I’m not one for princesses, unless they come bearing swords. Swords mean action, they mean danger and needing one’s wits, courage to survive. A princess with a sword—that’s my kind of story.
So I knew I would like Child of Light. It’s a video game story I stay up late to play out a little longer, immersed in the watercolor-style animation. A slow-motion beauty overcasting dangerous landscape. Little conversations, people talking in rhymes, all of the characters so quirky and lovely.
I play games as I read stories, as I experience movies: like it’s me. I’m Aurora, a barefoot girl wearing a paper crown, waking up in a damp, strangely beautiful Otherworld. Immediately I obtain a too-large-for-me sword and a companion who I assume is a firefly. I run over tree roots as big as tables and leap gaps in stone platforms, fighting monsters, trying to find my way back home to my father, the king.
I’m in the story until my mind numbs and my eyes are closing. I put the adventure on hold and go to bed. The soundtrack, even more endearing to me as it’s written by someone called Couer d’Pirate, plays on dimly in my less-impressive dreams, plays on through the next day’s writing, through my workday, making me secretly happy. I have an adventure on hold, right now, in the background. Soon I’ll be back in it.
Games like these are a substitute for finding a portal to another world.