04
Feb
18

Perception

With the addition of the Switch into my life, I found myself trolling the eShop, hunting for cheap games worth playing. Sure, I’ve got Zelda and Fire Emblem Warriors, but a little variety never hurt anyone.

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In that quest, I came across Perception. It’s a first-person survival horror game. It actually has genuinely creepy and/or scary moments, and the story is intriguing, pieced out to you in just the right amount to keep you playing. I was up until 2AM last night, constantly telling myself “just one more checkpoint.”

The catch? Cassie, the protagonist, is blind.

Yes. A first-person game as a blind person. You’re not completely in the dark, as it were, however. By tapping her cane or getting close to environmental sources of noise (radios, clunky fridges, air conditioning vents, and fireplaces, for example), you have a limited form of echolocation to find your way throughout the mansion. Too much cane-tapping brings the wrath of the haunting presence upon you, forcing you to hide or die, so for a great deal of the game you’re working blind, hoping to find the next source of sound before something rips your face off and hovering your finger over the cane button, afraid to push it for fear of what you might see.

It’s an excellent mechanic and makes the game something very different.

But it got me thinking about writing, and about perception. In writing, we typically relay what we see, and – to a lesser extent – what is heard, at least by people speaking or important environmental noises.

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But it seems like background noise and other senses frequently are left by the wayside. Perception says not to ignore those other senses, as describing the tinny sound of car horns reflecting off the high buildings behind the protagonist may be just as important as the lurid descriptions of the slavering thing that stands in front of her.

From that, I think I’m going to have to shift my writing style a bit; incorporate more of the other senses, and turn up the ones I do already use a notch.

What about you out there? Do you do a lot of description of the four senses other than sight? If not, why? Do you think it’s something that should be worked in more often? Let us know down below!

KA Spiral no signature

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