A game where you play with your emotions, seeing if you use words to escape from a feeling. While exploring fear, your relationship to words, and the emotional effect they have on you, discover what happens when you understand that the word is never the thing.
Imagine a video game where you go into the deep recesses of your mind. The Word Is Not The Thing is a game where you go after the feeling behind the word fear. Set in a minimalistic black and white world, you destroy words and uncover feelings deep inside you.
You've lost your child and your wife has grown distant. She's lost in pain. People only talk about themselves. They're lost in their own escapes from pain. Over 3 days, the sky grows darker, the rain intensifies, and the words you come across increase in emotional intensity.
After having fun destroying words, you come up against the final boss, which is a web of words in which you're caught trying to escape from the same pain as everyone else. In uncovering the final word, you'll either escape with another word, or if something clicked inside your head while playing the game, you'll understand that the word is never the thing.
Available Now for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Free Demo Also Available on Itch.io
Putting a heavy emphasis on understanding ourselves and our emotional connection to words, The Word Is Not The Thing goes into separating the word from the feeling, allowing us to discover for ourselves what happens when we don't let the word interfere with the direct perception of the feeling. Not rejecting the word, or suppressing it, but seeing its effect. Not running away with explanations, or with another set of words. Seeing that escape. And doing nothing about it. Not just saying you get it, but actually doing it.
An indie developer title. Just one person. A game designed to be finished in 45 to 60 minutes, with simple controls, minimalistic graphics and the use of our emotional connection to words as a mechanic in itself. It’s a unique game of exploration and discovery through the human condition.
"Where there is fear there is no love. The problem is to comprehend fear, not how to get rid of fear. If you merely want to get rid of fear, then take a pill which will tranquilize you, and go to sleep. There are innumerable forms of escape from fear; but if you escape, run away, fear will follow you everlastingly. To be fundamentally free of fear, you must understand this process of naming, and realize that the word is never the thing. The mind must be capable of separating the word from the feeling, and must not let the word interfere with direct perception of the feeling, which is the fact. When you have gone so far, penetrated so deeply, you will discover there is buried in the unconscious the fundamental cause of fear. And again, if you avoid it. if you escape from it, saying it is too fearful, if you do not go into it without giving it a name, you will never go beyond it. The mind has to come face to face with the fact of complete inward loneliness, and not allow itself to do anything about that fact. That extraordinary thing called fear is the very essence of the self, the 'me', with its web of words in which the mind is caught. Only when the mind is capable of going beyond that ultimate loneliness, is there freedom - the absolute freedom from fear. And only then will you find out for yourself what is reality, that immeasurable energy which has no beginning and no end."