The Old Man’s Club is a video game adaptation of the book The Old Man and the Sea. Usually, I do not like adaptations of books that do not follow the storyline exactly, but I actually enjoyed the way this game was made. First off, the sound reminds you of the docks, with the sounds of seagulls and waves crashing in the background. Even the sounds made as you click on various objects to inspect them closer fit with the fishermen vibe of the book. What really struck me however, is the way Santiago’s battles against various creatures of the sea are translated. For one, they are depicted as having muscular, human bodies with animal heads, which is a very interesting choice that I did not quite understand. My guess is that the creator is reflecting on how Santiago refers to the marlin as “brother” and has (one-sided) conversations with it during their time together- giving it a human quality. The battles against the sea creatures in the games are arm-wrestling matches, something I also did not understand for the first one or two matches. However, as the matches got longer and my fingers began to cramp, I started to understand. The creator wanted me to feel (on a lesser scale) what Santiago was feeling while he was at sea struggling with the marlin for two days and fighting off the sharks. As the matches grew longer, my fingers grew more cramped and my patience grew shorter and shorter.
When thinking about this as well as the discussion we had in class on Monday, I wonder if this game is a good example of why creating a controller for a game can open so many doors for the game’s development. The creator of this game only had a keyboard to work with and was able to make the player feel what the protagonist was feeling, but I wonder how the game may have changed if the creator got to build a controller for the game first. I wonder how other games would change if they had a controller specifically made for them, instead of for the console itself. This game reshaped my past experiences and helped me realize how much a controller can be used to help immerse oneself into a game.