If you don’t know the main plot of the original game, basically you are eighteen year old (senior in a fancy art boarding school) who suddenly has the ability to rewind time and try to change things. Things are looking grim in your town, and you’re faced with a series of choices that could potentially help or harm someone later on in life.
While scrolling through the not-so-nice comments on the game, the one of main things that kept popping up was “OMG, this is tumblr incarnated!”
This honestly had me scratching my head. For starters, Tumblr is a VERY vast social media platform. There’s just about every niche under the sun on it (some of them being more hostile than others), so it’s honestly impossible to say “Tumblr is just XYZ” because of how freaking vast it is,and the HUGE range of personalities on Tumblr.
The game does tackle some serious issues, such as: suicide, domestic violence, mental illness, invasion of privacy, and sexual assault (as well as drugging). The game handles the issues quite well. From my understanding the game directors and other behind the scenes people interviewed a lot of people and had them basically work as consultants to make sure the issues were handled tactfully and respectfully. Is there some “dark, heavy” stuff that happens in the game? Absolutely, the suicide issue in particular is extremely impactful.
Maybe people are saying “tumblr incarnated” bullshit because one of the main characters is a girl with blue hair who is a rebel? Maybe it’s because the majority of the main cast is made up of women? Maybe because the main protagonist has an affinity for photography? I’m honestly totally clueless as to why they say this.
Tumblr does have a LOT of niches that focus specifically on social issues (sociology, psychology, all that jazz and how society handles it). However, a lot of people on Tumblr scream about these issues for the sake of screaming about them (equivalent to “horror shock value” for the sake of “shock value” with very little “meat” to it). However, the impression that Life is Strange left on me is that yeah, bad stuff happens, but it’s ultimately up to us how we handle it, our choices DO potentially have a whirlwind effect, and some people do get “stuck in the past”. Life is Strange shows in some respects how bad these problems can get and manifest themselves.
The game by no means “glamorizes” the social issues it has in the game. Depending on how the player plays and explores the game, will depend on what exactly can be found in regards to how the individual players are getting treatment for their own issues, have attempted to get treatment in the past, how the individual’s family has reacted to treatment, as well as how do school peers react once bad shit happens to one of their fellow students.
Unfortunately, Tumblr, in a LOT of these niches, does glamorize the Hell out of illness and/or social issues, as well as having gone so far as to shun people who seek out treatment. This does NOT speak for all circles on Tumblr, but this has been what I have seen, depending on the tags in regards to different illnesses, social problems, among other things.
The dialogue is also cringeworthy at times, but to my knowledge, the game was originally written in French and they translated it to English with people who were fluent in both French and English, so help things not get “lost in translation” (simply put: a lot of the dialogue feels like something 1980s/1990s teenagers would say, NOT 2015, the year the game takes place).