Windows Phone 7/XBox360 Live Arcade
2011 - 21 years old
I have written about Ilomilo already. I wrote about it back in January
, but if you had read that blog, then you already know why I must include it on this list.
Back on January 12th, on that Wednesday night, would be the last time I would speak to my father. The following Friday, not even two days later, I received an urgent phone call from my mother demanding that call her immediately. I had been at work all morning and was about to go to my first week of classes, thus causing me to ignore the phone calls and question why her text messages were nothing more than "call right now". When I did get a chance to return the call, my grandmother picked up and I could hear weird noises in the background... Noises of machines and a doctor being called over the intercom... She was blunt with me because, frankly, that is just how I am. I hate it when information is withdrawn and never delivered directly but at the same time, I wish she would have soften the blow. My heart stopped as she told me my father had passed away. A generally healthy man below 50 had woken up to the day being normal, only to have suddenly just collapsed to the floor in our living room, dying almost instantly. (Autopsy reports later would reveal the cause to be an uncaught, untreated blood clot.)
That morning and every morning for days... Weeks... to come were among the worst in my life. I had not seen my dad since I moved to Charleston, SC last September. We had parted on somewhat bad terms with frustrations and disappoints lingering even in our distant phone calls. I quickly began to regret the stupidity of my youthful arrogance and grudges on top of the grieve stricken confusion of trying to figure out why such a thing had to happen to my family and to me. Not only did I lost my father before ever properly making up for our disagreements, I also had to set back college due to new financial troubles. I felt like I had failed him in some way since the reason I moved was to attend school and begin my own life.
Depressed, confused, bitter, angry... I hated the goddamn world that day, but I could not just simply sit on the couch in completely silence sulking the minutes away. I had to do something to occupy my mind or I was going to go mad, but I lacked the energy or desire to do anything. I even felt too drained to get off the couch to put a game into my XBox360, which then resulted in me just browsing through Arcade games. Ilomilo strangely stood out as it lured me to download the demo. Its bright, soft colors and bloom effects gave the game a heavenly look that calmed me. The chipper music soothed me. I could begin to feel myself easily relax as I began to play the game in its angelic atmosphere.
Being a puzzle game was a big advantage to it helping to distract my mind. The puzzles started off fairly easily, but grew more complex as the game progressed. Trying to bring Ilo and Milo together became hard, which is expected in a puzzle game, but the thought process that was required kept my mind focused on something other than the feelings that swelled inside. The story of how hard Ilo and Milo had to work to meet up again soon became a comforting concept to me. As I mentioned in my blog back then, I mentally replaced Ilo and Milo with my dad and myself; the opposite ends of the park became metaphors for heaven and earth with the pathways standing for obstacles I would face in life. While I might face those troubles alone, it meant I was not completely alone. My dad is still watching over me and waiting for me.
I must have played for only an hour or so before reality reclaimed me, but the truth was that for that hour, I was "okay".
LOOK WHO CAME: