There’s a moment at 8:30 ish when after recurring deaths, nature panoramas, voice-over readings of excerpts on mortality & identity, and non-campaign-oriented time spent alone, this happens: LC is in a cavern, hanging from a rock ledge. She just halfheartedly escaped large birds of prey that do very little damage. We cut from her hanging here to her hanging from a roof ledge. She is alone and does a pull-up, then a handstand on the ledge, and holds it. She does this motion because of game mechanics, presumably, but it is also a conventionally cinematic performance gesture meant to heighten action-engagement with an audience. Combat acrobatics happen quickly, while surrounded by enemies, and sometimes feature slowed-time. Except after watching LC walk aimlessly through the TR-verse, through deaths and desolation, the gesture is for the player alone (or you could say for LC and the player, which is where I was snagged). It’s intimate and playful. The player-LC interaction is tender.
sidenote: but also consider gameplay videos from AnderZel and AlChestBreach (both of whom I’ve watched play for more video hours than I can track, although it has been a year or so since I checked in), which are capable of unexpected humor and tenderness. There is a connection between these videos, puppet, and some of my motivations for playing video games. It’s not beating them. It’s wandering until you’ve deviated enough from the given objective to find the situation interesting/amusing/fun.