The World Shrinks: On Control and Twin Peaks

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AlisterCat

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The world is a vast place, but the more of it we experience the smaller it seems. Spaces, cultures and mysteries become much more tangible and ordinary once we have context for them. This has become increasingly evident the more I play of Control.

It's a wonderful (in the literal sense) game that inspires the same feelings in me that Twin Peaks often does with everything being shrouded in mystery. The spectre of the unknowable always lingering around the edges of focus. Control is a game about controlling these unknowable forces and making them known. There's a whole government agency dedicated to it. Unravelling the mystery and catcHibg glimpses of a larger truth. This is impossible to avoid in Twin Peaks, a TV show that is rarely interested in providing answers.

After over a dozen hours in control, I'm finding that unlike twin peaks, the mystery breaks down almost too neatly. In context th e agency is working towards understanding the forces at work in their world and the objects they contain, but as a game we see the bigger picture. When I picked up case files early in the game I was filled with wonder. The possibilities for stories in the world of control seemed limitless. Then they show you. I don't think there Is a single Altered Item or object of power that I've read about that they haven't shown me or let me interact with. What once seemed like a vast world suddenly became easily quantifiable, knowable, packed away in a tight little box in my mind. The world shrinks to the size of the game, and there is a sadness in that. Like childhood innocence disappearing.

Until I watched Twin Peaks I think I would have been content with this, and even one of the people who would be annoyed if things weren't explained or wrapped up, but my tastes have changed. In Season 3 of twin peaks the mystery still calls to me. It's not nearly filed away in a box in my brain.

I'm interested in other people's opinions on this, and whether there are any games that manage to keep the feeling that the world is a big place.