The Static Speaks My Name is a game developed by creator thewhalehusband. The game is only 10 minutes long and would best be described as an “interactive narrative” more than by the term “game”. It is free to download and play, but the creator also accepts donations.
The Static Speaks My Name is a very strange experience. A warning to those sensitive to the subject: this experience deals with suicide. You begin floating through space with a giant static ball as the only object in space you can approach. As you near the object, you are given the name, age, and mode of death of a person. Stepping into the static, you apparently wake up as the person just described. Perhaps it was a bad dream?
You are given a couple of objectives such as use the bathroom, and get something to eat. However, the experience of the narrative is in exploring your tiny apartment. You quickly find that the person you are inhabiting is clearly not well. Just looking at the notes and pictures of one subject left me creeped out and shuddering. It was an entirely alien mindset to me. Imagine you woke up one day to find unsettling writings all over your apartment (in your handwriting no less) indicating a deep-seated emotional disturbance, but you had no recollection of writing them. Imagine that as you looked over them you found that the “you” that had written them became more and more unhinged. That is exactly what this narrative simulates. It is very creepy, a little scary, atmospheric, and very short.
A person could run through this game in about 3-5 minutes if they knew what they were doing, but there is no point to that, as in this title the narrative is the experience. Reading all of your notes, looking at your doodles, exploring this person’s apartment for the life he had. It is the same point that story-based games like Gone Home and Dear Esther have at their core. It is not about the destination, it is about the tale that is told before getting to the end.
If you are a fan of atmospheric narratives, creepy simulations, or free short experiences, I suggest that you give this interactive narrative a try. You have nothing to lose but a couple minutes of your time. I really like bite-sized experiences like this. It gives you a chance to have a small amount of the emotional experience you wanted without the chance for that experience to become mire in any minutia or stumble in its execution. It is too short to ever be sold as a product to the masses, and is nothing more than a walking story. But interesting, short, and free are right up my alley.
The Static Speaks My Name is available for download via the creator's personal website.