Don’t freak out, but I finally got a day off of real world work. I actually got 2. Isn’t that crazy?
Today, I’m looking at 9.03m by Space Budgie. This game is hard to be subjective about. Mostly because I don’t think it’s much of a game, but more of an interactive cinematic experience. Beyond that, it’s not a very good interactive cinematic experience. BUT, all proceeds go to charity. So…will I go to hell for hating it? Probably.
9.03m is a game designed to remember the victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami. 9.03m stands for the magnitude of earthquake that sparked the tsunami. I guess one thing the game did do was force me to educate myself on an event I, normally, could care nothing about.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about interactive cinematic experiences. I mean, I get them, but I don’t get why they are called a game. When I think of a game, I think of something that you have to use your brain and make decisions. There is none of that in 9.03m. Instead of eliciting brain power, this game aims to catch your emotions (gross).
The whole process involves you being alone on Baker Beach in San Francisco where debris from the tsunami have started to wash up on shore. You walk up to the first lone silhouette and it becomes an object when you get close enough. Interaction with that object only involves rotating it and clicking on the butterfly somewhere on the object. It’s not hidden, it’s just…hard to see I guess. Once you’ve found the butterfly, it shows you the next silhouette and you repeat the same process all over again with the rotating and the butterfly clicking and what not.
Granted, this was clearly a low-budget game made specifically for giving incentive to donate. But nothing about it made me really empathetic about the event. It was kind of like if I made a video game about all the people in my family that have died and tried to make complete strangers understand how I felt. Nothing in 9.03m made me stop and think and say, “Wow, I can really relate.” At least it was short and to the point. It took me about 16 minutes to finish 9.03m so I can’t say I wasted my time on it.
I’m sure the people who were involved in the event felt a connection to 9.03m, but the game wasn’t meant for them, was it? I hate to be a Debbie Downer about this one, but it’s probably best to pass it over. It’s only $0.99 on Steam, so I’d suggest that you buy it to give the donation, but be sure to skip over the installation.