“With Those We Love Alive” is a Twine game designed by Porpentine Charity Hearscape. During the game, it interacts with the readers by inviting them to mark up their own body with symbols. It starts with making the readers embedded into the game and became the main character in the game. To be honest, I was really confused about how to continue and play the game. I spent some time figuring out the design and intention of the author and how to move forward in the game, during which I felt the game was kind of dark and horrifying. Then, when I reached the stage below.
I started to understand the game and feel the emotion and meaning behind. I felt the despair and helplessness of the character being trapped. My understanding was that the character was kind of divisive. “The people who share your blood” is actually “yourself”, the old “you”. “Let it flutter away” is a part of “destroying the physical reminders of the past”, which is a way of “loving yourself”. In my own experience, if I want to forget something makes me unhappy, I would try to get rid of anything that may reminds me of that bad memory. I guess the most of us do the same. Therefore, here, the old “you” and the past is something “you” want to forget. There must be some reason, such as something bad happened in the past, that makes the past and the old “you” terrible for “you”.
However, the behavior of drawing signs on the skin that is required in the game reminds me a lot of self-harm. I don’t want to admit that, but I had done this before in my middle school. That time is really the darkest period in my life, during which I self-harmed using knife and compasses. I tried to avoid these things and memories after graduating from middle school, but this game really reminds me of that. For me, that old me in the middle school is also something I want to forget and get rid of. Here, I am the same. We are the same, Jangloss. It did make me feel kind of uncomfortable, so I gave up doing that halfway, which is a part of “loving myself”.