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Other Worlds Than These: A world of survival horror

7:00 PM on 05.29.2009 // VitaminH

[It's time for another Monthly Musing -- the monthly community blog theme that provides readers with a chance to get their articles and discussions printed on the frontpage. -- CTZ]  

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of the Cthulhu"

The worlds of survival horror games are cruel. Unforgiving. Designed to make the player feel vulnerable in ways they never imagined they could be. These worlds take false, electronic images projected onto a screen and force the player to turn them into real, visceral emotional experiences.

This is one of those worlds. This is a world that will make you question all that you have ever believed in. This is a world that will test the very limits of your sanity and the depths of your soul. This is the world of Don't Shit Your Pants.



Upon entering the game, you are assaulted with the words "You really need to take a shit." Why? Why do you need to take a shit so badly? What sequence of events lead up to this very moment? Like so many good stories, Don't Shit Your Pants bypasses that bit of exposition and instead hurls you directly into the action, forcing you immediately into a horrifying world where you must not shit your pants.

And what a horrifying world it is. Your nameless avatar stands in a room with magenta-hued walls and a cornflower blue floor, a color combination designed to break the spirit of any person so unfortunate as to even glance at it. The expression on his face is the expression worn by a man who has seen the unspeakable evils of the world and knows that he is powerless to stop them. This is the expression of a man who knows he is fighting a battle he cannot win. This is the expression of a man who is about to shit his pants.


But surely there must be some hope to be found in this bleak setting? One glance around the room you inhabit is enough to extinguish whatever spark of optimism that remains by letting you know that to cling to the barest shred of hope would be nothing more than to cling to a lie. The only object in the room is a door. A single, solitary door. Does it lead to salvation? Or damnation? It's impossible to know which choice is more terrifying -- to leave the door closed and keep whatever may be behind it at bay or to open it and discover what lies beyond. The only thing possible to know is that you're about to shit your pants.

While contemplating the futility of your existence in this world, should it at any point in time slip your mind that you're about to shit your pants, the timer in the upper left hand corner is only too happy to remind you of the increasing pressure in your lower intestine. It starts at :40, but quickly ticks down to let you know that your days of mental lucidity and unsoiled trousers will soon be behind you.


:19 "You're running out of time."


:04 "OMG IT'S PEEKING ITS HEAD!"


:00 "You couldn't hold it anymore, you just shit your pants!"


You have just experienced a world of survival horror.

You have just experienced the world of Don't Shit Your Pants.



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