Geek Remix: Life is Strange & Morality of Time

Life is Strange & Morality of Time

The morality of time travel.

Watch Video

This week is the first week of school for me. So i had to turn in an older video. Sorry everyone. Hope you still enjoy the guilt trip.

Cool vid. It's nice to see a woman doing something substantive on The Escapist for a change, instead of countless articles on playing dress-ups. Can we have more please?

Blood Brain Barrier:
Cool vid. It's nice to see a woman doing something substantive on The Escapist for a change, instead of countless articles on playing dress-ups. Can we have more please?

There is a playlist of what I do on here. I am also not a fan of putting other women down. I appreciate the compliment, but I don't think any videos I do are better than the articles on cosplay.

geekremix_Mari:

Blood Brain Barrier:
Cool vid. It's nice to see a woman doing something substantive on The Escapist for a change, instead of countless articles on playing dress-ups. Can we have more please?

There is a playlist of what I do on here. I am also not a fan of putting other women down. I appreciate the compliment, but I don't think any videos I do are better than the articles on cosplay.

It was not intended to put other women down, apologies if it appeared that way. It was intended to put The Escapist down. I just think women have more to offer on the site than dress-up articles. The Escapist seems to think men need to be in charge of writing all the serious stuff. Kind of a 1950s attitude, isn't it?

Blood Brain Barrier:

geekremix_Mari:

Blood Brain Barrier:
Cool vid. It's nice to see a woman doing something substantive on The Escapist for a change, instead of countless articles on playing dress-ups. Can we have more please?

There is a playlist of what I do on here. I am also not a fan of putting other women down. I appreciate the compliment, but I don't think any videos I do are better than the articles on cosplay.

It was not intended to put other women down, apologies if it appeared that way. It was intended to put The Escapist down. I just think women have more to offer on the site than dress-up articles. The Escapist seems to think men need to be in charge of writing all the serious stuff. Kind of a 1950s attitude, isn't it?

I don't know too much about all that. They actively sought out Geek Remix, so that should show that they are interested in content from women. I've seen a lot of articles written by women on this website that are not about cosplay. And I also enjoy looking at and reading about cosplay.

As a content creator, I have a hard time finding other female youtubers and female content creators at all. More and more are becoming popular these days because of the gaming community's efforts to become a safer place. Lots of women used to avoid putting their content out there simply to avoid harassment. I know that I used to hide my gender for very old videos I did a long time ago, and refused to speak. Simply because I didn't want to be harassed for being a woman.

It's a lot easier to be a female content creator these days than it used to be. And because of that there will be more female creators willing to put themselves out there. It just takes time to get that cautiousness to go away.

It's like any tool or ability - you can use it for good or ill. What's really interesting is that when you suggest that she need to learn to do x,y,z she really doesn't. In her reality she won't have to deal with those things, ever. The grey area for Max is that sometimes invading someone's privacy is good for their long-term well being, as we see with a number of characters. You're right though, it's immoral for her to violate their privacy no matter what. She is using her power to influence people in a way that they might not be happy with had they known she was doing it. The fact that there are no consequences doesn't make it okay.

The key point about time travel is that it has the power to remove consequence. Max could kill someone and then rewind time and it effectively would not have happened (assuming there is a singular timeline). Both the cause and effect are undone. So, did it happen? From Max's perspective the definitive state of something like that has gone but she would still have to cope with the fact that she got in the state of mind to commit the act. Very confusing and probably wearing on the mind of the time traveller. It's simply too easy to lose touch with reality when the definiteness of reality is in such flux. Also, a time traveller wouldn't really have a notion of what time is 'now' and that would create even more confusion.

There's an interesting scenario with Max.

geekremix_Mari:

As a content creator, I have a hard time finding other female youtubers and female content creators at all. More and more are becoming popular these days because of the gaming community's efforts to become a safer place. Lots of women used to avoid putting their content out there simply to avoid harassment. I know that I used to hide my gender for very old videos I did a long time ago, and refused to speak. Simply because I didn't want to be harassed for being a woman.

Ooh, you probably shouldn't have said that. Some of the escapists residents refuse to believe/take offence to being reminded the internet can be an unfriendly place for women.

