Last night I got home, had some dinner and watched the Raising Kratos documentary on Youtube. What happened next will surprise you.
If you haven't seen it and you have the time, go watch Raising Kratos, like, right now. It would be an arguable better use of your time (rather than reading this article). Because, Time is what this article is all about and the documentary is beautiful.
You're back ? Cool 😄. Did you like it ? What a mind job right !? So much emotion, drama, blood sweat and tears went into making that game.
God Of War (2018) is a reboot of the popular God Of War game series. It tells the story of Kratos (a Greek god) and his son Atreus (aka Loki). They start with a simple mission in the video game. Scatter the ashes of their recently deceased wife/mother at the top of the highest mountain across all realms. Things then get ... complicated. Violent. Emotional. There's character growth in Kratos (but not only), from violent raging fighting machine to a violent raging fighting dad.
Christopher Judge (Kratos voice actor) mentions he found parallells betwen the game and his own personal life. I'm not a dad but I am a son. I guess i can relate to some things too. (Also, have i ever mentioned I'm cute and still single ? Just say'n ... 🙃).
But Kratos is not what the article is about. This article is about the people who made the game, Santa Monica Studios. And Time. Life. Going the extra miles for the work we leave behind. What we get out of it while we're still here.
Danielle Bisutti (Freya voice actor) at some point says:
Art reflects life, reflects art, reflects life. And that's why we have it, so we don't feel so alone. So we see these stories [...] made up or real because this thing called life is interesting and confusing and it's wonderful and it's horrible, and it's all these things and here we are.
Next time someone asks me what the meaning of life is, I will point them to this (part of this) video. That quote also says a lot about the role of video games in our society. As entertainment and a story telling mechanism.
Santa Monica Studios worked quite hard, for 5 whole years. Betting on a production costly product which by nature is very hit or miss in one day, launch day. 5 years of daily doubting if it was going to be successful or not. Also given that it was a reboot (remake) of an already successful game. And gamers can be very averse to changes, so there was a very high risk! But it worked out! I hope Santa Monica Studios people, apart from a really good pat in the back, also got some extra time off!
I found parallels to my own life in the documentary as well. I've worked for startups. Doing my best to help the team build something out of nothing while struggling to deal with my own personal life. Daily wondering if we were going in the right direction. And if we would get anything more than tumbleweeds when arriving at our destination.
I have my own answer to "What am I doing here and what do i want to leave behind". I found some inner peace on it, in the quote:
I make grave mistakes all the time. Everything seems to work out. - Thor Odinson (the Marvel character)
Its OK to make mistakes. Some mistakes are impossible to recover from. Life is short but not that short. I can try to learn from them. And if I don't learn to avoid them, at least I can learn to make peace with them. I am only human after all. And, more important than WHAT, it matters to me that i WANT to leave something behind. Things will work out!
As a post-tought i'd like to add a final tought. Although Kratos, Atreus, gameplay and the environment we're amazing, what took things to the next level set everything on fire was ... Baldur. I felt his presence throughout the game even when he wasn't on screen. What a great character!