“Even at your lowest there’s always someone out there to hold you up.”
Today’s Meditation is about Wayne Kubiak’s experience of attending a convention two days after the death of a close friend. You play as a crying figure among a crowd. Every few seconds, a phone pops up in the bottom-left corner with a message: a heart. One of the people in the crowd speaks, a speech bubble appearing above their head, and waves. Reach them in time, and you get a hug. Each hug depletes a meter of tears in the bottom-right corner. The game ends when you’re all cried out.
Another thing that happens with each hug is that the view zooms out slightly and the crowd gets bigger, giving you a bigger space to cover in your search for hugs. If you don’t reach someone in time (and it can be quite tricky to spot them, though the game does darken slightly to highlight them if you’re struggling), you get a different message: a crying face. I’m not sure what this is meant to represent: people only have a limited amount of patience, a limited window in which they will reassure you? I don’t know. But I do like that the crowd gets bigger, as if to represent having to widen your search. I haven’t yet had anyone very close to me die, but I’ve experienced grief of a different kind, and I do remember it feeling like I could only take a little from each person I turned to, and that I had to keep looking for new shoulders to cry on.