On topic an interesting video, and to be fair, at one point the game does explicitly point out the selfish aspect of the rewind mechanic

beddo:
It's like any tool or ability - you can use it for good or ill. What's really interesting is that when you suggest that she need to learn to do x,y,z she really doesn't. In her reality she won't have to deal with those things, ever. The grey area for Max is that sometimes invading someone's privacy is good for their long-term well being, as we see with a number of characters. You're right though, it's immoral for her to violate their privacy no matter what. She is using her power to influence people in a way that they might not be happy with had they known she was doing it. The fact that there are no consequences doesn't make it okay.

The key point about time travel is that it has the power to remove consequence. Max could kill someone and then rewind time and it effectively would not have happened (assuming there is a singular timeline). Both the cause and effect are undone. So, did it happen? From Max's perspective the definitive state of something like that has gone but she would still have to cope with the fact that she got in the state of mind to commit the act. Very confusing and probably wearing on the mind of the time traveller. It's simply too easy to lose touch with reality when the definiteness of reality is in such flux. Also, a time traveller wouldn't really have a notion of what time is 'now' and that would create even more confusion.

There's an interesting scenario with Max.

I'm glad that people are more receptive of this way of thinking here than other places. I was having a hard time convincing others that using time to force people to like you was really messed up for a long time (when the episodes were coming out)

A lot of counter arguments were "Max is just trying to help". But just because you're trying to help, doesn't mean you're doing the right thing. It's hard for a lot of people to realize that the actions they do as a player can be the wrong ones. Even if you never get punished for doing them. It would be easier to argue this if Max was a non playable character. Or the protagonist of a TV show. Because then Max would NOT be the player.

Or people would say "it doesn't matter because it never happened". But it did happen. Max still got to have the satisfaction of stealing information. Or spilling someone's beans. Or hurting people. Without dealing with them being able to defend themselves.

Windknight:

On topic an interesting video, and to be fair, at one point the game does explicitly point out the selfish aspect of the rewind mechanic

Well at the time of making this particular video (I had to give an older video that was not time sensitive because it's the first week of school for me and I was overloaded), many people in the Life is Strange fandom did not seem to realize that using others as toys was not okay.

A popular thing people would do is ask "what would you do if you had time travel powers like max". And people would reply with things like "punch people I hate". Or "get my crush to love me". And other weird stuff like that. Not realizing that other people are not toys.

I made this video after episode 2 came out. So it's a bit old.

geekremix_Mari:

Well at the time of making this particular video (I had to give an older video that was not time sensitive because it's the first week of school for me and I was overloaded), many people in the Life is Strange fandom did not seem to realize that using others as toys was not okay.

A popular thing people would do is ask "what would you do if you had time travel powers like max". And people would reply with things like "punch people I hate". Or "get my crush to love me". And other weird stuff like that. Not realizing that other people are not toys.

I made this video after episode 2 came out. So it's a bit old.

No worries. Yeah, its bit scary how some people can be. For me the aspects of the rewind mechanic I liked most were moments where you used it to make someones life better - helping Alyssa dodge things thrown at her, and while Taylors mother gets brought up as a way of breaking the ice, I thought subsequent mentions were Max trying to be genuinely kind and show an interest, but may that just be me reading too much into her. (though for context, I very much didn't mess around with the pregnancy test beyond noticing it)

Windknight:

geekremix_Mari:

Well at the time of making this particular video (I had to give an older video that was not time sensitive because it's the first week of school for me and I was overloaded), many people in the Life is Strange fandom did not seem to realize that using others as toys was not okay.

A popular thing people would do is ask "what would you do if you had time travel powers like max". And people would reply with things like "punch people I hate". Or "get my crush to love me". And other weird stuff like that. Not realizing that other people are not toys.

I made this video after episode 2 came out. So it's a bit old.

No worries. Yeah, its bit scary how some people can be. For me the aspects of the rewind mechanic I liked most were moments where you used it to make someones life better - helping Alyssa dodge things thrown at her, and while Taylors mother gets brought up as a way of breaking the ice, I thought subsequent mentions were Max trying to be genuinely kind and show an interest, but may that just be me reading too much into her. (though for context, I very much didn't mess around with the pregnancy test beyond noticing it)

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

Something that should be noted is that Max just sort of obtained these powers; it is never explained how. A good deal of Episode 1 is her experimenting with her time travel capabilities. The video paints Max as some sort of villain protagonist; as a playable character who is constantly doing the "wrong" thing. Max is a teenager at the crossroads of life trying to understand this new power that was shoved upon her and the responsibility that comes with it.

