This week’s song is a chiptune piece that features on the soundtrack of Christine Love’s interactive fiction/adventure game Digital: A Love Story, a game I’ve previously praised to the skies. Upbeat and energetic, “Paper Dolls” plays at a moment of great hope in the narrative — Digital veterans will probably remember the moment in question — and like the rest of the game’s music, it is a wonderful fit for tone and theme. I’ve embedded the song below the cut — enjoy!
To what heights – and depths – of emotion can we be moved by text in a game? This is the question posed by two of the best games I’ve played recently: Christine Love’s Digital: A Love Story and Analogue: A Hate Story.
Perhaps I shouldn’t call them games so much as I should call them interactive works of epistolary fiction, in which the player pieces together a story from documents and messages. The two titles contain very little in the way of abstract systems – apart from a couple of puzzles, there are no rules to be mastered here. This doesn’t mean the player is uninvolved! While both games rely on plenty of text, they also deploy that interactivity to good effect. They would not work in any other medium, something we’ll see with Digital.
One of the cleverest and most memorable games I’ve played this year was Digital: A Love Story, Christine Love’s 2010 visual novel. Its retro, pseudo-8-bit music is a key part of its conceit, that the player is a teenager discovering the Internet of 1988. Below is my favourite piece, the energetic “Space Beacon”. Enjoy!