We can easily write off the disturbing undercurrent of "Majora" as a result of aesthetics, but in this post, I want to offer an argument that the horror which pervades the game is much more subtle and existential than that interpretation. I submit that the ultimate reason "Majora's Mask" continues to terrify us is that, as much as we want there to exist an evil for us to conquer, there ultimately exists no evil in the game.
Aaron Suduiko is the Founder and Chief Video Game Analyst of With a Terrible Fate. He specializes in the relationship between player and avatar, and the myriad ways in which that relationship centrally influences the stories of video games.
Suduiko graduated Harvard College in 2017 with high honors in his major, philosophy. Part of his degree included three independent studies on the storytelling of video games, advised by philosophy professors. In his senior year, he wrote an honors thesis on the ontology of video games as a storytelling object, earning high honors for the written work and highest honors for his oral defense of it.
Suduiko has spoken about his work on the philosophy of video games at a variety of venues, including: Harvard’s philosophy department; PAX East; Harvard’s annual ARTS FIRST festival; PAX Australia; the British Society of Aesthetics’ postgraduate conference; PAX West; and SUNY Oneonta’s undergraduate philosophy conference. His work on the aesthetics of quantum mechanics in BioShock Infinite was published in Cornell’s undergraduate philosophy journal, Logos. He’s spoken with the lead librarians at Harvard about the literary value of video games and the need to make them available as library resources.
Suduiko started analyzing video games in his senior year of high school, when he compared and contrasted the role-playing dynamics of video games and stage plays. After he started his degree in philosophy in 2014 and heard about the 3D remake of Majora’s Mask, he created With a Terrible Fate as a personal blog analyzing the philosophical and artistic value of Majora’s Mask. Since then, he’s grown With a Terrible Fate into a site with over 10 video game analysts striving to understand the stories of video games in new, rigorous, illuminating ways.
If you don’t see a new article by Suduiko on any given day, he’s probably busy gaming.
The aim of my project here is to reflect on a game which, far beyond being merely the sequel to "Ocarina of Time," is, in my view, one of the most significant pieces of art in modern times. While the release date for "Majora's Mask 3D" has not been publicized at this point, my goal is to write weekly reflections on different facets of the game, in the hopes that, by the time it is released, I will have articulated just what about this game strikes me at irrevocably moving.