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Freeway Fury: over-representation of determination

September 8, 2010

How much control do we have of our own lives? Whilst languishing in peak hour traffic, sitting unmoving on free-ways and highways our sense of frustration exponentially increases because on some level, we know that our control has been taken away from us.

I’m not simply referring to traffic jams being the source of the anguish, but rather the reminder that we are being made late for something, an unwilling engagement that had we the choice, we would probably not keep. However, we must work, we must study, we must reach our destination, despite our unwillingness we are, we persevere and complete the task. Why do we do this? Are we slaves to routine or just need to keep busy, perhaps a discourse for another game to explore.

Yet sitting in traffic, we are prevented from this inevitability of our lives. We cant just grind our teeth and get it over and done with, like a band-aid; we can’t just rip it off.

So what recourse do we have? We sit, we fume, we wait impotently for traffic to clear.

This game isn’t just about dodging peak hour traffic to get to your destination, if it were, certainly it wouldn’t be as noteworthy as it is. Instead this game allows you to switch your vehicle, not just into the lives of others but also in order to clear a path and get to your destination unmolested and untouched by the forced confinement of our vehicles. You literally get to break out of your metaphysical metal shell and embrace the danger of defiance.

At it’s heart, this game explores a fundamental aspect of the modern existential quandary, it explores the question we all ask ourselves: Do I remain here, where I am in my current circumstances, or do I take a risk, take the plunge and hope for something better? Do I stay the course, or do I throw caution to the wind?

Change is difficult for us to handle, which in itself presents a strange dichotomy because change is fundamental to our existence. We need to adapt, we need to change in order to survive. If we don’t, we deteriorate, we become complacent and over-confident. This in history is what causes us to make that critical mistake and in nature, would cost us our lives.

Yet this game turns this on its head and reverses it because it is safer to stay within the confines of your car than risk a misjudged jump and fail. Mind you, if you choose the safe path and stay within your own vehicle, you’ll lose, but at least stay alive. Certainly, a lesson for all of us wasting our lives away in menial brain numbing jobs that we all hate.

This game reinforces a core lesson in life that we must all learn. Sometimes, to win the game we have to take risks. But it goes further because reckless and crazy risks will always lose the game for you, but calculated and critical point decisions, especially when they are made well will most often lead to a rewarding change, like switching from a slow moving truck to a speedy little sports car.

But, herein lies my dilemma with this game. This lesson or this exploration that the game allows us to experience isn’t one that we have conscious control over. More importantly, it isn’t one that we can change. Our entire species is born of competitive change, survival of the fittest. This games origins are fundamentally Darwinian in nature, so in a way I object to the name of “Free-way” Fury.

Still great fun and good at wasting those spare minutes at work.

Explore this self determination of free will right here.

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From → Games

6 Comments
  1. Vahe permalink

    Hey Thomas,

    Nothing related to this post, but good to see you back in the blogosphere its been a while. Anyways hope your good.

  2. Hi Thomas,

    I loved your philosophical take on Freeway Fury! I like how it contrasts with the seemingly superficial nature of the game.

    Have you noticed how there’s a tendency to take too much risk in Freeway Fury (players many times don’t reach the finish because they can’t resist taking risks that end up killing them), compared to perhaps too little in real life?

    Anyways thanks for the great post. And yes, I am the main creator of the game πŸ˜‰

  3. Thank-you Vasco, I am humbled by your kind words but even more so that you’ve read my words and enjoyed it! I was going to put something about the amount of deaths but I was going to concentrate on the brilliant use of the buttons because the majority of my deaths came from forgetting that I was still outside the car and trying to move the car, hence jumping off and dying.
    The use of the down button made it dichotomous to the overall aim of going forward. It didn’t make sense to my hand that in order to move forward, I had to press back!
    I think this design was brilliant and confounded my fingers so many times! I really did enjoy your game and I’m going to feature a few more of them (I have them planned but getting to them is the hard thing, juggling work, uni, and procrastination!)

    Would you be interested in doing an interview? I’m going to add a section where I chase up programmers and ask them some weird questions!

  4. Well, I didn’t really intend for the buttons to be confusing, except for at the beginning when it’s funny to die by jumping out of the car the first few times. The reasons for using the keys I used was to be able to play with only one hand (I’m usually very lazy when playing flash games!), and to have an “excuse” to not use the down key for braking or jumping backward; I wanted the game to keep moving forward as much as possible.

    Sure, I can do an interview. Sounds like fun! πŸ™‚

  5. kieran permalink

    this game was so awesome i cried, too bad you misspelled insomnia… πŸ˜›

    • Yeah I know. I was trying to be clever as I thought it was already taken. Now I keep forgetting I’ve done it. I’ve got a re-direction in place though, so shut it :p

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