Doki Doki Literature Club & The Suspension of Disbelief

Written on February 27th, 2022.

"Suspension of disbelief, sometimes called willing suspension of disbelief, is the intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something unreal or impossible in reality, such as a work of speculative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment." From my favorite source, Wikipedia.

A few years ago, it really the hip and cool video game thing to be really meta in different ways. One way, to let the players make decisions on their own and either reward or punish them depending on what path they took (think Undertale.) Or the other way, to have the game show that it is self-aware, and have major plot points based in the actual files of the game. The main game to this what feels like eons ago was Doki Doki Literature Club.

The basic gist of the game was thus: It first appeared to be a rather normal, kinda blandish dating simulator game. But it twas not what it appeared on the outside. It slowly unfolded itself to show that it was actually a horror game.

Now, I really do like Doki Doki Literature Club, don't get me wrong. But the main mechanic (messing with files) opens up a lot of questions that if you think about them too hard, might lead to less enjoyment of the game. Like, characters are living people, but some are more sentient than others. How does that work (in universe?) Does Monika know that she is actually not real?

Or you could just be a normal person (not me) and enjoy the game.

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