Firewatch’s Allure to Escape to the Outdoors

If you’ve come to The Game Bolt before, you may or may not have noticed that the staff here likes video games. I love technology, most of the time, and I love the innovation, creativity, and heart and soul that’s put into different machinations and models. I played Firewatch, Campo Santo’s dope debut title, on the PlayStation 4, a technological thing that I have to use indoors, with electricity, in a room with a roof on it. Firewatch is set in Wyoming, as you play Henry, who takes up a job as a forest ranger for a summer, as he may or may not be looking to escape from some of his current problems.

Gosh darn it I wanted to follow suit.

To tee off, let us get realistic: everyone has problems. Even Jay-Z has a whole host of problems, (but a bitch ain’t one), and he’s Jay-friggin’ Z. It was very easy to understand why Henry wanted to run away from life’s many complications, as they seemed insurmountable. I don’t have the same problems as Henry does, but I immediately understood why he wanted to take a job in the wilderness. His home reminded him of an immense failure, his love ones were all but gone, he may or may not have begun to develop a drinking problem, and he tried to get away from all those things. We do it all the time. Mess up big time at work before lunch? You’ve probably taken a walk around the block to cool your head. Bomb an important term paper? Binging on Netflix or video games can relieve the pain. Attempting to escape your problems is such an alluring temptation, but I wouldn’t be so quick to write it off as an unhealthy lure.

Look at all those electrical plugs that aren’t there!

While I love technology, I also feel comfortable in my own head. I don’t always need the latest game or television show to suck me in and strangle my attention. It’s great to walk around and just process what’s going on in my brain. De-compressing from my own work day, thinking about what I have to do when I get home, and just day dreaming in general lets me feel empowered and relaxed.

That’s what I imagine me doing if I was in Henry’s position. Imagine walking the clean, beautiful forests of Wyoming, passing a grove flush with color, or coming across beautiful cliffside vistas. Take a second to think about swimming in Jonesy Lake, or camping out in Camp Arapahoe. I love physical activity, and while I’m not an outdoorsman like Ron Swanson, I can appreciate a nice ole’ clean meadow.

Isolation can be beautiful

I also hate my phone. It’s always on, overheated, I get sh*% if I turn it off for prolonged periods of time, and it’s an iPhone 4S, which serves as a painful reminder of my frugality. My phone is symbolic of a bigger, more prevalent problem I think is present in today’s society, and that’s taking a break from interconnectivity that has become a necessity. We always have to be checking our emails, even when we are away from work, indulging in our next touch screen addiction, or just scrolling through our Snapchat history.

I’d love, even if just for a week, to go back in time to 1989 and take a job as a forest ranger, watching fires and drinking beers while decompressing my ever racing mind. If I don’t soon, I’m going to turn my high tech 4S “sarcasm intended” into a lovely pile of electronic tinder.


Liam Crossey is the Executive Editor of Features for The Game Bolt. Follow him on Twitter  for too many retweets.