Her Story, the Game, is Like the Podcast Serial…
I’m not a huge fan of murder mysteries in general* — I have never, for example, watched CSI — but Josh and I have been sucked into the new game, Her Story, which came out on June 24th. You can play it on the computer or any device. Plus you need paper. Lots and lots of paper.
So the game is essentially 200 video clips. They range from a few seconds to about a minute in length. I think the longest one we’ve found thus far has been 42 seconds. A woman has been interviewed 7 times by the police about the disappearance of her husband. You are watching footage from the 7 interviews.
The game starts out with 4 videos in the queue under the search term “murder.” You watch them, jotting down keywords that you’ll want to explore more. For example, let’s say that she referenced a red dress in one of the videos, you could then search the database for “red dress,” and it will bring up every other video that contains a reference to a red dress. Maybe there will be zero other references to a red dress, or maybe you’ll see that there are 10 other videos where she discusses the red dress. If it’s the former, you know that it’s probably not an important clue. If it’s the latter, you may want to explore it further.
At the same time, you take notes, just like any detective. Josh and I have pages of names and dates and small things we noticed in the videos — times she looked down or made a face or was wearing something (or not). You can also tag the videos in order to easily find them again in the future. But the paper notes are key. Especially because after our first session, Josh and I accidentally erased all of our tags and restarted the game. Ooops.
A heads up that there may be a few triggers for you in the game. I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything. The interesting thing about the game is that depending on what you search for first, your investigation will go in a completely different direction. And you’ll form opinions and get attached to certain ideas. So… just know that there have been some references to things that may be triggers for this community. But if you can handle Gone Girl, you can handle this.
So essentially, you’re like Sarah Koenig, looking over all the footage in a case and trying to figure out who committed the murder. And like Serial, I’ve heard that it doesn’t have a clean wrap-up, but is more like real life where you think you know who did it, but you’re reconstructing what happened based on what is said and clues.
If you’re playing Her Story, let me know because I want to talk about this with people. Because it’s really really really creepy.
* The exception is Sherlock Holmes. I love those stories.