The other day I started playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the first time. The entire Professor Layton franchise is something that a good friend of mine used to recommend to me very strongly. That friend of mine is David Tubb and longtime, regular readers will most likely recognise his name from the many anecdotes I’ve written which involve him and the many collaborative pieces we’ve worked on. You may also have noticed that I never seem to write about David any more and the fact is that he is, sadly, currently suffering with poor health – I’m not really going to go into David’s illness (as he has already written a superb piece of writing about that) but because of this I essentially never get to see him anymore.
Anyway, as I mentioned, back in the past David would recommend the Professor Layton games to me very strongly. I’d always see his Layton plush sitting on his bed and he’d often play Professor Layton music for me. So when I finally got around to playing it in 2o16, it had an enormous impact on me. I was hearing music which I hadn’t heard in years and which was strongly tied to David – what’s more is that the characters in Professor Layton games wander around the English countryside and solve puzzles together – that’s what David and I spent an awful lot of our time doing! Playing the game is both a very happy and a somewhat sad experience as it makes me reflect on how far removed those memories are from today.
This is quite a drastic example, but I think that this is ultimately the main reason that we consume art: it acts as a key for us to use to unlock deep rooted emotions without hurting ourselves too much in the process. I also have a song which I like to listen to very often because it is strongly tied to a very fond memory from several years ago. Certain TV shows remind me of the people I watched them with originally. The goal of most art is to cause us to feel something and if the emotions we feel are tied to another human being, when we look upon those works of art in future, the emotions they invoke will be strongly tied to the very real emotions we hold for our friends.