Around the time I was playing the first season of Life Is Strange, I attended a family gathering at my in-laws’.
I overheard some of my younger cousin in-laws taking about video games. Having finally found some common ground with someone there, I joined the conversation.
Soon it came time for me to tell them about the game I was currently playing.
So I excitedly started telling them about this coming-of-age drama called Life Is Strange, starring a teenage girl studying to become a photographer.
I told them about how she has to deal with bullies and the failing economics of her small hometown.
How she and her estranged former best friend has to work together to solve the murder of your old friend’s lover.
And also how she can somehow rewind time.
Then I realised that my conversation partners were ten-year-olds. And that they were probably unable to find most of that stuff exiting.
They looked askew at me for a few seconds. Then they went back to talking about the latest shooters and racing games.
What I Love about Life Is Strange
I did not know a lot about Life Is Strange before I started playing it.
What got me interested in it to begin with were the fantastical elements of the story.
I have been a big fan of time travel since I started watching Doctor Who in 2005, but I have always found it fascinating.
But what kept me interested as I was playing through the game was not the science fiction elements, but rather the human drama.
I also think that a lot of what I enjoyed about the game comes down to nostalgia.
Something about this game reminded me of my own teens. Despite me being male, living in Norway, never having attended an academy, not being a photographer, and not being able to control time.
The different characters reminded me of various people I have known, sure. But many of them also reminded me of different aspects of myself.
This is not something I experience with most of the video games I play.
But then, most of them are filled with more fantastical larger-than-life characters than grounded ones.
If you liked this article, sign up for my monthly newsletter!
At the end of each month, I’ll send you an email with my best articles from that month.