Videoverse Impressions: Login To Your Past

Videoverse is a time machine to an era when the internet was smaller. When being online meant scouring a handful of small communities. Trolls could be conquered, friends could be made. But beyond just a glimpse into begone technology, Videoverse‘s nostalgic story brings me back to when I was falling in love — with video games as well as my high school sweetheart. Though I’m not finished with the game’s journey, it’s already been one full of anticipation, anxiety, distress, and authenticity.

Anyone who has played the wonderful Emily Is Away will see echoes of it here. But while Videoverse deals with similar situations, its focus is interestingly shifted. Teenage trials and tribulations unfold throughout, don’t get me wrong, but what sets the game apart in the three hours I’ve played it is its interest in examining the gaming and internet community themselves.

Not only is my goal to navigate social situations — budding love, questionable friends, being there for others — but also to keep the spaces I care for safe. To this end, the game gives me a community status indicator on my home screen, which, as I move through the various chapters, steadily improves as I report problematic users and post my own positive messages.

This isn’t always easy. Do I look the other way when a friend says something backed by private pains — which I’m intimately aware of — that makes the public forum toxic? Is someone reaching out for help while they spiral down a bad path ok to post? These, arguably tangential, questions can be just as thought-provoking as those that stem from the game’s main narrative.

The story follows fifteen-year-old Emmett who connects to his favorite online communities via the Kinmoku Shark, a web browser and game system all wrapped into one. Video chatting with friends, displaying my fan art, and talking strategies for my favorite games makes up the bulk of my time on the platform. Every one of these pursuits present a myriad of choices, which could change the course of my narrative.

Dialogue options aren’t limited to good or bad, mean or nice, which allows for some roleplaying. However, the character does sometimes take the proverbial stage to do a little monologuing. So, I can’t make the protagonist entirely my own. The VO is, unfortunately, one of the weakest elements of the game, meaning I’m never excited to see the character pop up to talk.

Videoverse has eight total chapters, and I’m right in the middle of the fifth. So, while I don’t know how the story ends, playing this nostalgic look-back has been riveting. The sounds, feelings, even just the act of customizing my themes, are a blast from the past.

One response to “Videoverse Impressions: Login To Your Past”

  1. […] that I totally dodged that beam as I was just seconds away from level four.) Even wedged between an unbelievable week of releases, I still find myself sneaking in for, what I assure myself will be, short bouts of the colorful […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: