This Indie Horror Game Made Me Confront My Fear of Death

Wired | 1/22/2020 | Julie Muncy
srqlolosrqlolo (Posted by) Level 3
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I'm terrified of my body. The fat buildup on my abdomen. My tiny arms. I've always hated having to focus on it and especially hated interrogating its internal functions. Doctors scare me for this reason. I assume my body is trying to kill me; looking inside seems like excessive punishment. I've long searched for ways to improve my relationship with my body. Some of them have even worked. But this is still my default, when I look at my skin, when I think about my organs, my blood. Terror.

In The Space Between, Martin, the player character, is an architect. He imagines his buildings as bodies he can live inside of. The game, a short horror title by Christoph Frey that was recently nominated for the prestigious Nuovo Award at the Independent Games Festival, is rife with unease about the bodies Martin builds, and the one he lives inside of. In an early scene, repeated often in the game as a sort of motif, Martin and his friend Daniel play as children. Martin is in a blanket fort. He reaches out to touch the blanket and urges Daniel, who is outside the fort, to do the same thing. "What do you feel?" asks Martin. Him, or the blanket? Daniel says both. It's this odd, disembodied sort of intimacy—touching without touching. In the scene, though you play as Martin, you never see his arm or his hand. So far as the game's code is concerned, he doesn't have a body at all.

Body - Death - Spirals - Kid - Death

Being terrified of one's body really means being terrified of death. I used to get into spirals when I was a kid, usually when trying to go to sleep. I would imagine death and becoming nothing, and I would feel this creeping terror take hold of me. I would run to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Wired
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