Zen and the Art of Gaming: Biomutant

Picture credit: Biomutant gameplay PS4

The real world sucks. I think we can all agree on that point. That’s what makes the world of gaming so seductive and particularly the world of Biomutant.

Layered in with the wisdom of a Buddhist monk are charming little absurdities, such as Gopher Elvis, the many weird and monstrous enemies that look more like a rabid stuffed animal than anything all that scary, and the Dr Seuss-like ontomatopoeia naming system used throughout the game. Googlide, Bang Shelter, Gnoat, Flush Stools, Pew Pew Pang, Pling Plong Booth, and the list goes on and on.

What the game does best is allows one to forget about the stress, pain, heartbreak, and difficult decisions that plague us daily. I’ve got a difficult decision of my own brewing and the hours I’ve spent just wandering around the vast landscape of Biomutant has given me much needed shelter from reality.

Is this a healthy use of gaming? Probably not, but it’s better than myriad other ways of self-medicating. To be lost and find yourself at the same time is a wondrous gift. One worth giving yourself over and over until you are ready once again to face the cold, harsh, darkness of reality.

One of the themes repeated throughout the gameplay is that your memories of your past shape your future, but that they aren’t always accurate either. A concept so simple I probably shouldn’t need stating. But sometimes, we need a reminder to stop and truly reflect on ourselves as a whole.

I’ve been trying to take a page from Biomutant and use a lot of introspection with a little whimsy added in. Am I good at it yet? No, but practice makes perfect.

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