When Games Matter: Lucidity, Grief, and My Daughter

When Games Matter is a weekly exploration by Drew Dixon of meaningful moments in games. Operating under the assumption that games do in fact matter, Drew seeks to highlight those moments that have much to say to say about who we are and the world we live in.

The day I found out that I was going to be having a girl was also the day I first played Lucasart’s puzzle game, Lucidity.  Lucidity centers on a young girl named Sofi and her close relationship with her grandmother and the latter’s subsequent death.  Much of the game is an artistic exploration of Sofi’s grieving process.  What I found most interesting about the game is that you cannot control Sofi, you can only help her along her way.

Its certainly up for debate as to whether or not Lucidity succeeds in its exploration of the grieving process of a child. However, the notes from Nana to Sofi between levels and Sofie’s reflections on her grandmother made me care for a game which I probably otherwise would not have wanted to play.  The game’s narrative succeeded in making its structure worth exploring.

Its more or less a side-scrolling Tetris and yet the small glimpses we get into Sofi’s processing of her grandmother’s death made the game play meaningful.  I wanted to help Sofi and the news of my baby reminded me of the inevitable.  My daughter is going to enter into a world scarred by death. She will experience loss and I won’t be able to walk her through it, she will have to face it on her own–I will only be able to help. This realization represents one of the few times a game has moved me to tears–I doubt I will ever forget this experience.

Lucidity, much like life, is dark yet hopeful. It speaks to the value of our lives and the importance of the connections we make with others therein. To some it may be nothing more than an ambient mix between Tetris and Lemmings, but to me it will always be a reminder of the day I found out I was having a girl and of my responsibility to help her deal with life’s most unavoidable reality and how urgently I must share with her about the hope that is found in Christ.


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