The problems in our lives are often described as burdens, but Sea of Solitude turns them into giant monsters.
The very concept of video games seems to imply taking down a monster-like foe of one kind or another, but Sea of Solitude takes the concept further, making the connection between in-game foes and real life problems crystal clear. Turns out that giant monsters are even scarier when they represent our own problems and personal history. This is what Sea of Solitude excels at, making us battle our own inner demons, all in the guise of playing a game.
Sea of Solitude does not try to hide its allegorical nature. The monsters are all people from the protagonist’s life, and she is working with them through some trauma. The issues that the character faces are specific, even biographical, but the themes and emotions conveyed are universal. I wanted to reflect on one theme that stood out for me during game play, something that will hopefully speak to you.
Let’s talk about one of the first monsters you see, the crow.
The first time I saw that giant Crow I felt small, and worse than that, while I was looking at the crow, It was looking at me. When I got to know who the Crow is, that made me feel even smaller. Before that though, I noticed that the crow did not attack me, it just stayed perched on a tower, on top of a school building.
As you go through that building, you are played flashbacks of events and learn that it was your brother who went to this school. You learn how he was being bullied and in the time that he needed you most, you didn’t even listen to his plea for help. Suddenly the monster is not some behemoth that needs to be taken down. It’s something even more horrifying. Not its not going to rip you to shreds but it will tear you apart mentally because it points out the fault in our own behavior.
The giant Crow is no longer a threat to our physical selves but emotionally, we are torn apart as we remember times we have let people down. Times that we could have said a helpful word, but we stayed quiet. The giant monster in the room is not the Crow, but our own incompetence and lack of action.he monster we have to face is really ourselves.
Now that we see what our lack of action has caused, we are goaded into action. Kay fights the school bullies and, more importantly, she starts listening to her brother. , Remember the consequences of your giving in to your insecurities. Remember that moment when you failed to take action, but instead of letting it become a monster, allow it to inspire you to take the steps you need to take today.
Now it’s time to fight your own monsters.