Trigger warning: Today’s Meditations game is about the topic of domestic abuse. Nothing is explicitly shown, but I will explain in detail what I believe the game represents with its imagery. Here are resources that will help you if you are a domestic abuse victim and survivor. Please use them, and I hope you get the help you need ❤
Tammy Duplantis created one of the most disturbing games and I was the most uncomfortable I have ever been while playing a game. Duplantis used a VisualBoyAdvance, a GameBoy emulator, to create her game, and its restrictions are powerful. In Duplantis’ game, images are displayed, and you can change them by pressing a key. Each image is a little confusing and hard to identify, but when you finally notice what the images are, everything becomes much clearer, and sad.
The first image is an eye, created by purple and red lines. It is a closed eye that represents when she could not notice that she should leave the relationship she was in. She did not see the pain she was going through, and she did not see a way to escape. Later, the eye opens, which represents Duplantis finally seeing an exit and taking it.
After this, a picture of the lower half of a face is shown. I believe this represents the verbal abuse that was occurring in the relationship. In the description of Duplantis’ game, her abusive ex calls her a b****, so I believe the mouth of the person shown is about the constant occurrence of this verbal abuse. Each time she would see the mouth of her abuser, she would face abuse. This image also includes a buzzing sound that continues to increase, which was so uncomfortable that I nearly exited the game.
Then you see an image of red lungs. I believe this represents the yelling and the anxiety attacks that happened due to the abuse. In my experience with anxiety attacks, my lungs are affected heavily. My chest has a numb feeling, and I feel like I am unable to inhale. I quickly develop a breathing pattern which always makes me feel awful. It takes a long time to get out of it, and when you are constantly being abused, then you will constantly get anxiety attacks that damage your senses and your body.
Throughout the course of the game, the sound design is phenomenal. It is mostly buzzes and high pitch scratch noises, but the effect of them coming together made an unbearable sound. It made me struggle to play the game since I constantly had an urge to exit the game, but knew I should stay and see Duplantis’ message.
Everyone should play this if they can. I completely understand that some people can’t play it due to their personal experiences, but everyone that can play it should. It is a very important game, and although it is frighteningly unpleasant, it was one of the best moments in Meditations so far.