I’ve begun rereading some of my favorite Chinese poets and can’t help but find striking similarities, in aesthetic and philosophy, between these brilliantly minded writers from so long ago and contemporary storytellers.
The main suspects in todays post: Shen Fu, Li Bai, Austin Wintory (Journey), and the savory addiction concocted by the dreamweavers at Naughty Dog studious, headed by Neil Druckmann (creative director).
Shen Fu’s “Six Records of a Floating Life” and Li Bai’s line “The floating life is but a dream; how much longer can we enjoy our happiness?” both capture the fleeting nature of life and the idea that our existence is temporary. These themes are also present in many video games, where players are often tasked with living out a story, navigating challenges, and ultimately facing the end of their journey.
“Journey” is a video game that is particularly similar to the themes in both Shen Fu’s memoir and Li Bai’s line. In “Journey,” the player controls a robed figure traveling through a vast and beautiful desert towards a distant mountain. The journey is difficult and fraught with obstacles, but the player is also able to experience moments of wonder and beauty. The game has no dialogue or text, but the themes of impermanence and the search for meaning are present in the narrative.
“The Last of Us Part II” is another video game that explores the idea of the fleeting nature of life. The player takes on the role of Ellie, a young woman traveling through a post-apocalyptic world in search of revenge. The game is characterized by its intense emotional narrative and themes of love, loss, and the fleeting nature of life.
In conclusion, the themes of impermanence and the fleeting nature of life present in Shen Fu’s “Six Records of a Floating Life” and Li Bai’s line are also present in many video games, such as “Journey” and “The Last of Us Part II.” These games capture the idea that life is temporary and that our existence is fleeting, much like a dream.
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