Connecting to Conway

For me, Kentucky Route Zero was an extremely interesting experience. Even though, as the class discussed last week, you’re not actually making choices that will change the result of the narrative, I found the choices that I could make were extremely profound in their own way. Whether it was choosing the name of my dog, choosing to go to the floor of the office with “bears”, or, when talking to Lysette, not blaming Charlie for his death, I felt very connected to Conway. Even though the player viewed Conway in the third person, rarely have I felt as immersed in a game as I did in Kentucky Route Zero. The eery atmosphere, bizarre dialogue, and intriguing narrative combined to create an immersive experience. This immersion into Conway was frequently broken, however, whenever the player was “acting” as another one of the characters. Because of its division into acts and scenes, Kentucky Route Zero gave me the impression of being a sort of play, with the player “acting” as each character. Each time I had a chance to make a “decision” in the narrative, I based my choice both on my past and Conway’s. In my mind, we almost became fused.

The point in this game during which I felt the most immersed was the song scene in the third act. The song was so melancholy and beautiful, and the background consisting of the starry sky completed the scene. This scene also felt, to me, to be the emotional climax of the three acts.

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In terms of immersion, I felt that I was making the choices in the song based on my own experiences which I then projected onto Conway. I found myself re-watching this scene over and over again on youtube, just because I enjoyed it so much.

I guess this post didn’t have much of a point, other than to express how much I enjoyed this game and its immersive qualities.

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