By Nathan Grayson on July 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Journalière is desolate. Alien.
There is life in it, but it has no shape or sound. Movement but no intention. Nothing does, really. You play as a woman ostensibly on her way to work, but the landscape of her world looks like a mix between sun-parched Play-Dough and a sheet-white desert dreamscape. I can’t really think of another game that’s taken me to a place quite like it. It’s amorphous, stark, and unsettling, but somehow gorgeous for it. Drive from place-to-place, admire the hand-drawn/sculpted architecture, and ponder what everything means. Also, dance. Dancing is the best part.
Journalière was made as part of the month-long No Future competition, which focused on work, jobs, and the astounding number of issues that arise from the unquenchable hunger of industry. I can’t even begin to fathom what it truly means, but I read it as an exploration of the dichotomy between freedom and structure – the way we become part of some larger, shapeless corporate blob entity not because we want to, but because we ultimately have no other choice.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS
I wandered, I watched TV, I played a quick little in-game arcade game, I gazed out into the infinite sea, and I danced. Oh yes, I danced. And once I started, everyone else joined in. I mean, why not, right? One person just had to lead the way. Show them that it wasn’t weird. Make them slip out of the bony shackles of inhibition – the fear of judgment – and just lose themselves in jutting, individual moves.
Then I went to work, and everybody melted.