Diaries from The Forest (vol.1): senseless brutality

In my efforts to experiment with new research techniques in social sciences, I will create two new regular sections: diaries and flash sociological reviews. You can read about the latter here. But at this moment, I'd like to focus on diaries.

What is a diary? You'll probably have already seen those articles on magazines and posts on forums in which the author describes what they've done and experienced during a specific gameplay. It's not a review per se, it's more like a diary entry, where you express what happened in your life that day and how you feel about it. This could be a good example on RPS magazine about the game DayZ. It's probably too elaborated and it's not easy to find those on the Internet, but it's still a very good model to follow. After some time playing the game, I'll try to make a similar attempt.  

I don't intend to imitate those pieces to produce narratives and share experiences about video games (although, wanted or not, I will  inexorably participate in the process), but to take advantage of it in order to analyse and explore those shared and semi-ubiquitous-produced narratives and experiences. By copying social actors behaviour and their way to produce knowledge, I hope to find new ways to approach their reality. The diaries will be brief and will include my own game experiences along with extracts from other gamers  diaries. These diaries will be, at the same time, part of a sociological method and of video game culture. 

As it seems that survival games are prone to this kind of narrative, my first attempt to experiment with diaries will be The Forest. I've chosen The Forest for two reasons: firstly, because it's an open world survival game that has already produced 'diaries'; secondly, because it's on Steam's early access games program, which means The Forest is a game still in development and, therefore, it's the perfect candidate to see up close the process of producing a video game and how the developers and video gamers interact with each other. But that's another story, let's go with the first volume of this Diaries from The Forest that has been entitled Senseless brutality.

Senseless brutality
I was on a plane. Nobody was around me but a little kid who I assume is my son. Something was wrong with the plane, we crashed... I woke up on the floor of the crashed plane,  I looked above and saw someone who had taken the kid (again, my son? my nephew?) in his arms. He doesn't look like friendly (is this a racist or ethnocentric assumption?). They leaved.
I stood up. I was hungry, thirsty and in pain. I ate some meals from the plane's catering. I drank a can of soda. I took everything I saw compulsively, including an axe I found stuck into a stewardess. She was dead. I got out of the plane and started looking for clues on where I was. I felt disorientated and didn't know what to do. I noticed I had a survival guide in my backpack. I opened it and decided to build a shelter. A hunting shelter according to the guide. 
As soon as I was about to place the shelter just next to the wrecked plane, I found myself surrounded by hostile individuals. They seem to be part of the same tribe (ethnocentrism again?) of the man who took the kid. There were four or them, three males and a female. At least two of them were armed with blunt weapons. They're fast. Incredibly fast. They climbed the trees, jumping from one to another. They were really scaring me. They circled me, they wanted to attack me from my weakest point. I fighted back, but I didn't last too long. One of them, the most intimidating one, took me down. I fainted. 
I woke up in the dark. I used my lighter. I was in some sort of subterranean cave. Dead bodies, some of them horribly mutilated, hanged from the ceiling. I took everything I saw: food, medicine, drinks, a flare gun and some flares. I frantically looked for an exit.
I came across a corpse of a man with a rusty axe into his belly. I took it. I made a creepy joke about his t-shirt: 'I love my guts'. I laughed. 

After a fleeting moment of cheeriness, the looming dread of what might inhabit the cave made me shiver. Almost blinded, I made my way towards what I thought was the exit. I missed a step and fell. I was dead. 
Days survived 2. I still don't know where I was, why they took the child and attacked me. I don't understand why they did what they did to those poor people. Senseless brutality.

Compare my first play with another first time experience: 
-The first time I played-
Spawned near a beach.
Grabbed some supplies.
Wacked a bunny over the head with my axe.
Grabbed the bunny.
Built a fire near the coast.
Cooked the bunny.
Saw a mutant in the forest watching me.
It started screaming and 5 more walked out.
They started sprinting at me, so I swam out into the water.
They all stopped at my camp and stared at it. 
5 of them walked away and left one lone mutant.
I was all like "I got this ♥♥♥♥" [shit?] and ran towards the mutant with my axe.
She hit me twice and killed me. 
I woke up in a cave with a bunch of dead bodies hanging from the cave ceiling. 
Found an axe and a flare gun, then slowly made my way out of the cave.
3 naked mutants ran at me and killed me by beating me down with human heads.
11/10, thats some spooky ♥♥♥♥ [shit, again?]. 
Source: Steam users reviews on The Forest (posted: 31 May 2014; user: Rawlson).

To make my first diary reverberate through the same channels, I will post my experience on Steam reviews. I will keep track of the outcome. Expect more diaries soon. 

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