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Death Stranding: A Reflection of Society and Social Media

Death Stranding Title Banner

The whole world is connected, in Death Stranding, it no longer is. Enter a post-apocalyptic world that reeks of the issues affecting society today.

Hideo Kojima, the legendary game creator, says that Death Stranding is about connecting the world. Despite all the attention that he gets, Kojima says that he feels lonely. Just like many people who play games and feel like they don’t belong in this super “connected” society. The reason he created the game was to allow players to share that sense of isolation that many of us feel, as they work to connect the fractured society in the game. 

What is Death Stranding?

It’s an action, “strand” video game that has the main character journeying across the post-apocalyptic landscape to save humanity from extinction.  A “strand” game is a description Hideo uses that means that your game can be impacted by anyone who plays Death Stranding online, but you’ll never see anyone else in your game. On these journeys you’re essentially like Jason Statham in The Transporter, braving difficulties, and “bad guys” as you sometimes (rarely) fight to deliver your package and struggle to reconnect the broken internet network. 

Death Stranding Mountains
Source: WCCFTech

How does it work?

Well if I knew how it worked exactly, maybe I’d be a famous video game creator. What I understand is that it’s a game where you, and anyone else to play the game, are a character named Sam Porter Bridges. It’s as if you exist in multiple dimensions that are bleeding into each other. Anything you or any other player builds or destroys shows up in each dimension, but you’ll never see each other. You’ll only see evidence of the existence of others. Examples of the things you’ll find are ladders, climbing anchors, and bridges. These are like echos from the other Sam’s playing. It screams of social isolation. 

You’ll be reconnected the broken world as you travel around delivering things. You’ll be rebuilding paths, roads, and bridges. As well as reconnecting people to the game’s version of the internet. The monsters that you fight are called Beached Things which are basically dead creatures that seeped over from where they stay in the afterlife. This happened because of a series of explosions that led to apocalyptic supernatural events called the Death Stranding. 

Death Stranding, Social Media, and Mental Health

In terms of gameplay, I’m sure that there are plenty of games out there that are just as good or maybe even better than Death Stranding. The reason we’re talking about it though is the light it shines on society in the present. The loneliness felt by Hideo Kojima is definitely not unique. Many people, sometimes this author included, feel isolated and alone in a sea of faces all around. As I said at the start, the whole world is connected thanks to the rise of social media. The thing is, social media, namely our reliance on it, has been linked with negative effects on our mental health. 

Social media is amazing and is good in many ways! It allows us to stay connected and in touch with our friends and loved ones all across the globe. And, it makes marketing easier than it ever was before! It helps us stay aware and up to date with what’s happening around the world. But it’s also similar to food. Eating right will keep you healthy. Eating too much, even of healthy food, might lead to health problems. Temper your intake of food and social media, and there shouldn’t be any issues. 

Social Media Benefits
Source: Unitee Blog

When we do overuse social media, some of the ways that our mental health is affected are:

Self-esteem – When you’re doubting yourself, feeling that you’re not good enough, or just feeling insecure in general, comparing yourself to the aesthetically perfect lives of people on social media isn’t going to help you.

Loss of Human Connection – We are social animals and the best way to build connections is to spend time together and communicate. It’s difficult to do that when all we’re doing is sticking our faces to our screens. Also, seeing what everyone is doing on social media, friends or acquaintances included, can lead to fear of missing out (FOMO). This in turn leads to feelings of isolation and anxiety.

Expectations for Instant Gratification – We expect things to happen quickly and be available whenever we want it. Yes it’s good that we have so much information readily available at the tips of our fingers, but it also means that we’ve lost patience. This is a very important quality for people to have and we are losing it.

Expectations for Instant Gratification – We expect things to happen quickly and be available whenever we want it. Yes it’s good that we have so much information readily available at the tips of our fingers, but it also means that we’ve lost patience. This is a very important quality for people to have and we are losing it.

The Picture Death Stranding Paints

We’re connected to the world like never before, but social media creates a picture of reality that might be false. It leads to comparison, jealousy, desire, feelings of inadequacy, stress, anxiety, and so many other issues that people tend to be afraid to face or talk about. We’re addicted to likes and the need to be seen and feel appreciated. Oh, and before you ask what this has to do with the game, let me tell you. 

In the game, the credits you use to level up are from, you guessed it, likes! You can earn likes from satisfied customers whom you successfully delivered items to. You can also earn likes from the other Sam’s in the parallel universes! That’s how it all ties together! Build a bridge that reflects in their game and they can reward you with a like for the assistance you’ve given them. Not only that, remember when I mentioned patience? This game is not fast paced. You’ll need to develop your patience and attention to detail  in order to win in this game. it Personally, my mind is blown by the genius behind the game. 

Death Stranding Likes
Source: DFTG

What’s the verdict?

This isn’t exactly a game review. I just wanted to share something amazing and relevant to society and the world as it is today. Gaming is on the rise and there’s something for everyone. The game might be too slow or boring for those who are used to fast paced action packed games. But, if you’re looking for something more strategic and measured to immerse yourself into, give Death Stranding a shot. You’ll definitely see what I was talking about. 

References:

Information: Independent, Time

Banner Pic: TechRaptor

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