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Hung Out in Any Good Cemeteries Lately?

'Cemetery Walk' asks you to meditate on loss and remembrance as you visit strangers' memorials.

by Cameron Kunzelman
Sep 22 2017, 4:00pm

I enjoy games that are deceptively simple. Cemetery Walk is a game about, well, walking around a cemetery, and at first glance it seems to be something closer to an experiment or a "teach yourself how to make a game" example than a full-fledged thing. However, the deception of simplicity is real, and Cemetery Walk ends up pulling off something quite small yet profound.

The game wants the player to wander around a cemetery, and in trade, it asks questions. By presenting the player with small, interactive nodes, it asks questions about the nature of death in the age of digital expression. Those specific questions lead to more broad and introspective ones that hint at the very real deaths that populate our real-world cemeteries. It implores us to consider what those look will look like in the future if death, and the way we think of it, changes.

It's a gestural and ephemeral game that, ultimately, only asks you to sit and reflect, so let me share the reflection that Cemetery Walk invoked in me: If the people we know only as online figures die, and we will never see their graves, then where do we visit? Old web pages? Memorialized Facebook pages? The implications of that logic are disturbing, because it means that we're walking through a cemetery every time we traverse the internet looking for cookie recipes. Sacred things collapse into the big trash pile that is all of this.

I've spent more time thinking about Cemetery Walk than it takes to play it, so I suggest that you go play it in your browser at itch.io.

Tagged:
death
GAMES
indie games
Waypoint