When I was fifteen, my best friend disappeared. Wizard Jam seems as good a time as any to finally express my feelings about Alexis.
When I was a teenager, and living in Athens, Greece as an ex-pat, my best friend disappeared. This was years ago -- years before the Olympics -- when terrorist groups like November 17th were still on the streets. I want to be clear, this was not a normal occurrence in Athens, but it was not as surprising as it might have been in the States. There was a girl at my school -- where we had armed guards at the gates -- who had been kidnapped when she was younger. Still, she was an anomoly. I need to stop talking about this kidnapping and murder stuff. That's not what happened, anyways. At least, that's not what I think.
The week before Alexis disappeared he seemed strange. Different. He had only lived in Athens for a year, and he was asking tons of questions about the train, and buses. He knew that I frequented the monthly 2600 meetings off of Omonia Square -- downtown -- where he was never allowed to go. So he was asking all these questions about getting to the ports, and hopping Islands, and how much it cost for a hotel for a night. The next thing, he's gone and his parents say he's got a backpack and half his room is missing and the other half has turned upside down. The police were called. They never found him.
I spent the year we stayed in Greece after he vanished perpetually seeing him out of the corner of my eye. I hardly slept. My mom requested she be reassigned back to the States early.
The Ambitious Plan That's Left My Heart
Ever since I put on a Oculus at a bus demo during The International, I've had this lingering belief that I could use the power of VR to find Alexis.
My eyes, as always, are bigger than my stomach. I've envisioned a white, clean, VR world where I could explain my history with Alexis in voice over. The game would then use photogrammetry to show locations where Alexis used to spend time. I'd have to go back to Greece and recreate the scenes.
In another VR experience, I'd take all my pictures of Alexis, and catalog them by the angle they were taken at, so that a player could walk around a VR Alexis, and you could see him from every angle. I know this would not be a way of recreating a real person. It wouldn't even capture the detail of a 3D model, but it seems like the right way to present who he was back then.
Of course, what if Alexis doesn't want to be found? Honestly, playing The Beginner's Guide helped me see that what I wanted to do wasn't just selfish, but it was wrong. But I still have the desire to make something to express my longing for his one day return.
The plan is to create a Twine game, since I need to actually accomplish this within two weeks. It will be about the events in the days leading up to Alexis' departure, and the years following it, from the perspective of those he left behind.
The crux of the game: Their hopeless preparations for his return.
A Message for Alexis
If you're reading this: I want you to know that I love you. I miss you. And if the details leave you unsure this is directed at you: Your name was not Alexis.