Pyre: You are the Reader

Few games have made me giddy over the fact that, yes, I can read. Pyre did an especially good job of this. Especially at a time where I’m making more of an effort to read books that interest me, I can say that I like reading. And in fact, I always have.

One story I remember about reading comes from kindergarten. My mom was called in for a parent-teacher meeting about my performance. Apparently, I had a knack for reading and understanding whatever book we were reading at circle time. I didn’t know it when I was four, but this wasn’t something other kids knew how to do. They could put words together, but the teacher had to help them put meaning to them. So, when my teacher asked the class what happened in the story, I’d be the first to raise my hand. The main lesson was that I had to give other kids a chance.

The blackwagon, as seen in the beginning of Pyre.
You and your fellow exiles travel through the Downside in a rickety wagon.
(via Polygon)

To go and play Pyre was something exciting. Here’s a band of exiles, and they value you because you know how to read. We think of it as such an innocuous thing, but in the Downside, the land of exile where Pyre takes place, it’s invaluable. I won’t deny that I teared up a bit out of joy when I began the game. I’m still excited about it.

Often, people think of video games as a largely unintelligent hobby. Push buttons, shoot things, it’ll turn your brain to mush and all that.  The thought has been on my mind since I’ve been playing video games. No, they require a lot of determination and hand-eye coordination. You need to know how to read to know how to play the game. In the case of visual novels, they’re all reading. The name would lend itself to that.

Pyre does an incredible job of being a game that proves the whole “turn your brain to mush” argument wrong. You’re reading this, so you’re valuable. You know how to navigate the Rites, and the other exiles depend on you for it. All because you can put meaning to words on a page, despite whatever laws are in place in the Commonwealth, the place you’ve been exiled from.

Overall, Pyre has been amazing so far. Not only has it drawn me in, but I actually feel for the cast of characters, even ones I thought I wouldn’t like. In the coming days I’ll have a review of the game up. I only hope I can do it justice.


Cover image via YouTube.


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