Yokohama Shopping Trip is a gentle tale about people surviving during the end of the world. In the far future Japan is flooded, with the water level rising every day. There aren’t very many people left, and those that are live a quiet, semi-rural existence. The story centers around the robot Alpha, who tends a coffee shop, and waits for her master to return someday.
So far there is no violence, and its mostly about the sleepy doings of a few people. But I’d love to see it as an MMO just because of the sense of place it offers. The end of the world isn’t filled with violent thugs or monsters, just endless empty roads cracked and overgrown with grass and a neat, if deserted old petrol station.
We talk a lot about virtual worlds, but most of the worlds created are small, shabby places focusing on not life, but death. All we can do is kill, over and over again. Like Renfield in Dracula, we consume lives and tally them up to add to our own life essence, in the hope that we will grow more powerful over time. But Yokohama Shopping Trip is about life, and being part of a world.
Do we really need to kill, over and over again, to find joy in virtual worlds? Or can we find it by being part of a place? Tesh as always has a good post about the need to have pride as a part of something, and a sense of place. Maybe we need more of that.