Embracing the Surreal in “Virginia”

I recently played the Variable State game Virginia, which embraces the genre of “walking simulator” almost to a fault. Navigating a handful of environments in first-person, there is almost no exploration to enjoy; you usually have a single action you can take, which is often as mundane as opening a door. Virginia is also a narrative game — but that narrative is confusing at the best of times. There is absolutely no dialogue in the game, so you must rely on your vision — take in the watercolor palette, the characters’ stern facial expressions, the objects that take up space but don’t allow you to interact with them in any way — to comprehend the story. Or what there is of a story.

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