I was gonna hop in here and be like "Wow, we're hatin' on Maxine kinda hard here, aren't we?"
Oh, I'm aware that I'm salty, I just like the game and think Max is cute.
Don't hurt my baby girl...
Anyway.
I had never thought of these things when I played through the game and I really liked the explanation you gave for it, that you're playing through the psyche of a teenager. I'm not usually one for the "boys will be boys" excuse but I think it kinda works here. If you think of Life Is Strange as a story to be told rather than a game to be played (a distinction that I understand not all people are okay with), it presents itself very well.

geekremix_Mari:
I made this video after episode 2 came out. So it's a bit old.

And reading this comment cleared a little bit up for me

geekremix_Mari:

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

For one thing, David is a grown adult, Max is a teenager. He really should know better.

Plus, his first instinct is confrontation, aggression, accusations. This is sort of understandable with Chloe as she can be abrasive in general and to him specifically, but our first two scenes with him are him getting aggressive with max for being slow leaving the building during the fire alarm, and him flat out harassing Kate for what, at the time, appears to be no reason.

And yes, later on we find he had reason to believe Kate was in trouble, and in his own way was trying to help her... and he blew it spectacularly, being aggressive, accusatory, and in the end just bullying her and making her life worse.

Max at least in the same situation listens to Kate, offers advice and support.

Windknight:

geekremix_Mari:

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

For one thing, David is a grown adult, Max is a teenager. He really should know better.

Plus, his first instinct is confrontation, aggression, accusations. This is sort of understandable with Chloe as she can be abrasive in general and to him specifically, but our first two scenes with him are him getting aggressive with max for being slow leaving the building during the fire alarm, and him flat out harassing Kate for what, at the time, appears to be no reason.

And yes, later on we find he had reason to believe Kate was in trouble, and in his own way was trying to help her... and he blew it spectacularly, being aggressive, accusatory, and in the end just bullying her and making her life worse.

Max at least in the same situation listens to Kate, offers advice and support.

You have the CHOICE to be supportive to Kate. You don't have to be. You can choose to victim blame her and not think she has a solid case.

Is it okay to spy on people as long as you are nice about it? It's okay to violate people's privacy and intimate moments so long as you are submissive and shy towards others?

geekremix_Mari:

Windknight:

geekremix_Mari:

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

For one thing, David is a grown adult, Max is a teenager. He really should know better.

Plus, his first instinct is confrontation, aggression, accusations. This is sort of understandable with Chloe as she can be abrasive in general and to him specifically, but our first two scenes with him are him getting aggressive with max for being slow leaving the building during the fire alarm, and him flat out harassing Kate for what, at the time, appears to be no reason.

And yes, later on we find he had reason to believe Kate was in trouble, and in his own way was trying to help her... and he blew it spectacularly, being aggressive, accusatory, and in the end just bullying her and making her life worse.

Max at least in the same situation listens to Kate, offers advice and support.

You have the CHOICE to be supportive to Kate. You don't have to be. You can choose to victim blame her and not think she has a solid case.

Is it okay to spy on people as long as you are nice about it? It's okay to violate people's privacy and intimate moments so long as you are submissive and shy towards others?

I don't recall the "Anti-Kate" options specifically victim blaming her. I'm assuming you are specifically referring to the significant choice in her room at the start of Ep 2? If so, the other option is telling her to wait until they have evidence. Which is frankly, a silly option in the real world. It's not the victim's job to go find evidence. But hey, it's a game where they establish that the Prescott's own the cops, so ....*shrugs*. I chose to have Kate call the cops, simply because that's the proper thing to do. Report it to the authorities, and let them investigate it. We're not Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.

That was one of the few things I didn't like about LiS, the way they removed the adults entirely, or made them all pretty much antagonists for the main characters. I mean, I get it from a narrative standpoint, you have to remove the adults who should be handling these serious issues, so the kid heroes can go have their adventure. But it makes for some very irrational and unrealistic courses of action, that would simply not be the situation in real life.

