It’s Rain in Games, Part I
(File under: rain, video games, supercuts)
It’s Rain in Games is a thirty-minute supercut of rainy moments in video games that I’ve been making for the past few months. It’s almost entirely self explanatory, but indulge me for a paragraph or three.
In the last few years I’ve made a few things that could charitably be called supercuts: Dictionary Stories is a book full of short fiction composed of hundreds of dictionary example sentences; And Introducing is an end credit sequence for a non-existent film pieced together from thousands of background character credits; Every Time the McElroys Say ‘Boy’ in 420 Episodes of MBMBaM animates every instance of a running gag from the podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me for 38 bewildering minutes.
It won’t surprise you to hear that these projects were obsessive endeavours. All of them took somewhere between 12 and 18 months. All of them required elaborate spreadsheets. All of them seemed to make people very concerned when I explained what I was doing. But most importantly all of them felt comforting to make. There’s an undeniable satisfaction to identifying a pattern, gathering mountains of examples, and then assembling or reconfiguring what you’ve found. It makes the universe feel smaller and more knowable, if only briefly. But what if the outcome was as comforting as the process required to make it?
There’s a handful of videos already available that collect video game rain, but they’re all preoccupied with the technical—how a game engine renders torrential rain whipped away from the windshield of a speeding car, or how realistically a big wet gun can glisten. I’m not interested in all that. I’m here for the mood. It’s Rain in Games is an attempt to capture the aesthetic of relaxing rain content that proliferates on YouTube using a medium that doesn’t often allow for quiet introspection. The characters in these games rarely stand still—they’re forever solving crimes, finding hidden keys, and vaulting over waist high walls. The idea of letting them chill for a second and enjoy some inclement weather seemed like a gift—to them, to me, and maybe to you.
An experiment! I’ve made a Spotify playlist that contains every song mentioned in the brief lifespan of this newsletter. I’m intending to update it every week with a song I’m enthusiastic about, regardless of whether I cover it in the email or not. Case in point: A song from the new Aidan Knight record that just came out this week and is terrific.
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Once dropped an umbrella into a river because I was taking a picture of the rain,