Itching For More: I Like Walking Very Much
Every Wednesday, even if I struggle to pick something to play (because there are TOO MANY cool looking art games at the moment), Itching For More shall burst forth in a blinding light, mildly inconveniencing nearby civilians. This week: walking-sim, I Like Walking Very Much
I Like Walking Very Much (or, ILWVM), by Camel504 is a Walking Simulator, about a spider that, you guessed it, loves walking, very much. ILWVM is about repeating cycles, hate, destruction and recognition. A cheery little thing then. As always, this discussion contains lots of spoilers. Go play this first then come back. : -)
Camel 504 describes ILWVM as:
“Inspired by some my experiences in social life. Hate incites a desire for recognition, and it starts to make another hate.”
ILWVM deals with hatred very well. Neither person is right in ILWVM. You initially scare a human by touching its toe, but go on to do this repeatedly, as if to purposefully scare. Doing this creates a loud reaction from the human, jarring compared to the peacefulness that the game initially started off with. Here, the cycle begins.
The human (let’s call him A) shouts and screams at you, you not only causing the human to be scared, but the fear passed back to you. So you keep going, keep walking, your only purpose is to walk. You find one more human (B) who seems to care for you, letting you walk over him freely. After all, the thing that you most love in life is walking.
Then, suddenly, you get squished.
This is the turning point, the beginning of the spread of the hatred. He tried to kill you out of hate created by your initial action towards him. Yet, you now hate him. Your appearance changing, once, the elegant spider, you now become chunky, brown and more purposeful. In your first walk, as you progressed, you grew more lights on your back. Supposedly these represented your happiness and peacefulness. Suffice it to say, there are very few of these as we go forward.
The same actions, the same reactions between you and A. Only this time, you ignore B, his peaceful nature forgotten in your hatred of A. Eventually you find A crying, knelt down by himself.
You are stamped upon, for the third time.
This final cycle, you transcend nature. Peace and unity all but gone from you, you are a hate-filled machine, come to strike and wage war on humans for treating you so wrong, desperate for the recognition that you “deserve”. You use their tactics against you, shouting and screaming.
I feel like, throughout your journey, there are some important visual devices that Camel504 uses to convey your transformation. One of them is the woodpeckers. The woodpeckers represent nature within the forest you walk through. They’re passive and happily peck away during your first walk. They become more and more skittish during the second walk, before finally angrily squawking at you in the third.
These Woodpeckers show how far away you have moved from your peaceful walk. Instead of crawling along, you are now pushing yourself, a monstrous construct of man, machine and nature. This construct is also an important part. In each walk, the spider’s back varies. Starting off, it has its own ecosystem, supporting its own life. By the end, all life has gone, instead adapting to suit its own needs instead of others.
I Like Walking Very Much is an interesting exploration of hatred. Despite the entire journey, it is very evident that the spider’s hate is voluntary, that he could walk away and never come back. Instead, he changes himself, purposefully aggravating the human, coming back time after time, bigger and bolder, desperate for a reaction.
I Like Walking Very Much is pay what you want, available for windows and mac, here