You know what the weird thing about this game is, though? It kind of teaches you how social interaction works, to a degree. Yes, the time-rewinding aspect is unrealistic, but pay close, careful attention to what Max does in response to these mistakes: she engages people based on their interests, strokes their egos and generally makes it all about them, only ever bringing up herself as a proxy for these things they like. It may sound cynical, but this is the easiest way to actually make friends in the real world.

Though there are degrees, to be sure. Too far on the other person's interest and you become a sycophant. Too far on your interest and you become manipulative. But these are the tools, nevertheless.

Happyninja42:

I don't recall the "Anti-Kate" options specifically victim blaming her. I'm assuming you are specifically referring to the significant choice in her room at the start of Ep 2? If so, the other option is telling her to wait until they have evidence. Which is frankly, a silly option in the real world. It's not the victim's job to go find evidence. But hey, it's a game where they establish that the Prescott's own the cops, so ....*shrugs*. I chose to have Kate call the cops, simply because that's the proper thing to do. Report it to the authorities, and let them investigate it. We're not Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.

That was one of the few things I didn't like about LiS, the way they removed the adults entirely, or made them all pretty much antagonists for the main characters. I mean, I get it from a narrative standpoint, you have to remove the adults who should be handling these serious issues, so the kid heroes can go have their adventure. But it makes for some very irrational and unrealistic courses of action, that would simply not be the situation in real life.

You can ask her if she is sure that is what happened, how much she drank, and overall be dismissive. There is a version of Max you can play as who is a huge jerk (in a satisfying way). I did a few charity streams where you pick the options that were least popular, and Max can turn into a huge jerk. However, she has the allegiance of the few people who actually like her. And the outcomes of the "jerk" run are better.

Extra-Ordinary:
I was gonna hop in here and be like "Wow, we're hatin' on Maxine kinda hard here, aren't we?"
Oh, I'm aware that I'm salty, I just like the game and think Max is cute.
Don't hurt my baby girl...

This is the thing I found frustrating about trying to explain Max's actions. She's a cute teen girl. And people have a hard time finding a shy cute teen girl to be of fault.

It's easier for people to hate chloe or victoria because they are aggressive with their desires. And victoria is much more straight forward with her jerkness. I also find that people have a much harder time realizing that a cute teen girl can do mean or hurtful things. Which is why I had to use male examples to point this out. Both men and women can be jerks. And just because they are adorable, doesn't mean they can't be unintentionally hurtful.

We've all done things as a teenager that hurt others. Probably thing we didn't realize were messed up until years later. But that doesn't make what we did any less terrible. It doesn't make reading people's private stuff less bad. it doesn't mean breaking into people's rooms less bad. The only person who is totally cool with Max snooping in her stuff is Chloe. And Max doesn't lie about it. She does it right in front of Chloe.

That is a major reason why they are friends. Max doesn't lie to Chloe. Max doesn't hide who she is. She tells Chloe about her time powers. And Chloe often asks if max used the rewind ability, and Max answers honestly.

The closest friendships Max has were with Warren, Chloe, and Kate. All people who were friends with her before she had time powers. And She is the closest with Chloe, because she uses time manipulation on Chloe the least.

geekremix_Mari:

You can ask her if she is sure that is what happened, how much she drank, and overall be dismissive. There is a version of Max you can play as who is a huge jerk (in a satisfying way). I did a few charity streams where you pick the options that were least popular, and Max can turn into a huge jerk. However, she has the allegiance of the few people who actually like her. And the outcomes of the "jerk" run are better.

Yes I recall your alternative choices stream. Didn't watch it personally as by that time I was sort of burned out on LiS content. Plus I had done some of those choices myself, in what I affectionately referred to as my "Stealth Max" run. xD Where she didn't make any choices that would put her at risk. Basically the opposite of "Hero Max" I didn't finish the playthrough, because of above mentioned burnout/over saturation of LiS.

geekremix_Mari:

Interesting.

geekremix_Mari:

You have the CHOICE to be supportive to Kate. You don't have to be. You can choose to victim blame her and not think she has a solid case.

Is it okay to spy on people as long as you are nice about it? It's okay to violate people's privacy and intimate moments so long as you are submissive and shy towards others?

I'm just saying why there are valid reasons people react much more negatively to David than to Max. I'm not dismissing your points, I find them interesting, and valid. And yeah, Part of my bias is I played Max as Genuinely Nice, not Surface Level Nice or outright Jerk, and sometimes its easy to see the max you played as the only one.

