Owen Pallett on the Game of Life
Life is probably more like a game of Tetris: it gets harder and harder and harder, and then you die.
The last time Owen Pallett came to Australia, we started out talking about his prolific career as a composer and solo artist, but ended up discussing evil corporations, his personal Frankenstein's monster and how the simple life of a rural theist can be enviable to an atheist fag from Toronto.
At the end of the interview, I asked the musician - who had shed the Final Fantasy moniker for his latest album - if he believed that buying into religious fantasies, or even losing yourself in video-game fantasy worlds, was a necessary coping mechanism for us all in an uncertain world. He replied, "Well? I feel that theism is rooted in trying to impose order on what is essentially completely chaotic, but in the case of Dungeons and Dragons, you're taking the pursuit of something and attributing the result to a series of dice roles. But video games have endings where you're crowned or ascend to heaven or live happily ever after, right? Well, I think life is probably more like a game of Tetris: it gets harder and harder and harder, and then you die." In light of this, I asked Pallett to share a few more of his upbeat video game-inspired life lessons with Oyster.
SPACE QUEST III: THE PIRATES OF PESTULON
Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon taught me that in the future, most people will be working as janitors, bartenders and Monolith Burger employees, and that there is no shame in that.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Out Of This World taught me that CERN's particle accelerator is a dangerous idea and somebody - anybody - must stop them before they turn this planet into a black hole.
Ico taught me that no matter how good your intentions, your actions will cause an ancient castle - likely deserving of Heritage protection - to collapse into the sea.
Portal taught me that no matter how well you tell your story, people will only remember your catchphrases.
CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
Call of Duty 4 taught me that nobody likes a happy ending - tragedy is all our futures and it should be in our art as well.
Words: Zac Bayly
Images: Ryan Pfluger
Owen Pallett is touring Australia in January.