Updated: May 9
What's going on everyone?
I went to Boston over this past weekend to attend Pax East and obviously I needed something to play on the train ride that I could finish completely in a couple of hours. A number of you had asked me to play the game Gris, so I decided to give it a try. You can find my lesson for Gris here.
This game is a piece of art. I mean that sincerely. I know the phrase "video games are art" gets thrown around, but this is actually just art.
Look at this cover. I know this is just the cover, but the game actually looks like this throughout. It is beautifully animated by artist Conrad Roset to make the whole game seem like a watercolor painting come to life. I have not taught this lesson yet, but I plan on getting as many art teachers as possible to consider using this game in their classes.
Beyond the art and aesthetics of this game is a wonderful little story of a girl going through the five stages of grief. The game starts with a girl who safely sings in the hands of a giant statue, which then begins to crumble. The girl, grief stricken, loses her voice and tumbles below. She has clearly lost someone important to her and begins the first stage of grief, denial. The world has lost all color, the girl cannot sing, and can barely walk.
Over the course of the game, you will guide this girl through each step of the grieving process and bring color back to this bleak world. You will help her find her voice and ultimately acceptance that what is lost can never come back. It teaches us that we will all recover after losing a loved one, and it does so without an ounce of dialogue. It relies on its visuals and music.
There are only a couple of buttons in this game. Walk, jump, and sing. Some of the puzzles and exploration is a little tricky, but you are always left feeling rewarded after accomplishing a section, and it is never too difficult.
If the art teacher in my school does not get the opportunity to use this game, then I most definitely will in my advisory class in the upcoming year. This game is too well made to not be used in education.