Windknight:

geekremix_Mari:

You have the CHOICE to be supportive to Kate. You don't have to be. You can choose to victim blame her and not think she has a solid case.

Is it okay to spy on people as long as you are nice about it? It's okay to violate people's privacy and intimate moments so long as you are submissive and shy towards others?

I'm just saying why there are valid reasons people react much more negatively to David than to Max. I'm not dismissing your points, I find them interesting, and valid. And yeah, Part of my bias is I played Max as Genuinely Nice, not Surface Level Nice or outright Jerk, and sometimes its easy to see the max you played as the only one.

Well, in any given playthrough, that IS the only Max that exists, whichever Max you pick I mean. That was one thing that really annoyed me about a lot of responses to David in the Let's Plays I saw, was how people would hate on him, based on things he didn't do. For example

Happyninja42:

Windknight:

geekremix_Mari:

You have the CHOICE to be supportive to Kate. You don't have to be. You can choose to victim blame her and not think she has a solid case.

Is it okay to spy on people as long as you are nice about it? It's okay to violate people's privacy and intimate moments so long as you are submissive and shy towards others?

I'm just saying why there are valid reasons people react much more negatively to David than to Max. I'm not dismissing your points, I find them interesting, and valid. And yeah, Part of my bias is I played Max as Genuinely Nice, not Surface Level Nice or outright Jerk, and sometimes its easy to see the max you played as the only one.

Well, in any given playthrough, that IS the only Max that exists, whichever Max you pick I mean. That was one thing that really annoyed me about a lot of responses to David in the Let's Plays I saw, was how people would hate on him, based on things he didn't do. For example

Couldn't you apply that to Mark as well? What if you were able to rewind to before

Would that be unjustified?

I think if you're going to have a universe where this kind of time travel is possible, you also have to have a new morality. Possibly one where events don't simply either do or don't happen. But if you do that you almost have to remove blame altogether because you see that everything someone does is a function of everything that happens to them. Free will goes out the window completely. Everything just happens.

geekremix_Mari:

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

Sorry for the long post, but I really enjoyed your video and wanted to join to conversation.Recently subbed to The geekremix channel after seeing your videos here. Fun time so far. :D

Lots to talk about with this too and I'm grateful you pointed out something I didn't think of while playing the game. It's obvious that such power could be greatly abused, but I didn't really think too much about if what Max was doing with it was wrong too. Sometimes.

Best of luck with School! I have to go back too soon for the next semester,

:D Learning sure is fun!

-_- But school SUUUUUUUCKS!

=w=b

Imp Emissary:

geekremix_Mari:

It's my personal opinion that the time travel powers were a metaphor for surveillance. There is a lot of surveillance themes in Life is Strange. Why is it okay for Max to read people's diaries, go through people's rooms, and spy on others while it's not okay for David to do the same things? Because Max didn't get caught? Because Max has "good intentions"?

David had good intentions too. Why is he creepy but Max is not?

Sorry for the long post, but I really enjoyed your video and wanted to join to conversation.Recently subbed to The geekremix channel after seeing your videos here. Fun time so far. :D

Lots to talk about with this too and I'm grateful you pointed out something I didn't think of while playing the game. It's obvious that such power could be greatly abused, but I didn't really think too much about if what Max was doing with it was wrong too. Sometimes.

Best of luck with School! I have to go back too soon for the next semester,

:D Learning sure is fun!

-_- But school SUUUUUUUCKS!

=w=b

Haha thanks! Yeah and school really does suck.

"Awesome video Mari!

This is exactly the message we wanted to convey: Putting the player at first in a fun and casual situation where he thinks it is perfectly normal to use this power the way he uses it, and then slowly have this downward spiral, ultimately going to this "no-win" situation Tylor mentioned.
When the player, and Max, gets there, the final choice she has to make should be a revelation and an acceptance about the fact that you cannot have a perfect like and that you have to accept it, and go forward with it, not backward.
And we showed, in the nightmare, that deep inside, Max realized this. It is shown when she is talking to herself - a representation of her conscience - and she is knowing that she is not as good as a person as she thought she was. This realization is also what made her ultimately grow up, what made her switch from a teenager to an adult."

-Michel Koch, Art Director of Life is Strange.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here