The awkward silent moments that linger between conversations when meeting new people at restaurants or cafes, waiting for the food to arrive. Your mind looks for distractions. Your thoughts go wild.
Persona Theory Games wants you to not only experience that discomfort but also to understand its purpose through their latest game Kabaret, a dark fantasy folklore visual novel based on Southeast Asian culture and myths.
It may seem easy to just click your way through the entirety of Kabaret, but players must find patience in themselves as they go through the game. The game’s intentional slow pacing forces the player to ponder and soak in the experience, while allowing the mechanics of the game to inaugurate the story that’s being told.
Revelation Behind the Boredom of Making Tea
With Kabaret, the game’s main focus is the narrative. The gameplay mechanics and minigames found within the game exist to bring out the narrative behind the world through its characters, which is the essence of Kabaret. The tea ceremony is a representation of Southeast Asian culture and one of the many mechanics built in as design to give the player a subliminal lesson in patience.
Persona Theory Games believes that the slow pacing of Kabaret mimics the feeling of boredom with a specific purpose in mind.
In recent studies, social neuroscientists have found that boredom can foster creative ideas, refill dwindling reservoirs, replenish the energy for work and provide an incubation period for embryonic work ideas to hatch.
It is this exact feeling and purpose that Persona Theory Games want people to experience. Being bored is an essential part of being human and one of boredom’s purposes is to drive us to take action. This feeling is an essential part of slow cinema – a genre of film characterized by long takes and a minimalist aesthetic – and Kabaret draws inspiration from slow cinema to immerse you in its dark universe.
Slow cinema puts the viewer in a sensory-deprived situation that forces them to think. The lack of stimuli will either create internal chaos or allow the viewer to realize a sense of peace in the mundane. Without editing or splicing, it makes the viewer feel real time, an essential aspect of slow cinema that creative director of Persona Theory Games, Buddy Anwardi, admires.
Mindfulness in Kabaret
Persona Theory Games believes that this aspect of the game is able to create a sense of mindfulness and awareness that we all take for granted with the overload of information from social media forums like TikTok, Youtube and others.
As gamers of today seek the adrenaline hit from fast-paced gameplay, the goal of Kabaret is to encourage mindfulness while playing. Understand the story, think about the meaning and value of life, which explains the many life decisions the player must make in the game.
What It Means to Serve Tea
In the world of Kabaret, the dwellers are made up of ghosts and monsters who are either coping with regret or hoping to find their true selves. Are they still human? Is it so wrong to be a monster? What does it mean to continue suffering in the afterlife after all the hardship found in real life?
We understand that life can be full of suffering, but it is rewarding in its own way. Taking the time to understand the horrors and suffering that these characters have gone through is a big part of the narrative experience. Serving these Southeast Asian mythical creatures tea, waiting for it to brew while embracing the uncomfortable and still silence that we so often fear. Understand their pain and maybe you can find out who you really are.
The losses you feel when playing Guli with ghosts from old wars that taunt you. Understand the intricate game of Congkak with a trickster monster laughing at your horrible math skills. The lessons of strategizing, being prudent and accepting defeat. Realize that every calculative action you make has far reaching consequences.
People are searching for ways to escape the fast pace of the modern world. Why not find a sense of renewal and develop a sense of belonging by serving the dwellers at Kabaret. Let the music and experience of Kabaret give you a new perspective on what it means to save your humanity or be a monster.
Kabaret is available on Xbox Today! You may follow Persona Theory Games on Twitter to stay notified about the game’s release and updates.
Persona Theory Games