Black smoke is clogging the air. Flashes of bright orange flames flash through the smog. Donald Trump is on the edge of his presidential inauguration. Is everything fine? Not even the forlorn pup from KC Green's On Fire can see it as such anymore.
Everything is on fire. We're sitting in a burning house. Racism is not new. Misogyny isn't either, nor is homophobia. Not Islamophobia, not transphobia, nor bigotry of any kind. But naming Trump president of the United States implies that this hateful rhetoric is acceptable. It's not. Everything is not fine—but it's a fire we can still fight.
Created by Nick Kaman, This Is Fine is one developer's musings on the election results and the impending inauguration. On Fireis a stated influence for Kaman, who's game stars Green's in-denial dog. Kaman's dog isn't only armed with his brown hat, but a fire extinguisher, too. The extinguishers bubbling pink hearts are able to put out many of the flames, but one remains. But it's manageable. This fire is fine.
One friend arrives with marshmallows, another with a pipe. One is still on fire, but Kaman's dog still has the extinguisher. Together, they're fine. Even the biggest fires can be put out—and eventually, they might even be useful. You can't toast marshmallows without fire, after all.
Kaman's This Is Fine evokes the spirit of the Women's March that will descend on Washington on Jan. 21—a reminder that we are not powerless in the face of what's to come. The Women's March, what could be one the largest American demonstrations, is a fire extinguisher put in the hands of Americans.
In the end, This is Fine's camera zooms out to reveal that, like inside the house, the world outside is a mix of fire and life: A skater spins circles on a frozen lake while a bear makes snow angels, and both are only yards away from a fire. Lights blaze on the distant mountains. But this is fine. Perhaps the message is that we'll never put out every fire, but that together we can take the necessary steps to enjoy life despite the manageable, if still troubling, blazes.
This Is Fine is available for free on itch.io.