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SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4
Welcome those that live and walk,
-Small patch but still. Apparently there was an issue with... tree ghosts. Strange instances where things would pop up on the map in the middle of nowhere you couldn't walk through.
It has hopefully been fixed! May the ghosts of trees never haunt your graveyard exploration again!
-Issue where a very small number of players say they get stuck in the first tree... still happens. Seriously, I don't know what causes it and why only on a TINY number of games. Less than 1% of users it seems.
Enjoy not bumping into invisible trees this summer?
The Boon Hill Team
...it just isn't fun.
That statement has gotten me in a lot of trouble before. Claiming death is funny. People always give me odd looks or shake their heads. Yet the same people often laugh when a death fueled joke hits them just right.
Indiana Jones shoots a man dead - often hailed as one of the best gags of all time.
No, we're not morbid monstrous demons. It's about surprise and expectation. The laughter comes from the set up of the situation and how what happens isn't what we think will happen. Something that surprises a person evokes an emotional reaction. Fear is common if we feel threatened; laughter is common if we feel relived.
Nothing is more surprising than death. Even the slow hand of disease. It feels wrong.
I've lost a lot of loved ones in my life. I've stood by my share of hospital beds and I've gotten my share of phone calls at odd times. I go through a pretty predictable pattern.
First I am cold and numb inside. I do not really want to deal with how sad everyone is and how upset they are at me for not being sad. I don't want to go to a funeral and talk to everyone about how sad they are. I don't want to stand up in front of a bunch of people and tell them how sad I am. I am often required to do these things anyways. It makes me very unlikely to care much about any will or other such things if I am involved in one. I don't want clocks or coin collections, I want the person back. Still, thanks to how overly emotional everyone is I tend to question if I'm a sociopath at this point.
Generally a good deal after all of that hoopla is done I will be sad. That is my second stage. I don't sit around crying. Which once again can offend people as I tend to cry at everything. Music. Movies. Really good comic panels. A dog with a hurt leg. The future death of people. It is a different kind of pain, though. I am sad someone is gone. Not being emotionally moved by art or the fictional story I'm creating in my brain about when they might be gone. It just hurts that I can never see them again. I think about them a lot in this period. Especially animals I've known. For some reason I dwell a lot on how I could never truly communicate to them how I cared.
After that, stage three of my own personal pain cycle is getting over it. I'm less sad after awhile. After that I'm even less sad. I think about the dead less and less. Even if I told myself I wouldn't forget them. I start to. They fade. They're no longer part of my life. I consider doing things like visiting graves or setting up a ritual to keep thinking about them. I always decide at the end that would just be an unnecessary step.
Generally later, much later, after I haven't thought about them for weeks, a year, longer, comes the dreams. My fourth stage or step or whatever you want to call it. Vivid complicated dreams about those I've lost. Long detailed conversations with them over coffee. Or in their workshop. Oddly eloquent and creepy predictions about my future from passed friends and family. The kind of dreams that make people believe in ghosts.
I don't, though. I don't believe in ghosts. I don't because I wake up from these dreams and I'm alone in my room and I can't believe my subconscious would be that mean. That's generally the time I cry.
The dreams become less frequent and they fade as well. Or, at least I don't wake up crying as often.
Because death is just really funny. I can't help thinking that. I've gotten a lot of flack about it. Probably more hate mail about how Boon Hill is flippant about death than copies of the game I've actually sold. The whole 'press [key] to mourn' movement an their anger at games trying to 'gameatize' sadness seem pretty upset at me. A lot of comments about how I have no respect for the dead or that I've never visited a graveyard.
These comments are also funny. As they are half right.
I have visited many graveyards and I have no respect for the dead.
I can't respect the dead. They're dead. I can respect the bodies and memories they leave behind but not them.
This is not me dismissing the idea of an after life. I am far from someone who thinks they understand the world. After we die there are many many things that could happen. One thing is pretty clear though...
This world is for the living. The dead don't spend a lot of time interacting with us. I respect the mourner, and I respect the joke.
That is why I made Boon Hill. I made boon hill for me. A digital graveyard full of people that never existed. Also, some that did. Kickstarter backers asking for loved ones and other things put in to help them get through their own process. Some graves devoted to concepts and some to philosophy and a hell of a lot to pets. Very few pets in the Boon Hill pet cemetery are made up. Very. Very. Few. Boon Hill isn't about the dead. It's about living people. Graveyards, even digital ones, are for the living.
To me Boon Hill is a really silly game. A goal lacking graveyard wandering artistic weirdness. I think it's quite funny. I also think a lot of people mistake levity with flippancy. Someone who treats their life and the lives of others as expendable is flippant about death. Death is horrible. Death should not be courted if it can be avoided. Death is very serious.
Death is just also hilarious. It's so impossible. Dying. I can't really imagine it. I can imagine myself dead. I just can't imagine being dead. Anymore than a light-bulb can shine while off. It is beyond the ability I have to truly comprehend.
So, I find it funny. Horrible, scary, devastating... but mostly funny.
...and there's nothing wrong with that. People have very strong feelings about death. It isn't surprising. Just make sure that you let yourself deal with death how you need to deal with it.
Don't try and lump yourselves into the Seven Stages of Grief or whatever it's called. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not being sad enough or being happy. Don't beat yourself up if you feel good that someone you hated died. Don't feel bad about relief when a sick family member you were caring for finally passes. Just let yourself deal how you need to deal.
If it gets in the way of your life or your job get some help from family friends or whatever. Don't hurt anyone else emotionally or psychically if you can avoid it. Other than that mourn how you want.
Laugh when someone dies if it helps. Make inappropriate jokes if it eases your own pain. Do try and be considerate of the feelings of others and not make their pain worse but don't let them put their burdens and expectations on you.
Live while you're alive and know that once you're gone those you have left behind don't owe you anything.
You are going to die some day, so am I. And frankly, that's pretty funny.
TL;DR: A very long rambling post written after getting some very bad news. The funny but not fun kind. Basically, mourn the way you want to mourn and don't let people make you feel bad for not conforming to whatever mourning rituals they feel are appropriate. And don't beat yourself up when you've already got death to deal with. That's hard enough as it is.
“It may not look like it at first glance, but Boon Hill is a profound experience.”
Rock Paper Shotgun
“What I love about Boon Hill is how it challenges your mind to wander to the dark, scary places we don’t want to think about.”
“Boon Hill's absolutely worth the $5 admission fee and it'll even allow you to leave virtual flowers.”
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