356. princess rescuers r us

Today’s post was written by Matt Hill and originally published on Christian media website Hollywood Jesus. Matt brings something new to TMTF by discussing Ico (which I have not yet played) in free verse (which I never write). Matt is a musician, writer, and pop culture aficionado. You can read more of his free-verse pop-culture wanderings on Hollywood Jesus. (While you do that, I’ll think about playing Ico and its spiritual sequel, Shadow of the Colossus.)

me n my kids totally rescued a princess together yesterday . .
well, kind of . .

the princess was maybe not a real princess
and her name was yorda
and she was a character in this really great video game called *ico*
that originally came out for ps2 (and i played it then)
and then was re-released in hd for ps3 a while back (so i bought it recently)

and i suppose it wasn’t technically us who rescued her . .
it was our onscreen avatar named ico . .

and, if you want to be technical about it, my kids didn’t really
do any of the actual controlling of ico and so technically
didn’t rescue yorda themselves,
just through me – their real life avatar . .

and, technically, is yorda really rescued at the end of that game?

but, however, transition,
on a better/deeper/realer/more interesting level,
my kids and i *totally* completed that game together,
rescuing yorda together,
defeating the wicked queen together,
escaping the castle together,
walking that post-credits
serene and surreal
beach together at the
only to discover yorda had accompanied us even there (right?) . . . ….. .. . . .

they experienced what i did: the drama, the struggle, the tension, the
the resolution . .
they saw what i saw, thought through what i thought through,
asking questions, giving advice along the journey,
loving the adventure of it as i did (twice now) . .

by the end, they knew that escape was imminent (immanent?),
that the queen would soon have to get hers,
that when yorda speaks her final words (in another, untranslated language),
what she said probably meant “thank you” or “i love you,”
which, in my estimation, is right on . .
and good final thoughts to a game, or anything else . .

i made this experience with my kids happen because:
it teaches them creative thinking skills,
problem-solving skills,
how to understand and relate to characters in a story,
how narratives work,
justice and fair play and perseverance and courage and . . .

i made this experience happen because:
it’s an experience that we now share,
that we’ll now remember,
together . .

i made this experience happen because:
on a better/deeper/realer/more interesting level,
though i think/hope the above was that too,
a hero-rescuing-the-princess story,
is *the* story of this universe . .
the story of God becoming man to rescue
us princesses from the clutches
of that wicked queen
(you know the one) . .
the story that,
all other stories – princess rescuing ones and the rest –
echo and emulate and imitate

and now,
i’m hoping that somehow, someday,
the fact that
me n my kids
(princess rescuers r us)
are actually *in* that story *together*
—– – as you and i are too,
though not as intimately
(it’s happening right now! this is the story! . . you and i are in it! . .
but what do we do with it?! . . ) —— – — –
will be understood by them,
and acted upon by them in faith,
just as,
in faith,
we offed that wicked queen and rescued yorda from the castle together yesterday

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