Advertisement
Advertisement

Most people with an interest in the PC gaming community have heard at one point or another of a small, infamous indie game released last year called "Getting Over It." It has become wildly popular and is known for being extremely difficult. In it, you play a bald man with a cauldron instead of legs, using a sledgehammer to scale all manner of obstacles from boulders and branches to piles of furniture. There is no plot, context, or any characters besides you, just a challenge presented to you.

Who is Bennett Foddy?

Bennett Foddy is no stranger to creating surprisingly popular indie games with unwieldy controls. He was the mastermind behind 2008's QWOP, a popular flash game where the player uses the Q, W, O, and P keys to control a runner's thighs and calves.

Advertisement

He went on to create 2011's GIRP, a climbing game with similar keyboard controls.

Foddy designed "Getting Over It" to teach the player how to accept failure. Without a doubt, losing progress in anything is frustrating, and "Getting Over It" is designed to simulate that without anything at stake. If you make a mistake and fall, it's not the end of the world. You've gotten past where you are now before, you can do it again. The only real thing that is truly lost is time, and even then it's up to the player whether they want to continue. How far you can get in the game is not a judgment on your character.

Throughout the game, Foddy himself provides voiceover work, acting as both a narrator and a guide.

Advertisement

Each time the player loses progress, he provides context for the game and its inspiration, insight from his own experience with failure and setbacks, and quotes on the matter from writers and visionaries. Every quote in this article is something he tells the player. Many players loathe him and feel like he's mocking them. But listen closely to what he's saying, and you find he's on your side. He reminds you that the pain you feel in failure is a testament to the progress you made before. He notes that we have to know sadness and failure in order to feel happiness and pride. He assures you that the crushing defeat you feel is only temporary, and you will feel okay again.

Getting over art

A big part of why people dislike "Getting Over It" is because they like Video Games that make them feel good.

Advertisement

We're used to video games that make us feel powerful, intelligent, or righteous. But video games are a form of art, and art doesn't always have the purpose of making the viewer, or in this case, the player, feel good. Sometimes art is meant to make us uncomfortable, angry, or sad, not because the artist enjoys making others feel this way, but because these feelings are an inevitable part of life, and art gives us a way to think about and work through our feelings. It encourages us to look inward and ask ourselves: why am I feeling this way? From there, we can learn how to deal with those emotions and cope with them.

Foddy didn't design this game just to make people angry or upset. The idea is for the player to stop and ask themselves why they feel the way they do. From there, they can figure out ways to process and accept these feelings, be that accepting their mistakes and trying again or just taking a break from the game.

How to get over it

In the face of failure or setbacks, it's okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated.

It's normal to want to give up. But if you let that desire consume you, all of your struggles have been for naught. If you give up on "Getting Over It," you have experienced all the rage and sadness without ever feeling the joy and pride of progress. Even if you never succeed, with each failure you learn something, about yourself, about the task, or about the world. When you experience failure in your life and you feel like all is lost, remember the guy in the cauldron with a hammer, find it in yourself to get over it, and just keep on climbing.