the artistry and psychology of gaming


Frustration (Yoshi’s Story)

Frustration (Yoshi’s Story)

Worlds are what you make of them, as is the definition of what makes a world.  Physical realms are the most commonly perceived manifestation, of course, but the concept is so much more broad than that.  Dreams, daydreams, passing thoughts, paintings, and even the stories in a book are worlds all of their own.  Perhaps you remember the time I told you of a story that I’d read to my niece.  Although she’d fallen asleep by the end of the page – she’d had a very tiring day at the park – the next time we got together, we picked up right where we left off.

Page Three is a stark contrast to its predecessor.  While Page Two takes place underground, sometimes in very hot environments, the following page takes place in the sky, often in chillier locations.  This particular part of the page that we chose to explore that wintry afternoon was a snow-covered nightscape called Frustration.  This was no ordinary snow-covered forest; it was unlike anything even I’d seen before.  The two of us curled up on the sofa, snuggled into a warm blanket, and began to create.

The yoshis began on a pinkish path – almost the color of sunburned skin – that had been plowed through thick snow.  In the background, strong-trunked coniferous trees erupted from the snow, their greenery made of smooth cones.  Further out, I could see snow-capped purple mountains and puffy clouds in the night sky.  Everything was smooth, but thick-looking, almost as though it were made of clay.  The yoshis passed the first Miss Warp as their journey truly began.

It wasn’t long before they encountered a strange object: a flying hollow circle made of logs, which had two openings opposite each other.  They jumped in and ran as though in a giant hamster wheel.  While this was a very precarious situation – being suspended high above the ground with two gaps rapidly passing beneath them – they experienced a lovely view of the night sky.  Tiny-looking trees below looked like candy, the blue and green mountains in the distance embracing them.  The sky was much clearer here, and bright, shining five-point stars were visible in blue and purple.  There was something vaguely familiar about their coloration; it was almost as though I was sharing my own memories with young Lydia.

The yoshis eventually reached solid ground, which was terraformed like big stairs.  The snow here had a lovely feathered effect, and an orange star was just barely visible.  At the top of the stairs, there was a much better vantage point, this one with many stars visible between the group of trees.  Not far from there was a series of spotted logs that acted as aerieal see-saws.  Never before had I seen logs with such interestingly-colored polka dots; they came in olive green, gray with a slight blue tint, and even gray with a slight purple tint; certainly not typical colors to see on wood.  More and more stars became visible as they continued, some now glowing a soft cyan.  Once the yoshis reached solid ground again, they thought that the danger was over.

They reached a split in the path, which ultimately led back to the same place; it was a misshapen loop.  However, circling the path were two gigantic yellow worm-like creatures with pink spines on their backs; they seemed almost like some kind of sentient vines.  Their open mouths had sharp teeth, and their green eyes were somehow both cute and menacing.  They carefully went with the flow to slip between the two creatures and safely slip out of the circle.  After a time, the yoshis reached a sudden, steep drop, revealing ridges in the rock walls that almost looked like some sort of furniture.  Just past there, they avoided another worm-like creature and stopped atop a red pipe to rest.  After taking a moment to stare at the big, round, yellow moon peeking out from behind a cloud, they continued onward.  It wasn’t long before they reached the end of the path, complete with Miss Warp 4 and a pot for teleportation back to the point of origin.

Many children are afraid of the dark, and since they are not yet strong enough to protect themselves, it’s not difficult to understand why.  My niece is no exception, but that’s because like me, she’s special; we were both born with the ability to see spirits.  Remember when your parents told you that there was nothing hiding in the dark?  Imagine knowing them to be wrong, and yet unable to understand that.  The best way to make a child understand that the darkness is nothing to fear is to take them for a beautiful moonlit walk, even if only in their mind at first.  A child needs not simply to be told not to fear the darkness, but to be shown that it is nothing to fear.  Read enough stories of such a nature to children, and soon, they will be willing to take a stroll with you through the dark of night, and they’ll always have fond memories to replace their darkest fears.


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