Robin is the youngest of the girls. Here is her bio from the website:
The “nine years old” thing confuses me. She looks and acts much younger. I would put her in the six or seven range, myself. At any rate, Robin’s journey is really interesting because it contrasts her perception of the world with our own. She encounters the wolf in the graveyard. Her wolf is an actual wolf, or a wolf-man. At one point in her journey she comments that “Wolves are just dogs.” In another she comments that she wants something “big and cuddly”. This desire becomes dangerous when mixed with the earlier misconception.
Robin seems oblivious to the danger we can see so clearly. She sits down and digs in the dirt of a grave, not because she’s trying to be macabre, but because it’s dirt and that’s what kids do with dirt. She doesn’t “get” death just yet.
|Ah. The rapture and joy of our foolish notions.|
She meets this big, dangerous-looking wolf, climbs up on his back, and rides him around. Fade to black.
When I was eleven, I regularly walked along a slightly out-of-the-way side street. The road was technically open to cars, but it was so narrow most people mistook it for a driveway. I liked it because there was a great big house nestled back in there behind a wall of “ten-foot high” bushes. I could only see glimpses of the house through slender little gaps in the wall, but it was large and white and the grounds were well-groomed. The fact that this fancy house seemed to be hiding in the middle of an otherwise middle-class neighborhood gave the place an air of mystery. One day a pair of dogs rushed out from between the bushes and barred my path. I froze. I’d never seen dogs act this way. They growled, lowering their heads. They weren’t just annoyed at the “intruder”, they were actively threatening to attack.
The owner walked over and spoke to the dogs, and they turned and left. I’d suddenly learned that dogs could be frightening and dangerous.
Wow. A twenty-six-year delayed rant. Funny how different things look from here.
So what happened to Robin? My first impression was that she had an experience very much like the one I had. Once your parents give you a little more leash there’s bound to be a few lessons in why you were on a leash to begin with.
But during her walk to grandma’s house after meeting the wolf, her arms are limp and she seems to be sleepwalking. Which suggests a state of maybe not being altogether not dead. In the trip through grandma’s house, she comes to a room where there seems to be a birthday party ahead. We can see balloons and tables set up in the next room, but just before we reach the party we make an abrupt turn for the basement, where an open grave awaits. Boo.
Then again, these house images are deliberately trying to spook the player. It’s the equivalent of holding a flashlight under your face while you tell a ghost story. Then again again, that symbolism with the birthday party was pretty clear cut: Her next birthday party was ahead of her, and she didn’t make it.
Either way, I think she was undone by her own innocence. I think her wolf was a wolf, which she treated like a dog.
Well, not much of an aftermath for her if she was killed. But assuming these stories are all just metaphors of growing up, then she learned a lesson a lot like mine: Outside your front door is a whole wide world of stuff trying to consume and steal from one another in order to get by, and when you walk out there you’re buying into the deal.
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A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.
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Be careful what you learn with your muscle-memory, because it will be very hard to un-learn it.
A screencap comic that poked fun at videogames and the industry. The comic has ended, but there's plenty of archives for you to binge on.
A video Let's Play series I collaborated on from 2009 to 2017.