What a wonderfully interesting take on death, grief and gaming. This book, while short, touches on so many subjects. On one level its about a man dealing with the death of his son and trying to find a connection to him. Its an amazing display of the fact that everyone grieves differently and, anyone whose ever dealt with that close of a loss knows, it can make a person do strange things.
There’s also something very significant in his being in a wheel chair, realizing he can walk again and then hiding it for most of the story. Psycho-somatic problems are a common but rarely addressed phenomenon. Its not really clear in the book if he wasn’t able to walk because of the accident or if, it seems to me more likely, that his guilt over believing he killed his son presented as the symptom of not being able to walk.
The biggest part of the book, though, is obviously the video game. The game his son played (and the one building, in the one level, that he was obsessed with) and that the father becomes obsessed with playing. So many people loose themselves in video games. Video games are a great escape from the real world but many people become obsessed with their virtual world and stop living their real lives. Its a real thing that happens more often then you think. The Youtube channel Extra Credits (who have clever and deep discussions about video games) did a very intense 2 part video on this Game Compulsion. If anyone is interested in seeing them the links are here:
Extra Credits: Game Compulsion Pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5RSngCFpsc
Extra Credits: Game Compulsion Pt 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_qlumZ5K4I
The videos (esp. the second) are intense but are thought provoking and worth the watch.