ButtonMashers, let us reflect on those games, be they recent or from the glory days, that perhaps defined our gaming personalities and tastes or otherwise standout in our memories as just a romping good time. List all the games in one post or dedicate a post per game per week. Whatevs. Give us some context. What merits does this game have to be your list? Let’s get personal ‘n stuff. Dig deep or just give a synopsis. I shall go first.

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Myst (1993)

My Dad and I played Myst on a Macintosh Quadra 950. In my 12 y/o eyes, this was the kind of computer that NASA uses to align the telemetry of satellites and design robots to perform open-heart surgeries or something… and we had one in the basement – and that’s really cool! I came to associate the windpipe note on bootup with the rustic, mystical aesthetics of Myst. Overtime, the computer and the game coalesced into one entity.

I had only gotten a brief experience with Myst before I had to ship off to 6th grade camp for a week. But that small dabble was enough to instill a longing all throughout camp; All I wanted to do was get through the week, get through all the lame-o kitsch craft projects and bonfire sing-a-longs so I could go home and click through Myst – a place that truly held my interest.

I was compelled that the game gives you nothing at the onset but a quick, cryptic movie. Then I was invited to touch a TV screen in a book and was transported through a swirling aviary cut scene and plopped down on a seaside dock. You learn from your surroundings. I remember comparing notes with my Dad. I remember getting so frustrated in the rocketship, and how pumped I got when I figured out how to get the small gear-bridge to rise out of the water so I can access the switch on the other side – what this switch does… ‘ellifiknow – But there are others like it, so it must be important.

I remember enjoying the game so much that I wanted to share it with my friend T.J. Methodically, I sat him down in front of the computer, loaded a new game, adjusted the volume, dimmed the lights, and then slowly, eagerly backed away, positive that he’d have as profound of an experience that I did. Five minutes later T.J. reappeared in my room, baffled and bored: “ I don’t know what it wants me to do.” I instructed that he has to click around, figure it out, take it all in. The concept went over his head. Why couldn’t other children think like me?

Myst helped me to appreciate environment and mood. I credit this game to the tendency I have to explore every nook and cranny of other games. I do so not with hopes of finding a hidden bonus but just to soak in the surroundings, to appreciate fictional spaces – Which is why it takes me for-freaking-ever to make any progress in so many games. I dawdle. And in Myst, there’s no rush.

Comments

  1. I like this idea! I’ll go next. I need to think of a game first, but there are so many.

    I vaguely remembering playing this game with you once, maybe twice. I remember in being in awe of the beautiful scenery and colors and being filled with curiosity. I don’t think we played very long or got very far but I have always thought Myst was a magical game.

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