Life During Wartime

February 11, 2020 - 1 min read

“The sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I’m getting used to it now

Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto, I’ve lived all over this town…”

The Talking Heads did a song called ”Life During Wartime“:

It’s described as a ”Walker Percy-esque” song. Who is that? I didn’t know. But when Wikipedia described him as someone writing about “the dislocation of man in the modern age”, I knew my read on this song was right.

I feel like there’s a game whose premise goes something like this:

You and several of your neighbors are occupants of a neighborhood, in a city under attack by outside forces. This has gone on long enough for you to become accustomed to the background tension of conflict. The hard part is doing the ordinary everyday things of modern life.

What’s the goal of the game? Engage in the ordinary - visit the neighbors, watch television, hold casual conversation - while around you the world burns up and shrivels away.

Why do I want to do this game? Because I feel like I can write a strong metaphor about what it’s like living with depression and anxiety. I want to convey how hard it is to just do regular things we’d expect anyone to be able to do, and why there’s this constant background hum of chaos and danger. And I want to do it in a way that anybody would immediately understand.