game affectively, at best it’s sombre, say. Rilla’s playing through it now, so I’m having the interesting experience of watching someone else progress through the (rather fiendish on second examination) puzzles.

On an unrelated note, though, Chad sent us a rather great piece of music today – perhaps a kind of Japanese Lounge singing or something? Hard to tell, but it was certainly a very cheerful kind of tune, quite catchy. And, as it happened, I played it while Rilla was playing Limbo with the volume fairly low.

And so it came to pass that Limbo temporarily had this very cheerful, “all is well” Japanese music as its soundtrack. Needless to say, it altered the experience considerable, making a bleak game seem kind of pleasant – “a young boy solves interesting puzzles” rather than “a young boy is tormented by a hostile world”.

This way of altering your experience of one medium through the simultaneous presentation of another is kind of cool, like a form of user-end remixing. That it’s so powerful a change in the perception of Limbo for instance, is super interesting and I can imagine with a more “appropriate” song, you might get the reverse effect of Limbo serving as the “music video” for that song. In fact, Every Day the Same Dream effectively serves this purpose for its soundtrack.

This also reminds me of a time we watched Metropolis along with something like Rhombus or Fat Freddy’s Drop. Surreal.

Power to the people.

30 July 2010
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