Fingerbones [spoilers]

Free to play on Steam, apparently.

Lots of good reviews. Some shit about how it dared to explore themes that nobody else really does.

First of all, Rule of Rose. SECOND: There is a reason nobody drinks from that well. I’m not someone who feels that unpleasant or “triggering” themes should never be touched upon or explored; I’m not someone that believes that presenting something hideous is glorifying it. But “Fingerbones” didn’t explore a dark idea, it fucking exploited it. It’s a thinly plotted story of unspeakable cruelty and it doesn’t aspire to be anything better. Using child torture/murder as nothing more than shock value is heinous. Allowing a man who tortured his young daughter to death for his own sexual gratification (in one of the notes scattered about the game, the murder of his daughter is linked to the thrill of losing his virginity) to have a happy ending – to die peacefully in the room where he murdered a child, a room where he felt “free” – is grotesque.

And that’s it. That’s the game. You find a bunch of explicit notes that more or less straight up say “I KILLED MY DAUGHTER yaaaaas me slay“, use the names included in the notes to unlock doors, and eventually find yourself in the cellar where a table sits, drenched in blood. Text appears on the screen, informing us that his daughter finally died – either from starvation, dehydration, or blood loss, whichever one is most shocking amirite –  and he cut off her fingers and kept them as trophies. The game ends on a dark screen where we’re further informed that the father returned to the cellar to die, where he could still feel his daughter’s presence, where he could feel “free”.

I guess it was supposed to evoke feelings of true horror, but all it really did was enrage me. The father’s despicable act is basically glossed over. Yeah, sure, he killed his kid. Isn’t that dark? Isn’t that horrible? Isn’t that a fresh and unique angle for the horror genre? Wasn’t it scary?

No. It was bullshit. In a way, it did glorify the act of child murder. One of the more infuriating notes in the game is a somewhat lengthy missive lamenting the credibility of society’s morals and values, arguing that ideas such as “innocence” are man-made limitations that he shouldn’t be restrained by. Another one flatly states that he feels no remorse or guilt in killing his daughter, because he is safe in the knowledge that he did nothing wrong.

These notes are not presented as the demented ramblings of a sick fuck. They’re just there. As if though he’s right; he did nothing wrong. Society is the one with the problem. We’re all just a bunch of pearl-clutching prudes for thinking things like child abuse and murder are abhorrent. We’re just a bunch of non-murderous crybabies.

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I realize that I’m taking this too personally, but the game was fucking garbage. It was boring, tedious to play, and had zero subtlety. It wasn’t scary and no, I don’t need or even want “jump scares” in a horror game; sneering at popular horror devices doesn’t make a shitty game any less shitty, but god knows “Fingerbones” tried it.

I just need to work out some of my anger so I can move on and go hate something better.

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