Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fisher-Diver. It's Not Just About Diving and Fishing After All.

Hello again my friends. This week I will be talking about the game, "Fisher-Diver", made by one of my most favorite game developers of all time, Eli Piilonen/2DArray. You should really check out her games, they're pretty good. At first I found this game to be very boring and uninteresting. It didn't hold my attention until I took another look at it last weekend. Since it was a 2DArray game, I convinced myself to push on with the game until the end, and the end... Well, it wasn't "rewarding" per se, but it did push a personally gratifying message across.

Like I, and maybe you, the main character in this game starts off alone as well. Although, continuing the game, the man soon finds that he is not so alone after all. We don't get told a lot about this man at the beginning of the game, we just learn that he is a new fisherman earning a living by catching fish. Your goal, at least at first, is to catch fish and sell those fish to make some money... which you spend on fishing equipment at the local fishermen shop to help you catch even more fish. Erm, it does seem a little fishy (really???) until you realize that there might be more depth to this game underneath the surface (oh, come on) after finding your first Guffin. Guffins appear at random in the ocean and are apparently very valuable and will help you unlock more helpful and expensive equipment at the shop.

Another thing Guffins do is move the plot forward. Every Guffin comes with a note attached, written by some dude named Captain Connell. I believe there are a little over 10 Guffins to collect in all, and therefore a little over 10 messages to read. Through these messages, we learn about the life of a man who inherits his fathers wealth and stash of Guffins. He soon gets bored with his fishing and also needs an audience to read his messages. Eventually, he comes up with a solution to both problems by finding a new fisherman and guiding him to find the Guffins with the messages.

Once our man, not Captain Connell, after acquiring the maximum depth and oxygen-tank upgrades, and after acquiring the flashlight, he decides to see if the ocean is bottomless and makes a mad dive toward the bottom. At the deepest darkest depths of the sea, he finds "breathable water". I wouldn't know why he would try to breathe the water in the first place, but diving a little further he finds one more Guffin with the note "Showtime" attached. Diving a little furthermore, he is suddenly attacked! By some unknown psycho who apparently also happened to swim to the bottom of the ocean. And then the realization hits - this is Captain Connell. You try killing him, but he has a far more advanced weapon that hits its mark almost every time. (Ironically, this weapon is called the Captain's Mark.) Connell eventually kills you, giving you a thought to chew on at the end. Our man says, "I still only know how one end of the hunt feels. How was the other half?"

If you haven't guessed already, this is a game about empathy, you know, feeling how others feel. Not to be confused with sympathy, a weaker version of empathy, where you only think you know how others are feeling. Empathy is when you actually experience for yourself what others are going through.

Now how can this relate to you? Well, feeling how others feel can be important in life, although, admittedly, the closest we usually can get to empathy is sympathy. Still, we would at least want to show compassion towards others, and compassion is very important when you want to make friends. You know that saying, "Treat others as you would want others to treat you,"? Well, toss that aside. This isn't directly relating to that saying, although we can touch upon it. What I am really trying to focus on is treating others the way you would think they would want to be treated, rather than treating them like yourself. There is a big difference there, you see, though I won't get into much detail on what it is.

Now, our man, whatever his name is, he started catching fish like a cold-blooded maniac, not stopping at whatever cost to kill these things, not showing any remorse or second thought for these fish. Connell just wanted to teach this guy a lesson in empathy, the hard way. First, our man had to experience being able to breathe underwater like a fish. Next, he had to get killed like a fish, suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a shame that the man had to get killed to realize his errors in life. 

But, fellow Captain Connell couldn't have just killed the man right after teaching him a very important life lesson! No, he probably rescued our person right after simply knocking him out, then dragged him back to his boat. Then, the man eventually woke up and assumed it was all a dream. Still, that "dream" he had would have probably made an impact in his life. Maybe he stopped being a fisherman and taught others about the lesson he learned that day.

Or, alternatively, our man could be lying as a rotting corpse on the sea floor, serving as a lesson to others that might venture around that area what could happen to them if they got killed by the fish.

Anyways, empathy and sympathy can be important tools in finding a good companion on the Internet. You would want a friend who has 1 of these 2 traits, and isn't a bully online. I would say that I would like a friend like Captain Connell. It may seem crazy, but here we have a man with lots of wisdom and knowledge. Playing as him in Free Play Mode shows that he has been fishing for around 700 days. That's only a little less than 2 years, but who knows what the context of "days" could be for the people in the game? Case in point, Connell is very sympathetic, wise, and enjoys scaring people straight.

And our person? He doesn't seem like a very wise man. First of all, he's only just started his fishing career, let's assume that it would be the equivalent of just getting out of high school. Fishing doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that requires a college degree. So, we have a young adult, fresh into the fishing scene, and he meets a wise old man such as Connell. I doubt that our person would listen to this guy. He seems to be very foolish and headstrong, such as how he DIVED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN TO SEE IF IT WAS INFINITE. Maybe the bottom of the ocean hasn't been discovered yet or doesn't exist in this game, but do you really think DIVING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN to find out is such a good idea? Seriously, this guy got what's coming to him, give him a Darwin Award someone! I'm kidding, I can easily relate with this guy, and so can many others. We all acted like him when we were young, and curious about the world. Maybe our man will grow up to be as wise a man as Connell. Maybe he is Connell!

But this isn't about sci-fi, it's about the Internet. Long story short, get a friend with lots of wisdom and get accustomed to the Internet.

 Also, remember I said I was updating weekly? I lied, I will update irregularly. I have remorse.


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  2. this is a pretentious pile of shit.