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#1 Re: News » Addressing some confusion » 2013-07-24 12:54:48


Firstly congratulations on the game it is a chillingly succinct and clever representation of fear and vulnerability.

At the most basic level when engaging in a game I feel I am putting my trust in the author to posit situations and mechanisms to make me think, and months ago when I first opened up Castle Doctrine that's exactly what I did. It resulted in me really questioning ALL of the points above, from the question of violence through to the pin-sharp feeling of emotional horror at realising I had killed somebody's child/wife and then finding out somebody had killed mine.

The fact that I was a 'father' through to the array of tools given - guns, brick, electrocution - were wonderfully apt and mundane framing devices that, as I ruminated on the experience, focussed exactly those thoughts you expressed above.

I can understand a certain level of chagrin about issues of 'non-representation' (i.e.. for the male/female issue) but the point that is being fudged is assuming the author is 'representing me' when playing a game rather than 'you are playing a character'.

Every nuanced level of the feeling of helplessness of Castle Doctrine, that 'society' is thrusting a role onto you, is expressed within the narrative (down to the very same level you state of 'man-is-forced-to-be-protector') purely through the unrelenting aspect of threat which you so wonderfully managed to convey. I was becoming a character in a story, being 'forced' to be a 'man' made that story harder to live, more desperate to not want to fail and felt richer when I succeeded. I, like you, don't want to be that man.

It is certainly not a game that I 'enjoyed' or was 'entertained by because it threw up so many uncomfortable situations, perhaps this is also what people are confusing the game as - a piece of optimistic enjoyment.

I think Castle Doctrine is tremendous - well written, well constructed, incredibly well balanced - and I am sorry that you are having to spend your time defending aspects of it and not basking in the glow of thanks from the people that its struck a chord with.


p.s. as an addendum, I have to say the game traumatised me so much that I have had to stop playing it. To my mind this exemplifies what a successful piece it is.

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