Repetition and Dark Souls
So Dark Souls involves a lot of retracing your steps, of fighting through the same enemies for the thirteenth time or whatever - so what? All video-games seem to have some kind of repetition, almost without exception. True, and I believe that’s important - and that Dark Souls is the perfect example of why. Because I’m not talking about the ordinary sense of the word repetition, I mean it in a different sense. Though I’m not quite clear yet what that is.
The idea of this probably comes from our dear friend Kierkegaard, but he was having a little too much fun writing his Repetition in 1843 and forgot to spell out what he was actually talking about, so I can’t give him too much credit. The best example of this comes in the following charming little paragraph:
After several days’ repetition of this, I became bitter, so tired of repetition that I decided to return home. I made no great discovery, yet it was strange, because I had discovered that there was no such thing as repetition. I became aware of this by having it repeated in every possible way
There’s something there, but it’s not clear what. From now on, I will be discussing repetition from my own point of view, which may or may not be plagiarized from Mr. Kierkegaard.
Repetition is a way of interacting with the world, and of acting in it. Dark Souls is a wonderful example for this because its world is carefully realized and expertly crafted, particularly in terms of its use of space, which I think is the ideal starting point for talking about Repetition.