Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture interpretation

This weekend I played the game “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture”.  I got into it because I happened across the soundtrack for the game.  That music is hauntingly beautiful and sad.  A strong enough music score had been enough to get me into a game before.  Thinking of all the Vulnerability work I’ve been reading on lately, I realize games (particularly story-rich single player games) have often functioned as a relatively safe place for me to allow myself to be vulnerable and express and process emotions that have been sitting there in my psyche.

This game touched upon death in a heavy way, and those who know me and/or actually read this stuff know I’ve been heavily impacted by death in the past couple of years.  Truth be told, it has been a major factor in the path my life has taken after I lost my mother to cancer back when I was 18.  I lost my father to cancer just a little over 2 years ago, and then my best friend to suicide a few months after that.

Put briefly, the plot of this game begins ~30 minutes after the apocalypse in which everyone is gone.  No bodies (except the birds), just gone.  You spend the game following the story lines of 6 characters as they experience this end time.  You see the story acted out by their light shadows.  You learn to understand what happened between that and all of the many environmental clues.

Spoilers incoming:

You learn that somewhat accidentally an entity made of light is brought to earth via a couple of scientists.  It wants to communicate with people, but the way it communicates is ultimately deadly to any animal life more complicated than an insect.  With humans, they start to experience flu like symptoms, until it ultimately becomes fatal and they are literally dispersed into light.  It spreads quickly, via electrical signals, radio signals, and human voice.  I think everyone is gone in a matter of days.

All of that game story is mostly beside the point.  What I felt from this is that it was really a story about accepting the death of loved ones, and ultimately accepting your own death.  It brings some comfort, via science of all things (which to be fair, a lot of the time it can be a bit of a buzzkill, as useful as it can be).  If I understand correctly, all things give off some light.  When that light leaves the planet and goes into the vacuum of space (which is also why I think the game showed the galaxy in the sky after every character’s end), it goes on infinitely.  So in that sense, a part of you is infinite to the cosmos.  Unless you get caught by a blackhole…although I suppose one could play with the idea of blackholes feeding into other universes.  Nothing living makes it through…but if light is a conduit for information?  I swear I’m not high.  If anything I’m low…if that is a thing.

So anyway, I do find a bit of comfort knowing that all of those that are dead continue to cast a light out into the universe.  Possibly infinite and maybe even to other universes.  So perhaps in a real way, we will all see each other again…just perhaps in a slightly different configuration.

 

Below is a quote, and also the lyrics from the end song that has resonated with me.

“In the wake of a human being’s death, what survives is a set of afterglows, some brighter and some dimmer, in the collective brains of those dearest to them. There is, in those who remain, a collective corona that still glows – Douglas Hofstadter”

 

“The Light We Cast”

Now everything has come to rest
The end has come and I am not afraid
We travel on towards a new beginning
We slip away and we are unafraid
We’re born a part
The waters carry us
An endless dark in sovereign galaxies
The light we cast
Creates a bridge
And guides the way across the ages deep
I see them all
I see them dancing
In the endless numbers of the night
I love you in the ebbing of the tide
I love you in the quiet inner lands
I love you in the garden of butterflies
Now everything has come to rest
The end has come and I am not afraid
We travel on towards a new beginning
We slip away and we are unafraid
We slip away and we are unafraid
Unafraid

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