April 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM ET
A video that's been making the rounds for the past couple of days is "Go Right," by YouTube user RockyPlanetesimal. It shows video game characters doing just that: moving to the right. For such a simple premise, the result is something rather profound, almost inspiring.
One of the most fundamental actions in virtually every single video game since the dawn of "Super Mario Bros." (sports, puzzle and racing games excepted), is simply moving to the right:
No matter what your character is, or his/her abilities might be, you need to move to advance to the right side of the screen. That's where the goal is, and where the challenges lie; it's an action that all players take for granted.
No matter how many times a character must die, and what actions must be either retaken or rethought, there is a need and desire to keep trudging forward, no matter what remains. Into the face of danger, and the hope for resolution, along with every emotion that lies between.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.