Multifaceted Memories in Monument Valley 2

Multifaceted Memories in Monument Valley 2

"In our haste in looking forward, we too often forget the past"

When I wandered into the App Store to install updates the other week, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my favorite game had been given a sequel. The original Monument Valley was a game whose existence I wasn't entirely sure of; my first look at it was when it was featured on season 3 of "House of Cards". The game itself is constructed of Escher-like puzzles that require the landscape to be rotated and twisted so its protagonist -- Ida, a faceless figure in a white dress and matching cone hat -- could walk up walls, go through transporting doors, and avoid enthusiastic polygonal crows, all in an effort to reach the shrine at the top of each level, effectively 'restoring' a lost monument.

Ida wanders the abandoned Valley in an effort to reach the shrine at the end of each level, all the while being confronted by spirits of elders who lament the forgotten past. For me, the highlight of the original game was a chilling level with minimal puzzles, and where no monuments were returned at all; in the end, the player's only task was to guide Ida straight through a vast underground graveyard, the only sound being the echoes of her little footsteps. With the mystery of the Valley's shrouded past still heavy in the air, the short game left me hungry for more. So, naturally, I instantly dropped $5 for Monument Valley 2 without even thinking about it; I was desperate to return to the nonsensical puzzle world I wanted so badly to live in.

This time we are introduced to Ro, another faceless woman in an orange dress and matching hat. She has her small child in tow, dressed in a red hood for her first visit to the Valley. Ro restores monuments as they go along, but keeps her daughter's safety a top priority among these crumbling ruins.

Just as in its predecessor, some levels offer brief interludes in monochrome environments where Ro, alone, speaks to an oracle who encourages her to let go of her daughter and continue further into the Valley alone, allowing her daughter to learn her own lessons and become her own person. Soon after one such conversation, Ro gestures for her daughter to board a little sailboat that waits at the docks. The boat brings the child to her own levels, where she skips among the ruins and speaks to the ghosts of other elders. They tell her that "Our shadows grow long as we wait for one worthy to take up our mantle. She has taught you well, but there is still much to learn. The path will be hard but remember, we walked it too."

The game then diverges into different points of view. Ro enters an introspective level represented by puzzles within puzzles, with each door she enters allowing the camera to zoom into a new space previously too small to be seen. She chases her younger self through a series of her own memories that are remarkably similar to the path taken by herself and her daughter at the start of the game. Ro's daughter, on the other hand, is led through an empty, somber castle. The player controls the size of the windows, and the amount of light that comes through in turn determines the growth of trees that can be used as platforms. It's simple, yet very moving to see light being used as a mechanic for progress. At the end, the girl enters a door in the leaves of the tree, and as the tree grows up and up, the ceiling of the castle peels back like the petals of a flower, and the child emerges as an adult.

The game ultimately ends with the reunion between Ro and her grown daughter, who remains unnamed. Their final level together has the woman ascending above her mother to restore the final monument and, in turn, the whole Valley. The light of all the symmetrical shapes drawn by the player over the course of their adventure illuminates the two women and the spirits of their ancestors as they rejoice among the shrines.

I felt Monument Valley 2 was still far too short, and didn't answer nearly as many questions as I was hoping -- what happened to the Valley in the first place? Why was Ro's daughter able to accomplish what she herself could not? How does Ida from the first game tie into this story? But, nevertheless, I was still just as transfixed with the calming music and soft gradients, as well as its use of color schemes and symmetry. I felt challenged by the puzzles, but never frustrated or rushed. Ro demonstrated the importance of introspection, and how it is vital for growth. Her daughter's journey showed how history is prone to repeat itself, but sometimes for different reasons; we may follow in our parents' footsteps more than we think, but in the end the path we carve out is our own.

Visit Monument Valley's website here. Here's to hoping that ustwo's DLC isn't afraid to delve a little deeper into the game's elusive lore...

Cover Image Credit: Emily Prechtl

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5 Games To Play In School That They Never Block

You used to play these games in school, and so did everyone you know.

Even though some games were blocked on the school's internet, these games were not (for most people) and we used it to our full advantage. Also, one of the pictures on this article will take you to the actual game itself, it is up to you to find it. Good Luck!

1. Poptropica

This game was always so fun but 99% of the time I would only play on spy island.


This is the source of misbehavior in schools because this game was so aggravating.

3. playretrogames

This entire website was never blocked so it was constantly being played on the computer.

4. CoolMath

Again, an entire gaming website that was never blocked and had what was honestly some really fun casual games.

5. The Impossible Quiz


If you are kids are in school and looking for some fun during the day, these websites are almost never blocked by the school's wifi. (Just don't get caught). I hope you enjoyed this article and if you did please feel free to follow myself and the Anderson Universtiy page and I will see you all next time, bye!

Cover Image Credit: Rico Tec Solution

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Would You Know How To Help Me During A Seizure?

It can happen at any time, and in any place.


It's November, and you know what that means! Nope, not Thanksgiving, but good guess! November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. As someone living with epilepsy, I consider it my responsibility to educate others about the disorder. I encourage you to keep reading. That way, if you ever come across someone having a seizure, you'll know just what to do.

But first, what the heck is epilepsy, anyway?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that induces recurring seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain aggravated by neurons sending out the wrong signals. A seizure affects mental faculties, physical functions, and levels of consciousness in a person. Signs and symptoms of a seizure include aimless fidgeting, confusion, incomprehensible speech, and uncontrollable muscle spasms.

However, having one seizure does not necessarily qualify someone for diagnosis. Seizures occur for innumerable reasons, and oftentimes a person has a seizure with a clear cause and never has another one. 10% of people are likely to have a seizure in their lifetime, but only 3.8% are likely to develop epilepsy. A person must have two or more spontaneous seizures to qualify for a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Sounds complicated, but…well, it is complicated. The brain is a complex organ, and doctors are still trying to figure out exactly how it works. And although epilepsy has a variety of causes, such as genetic inheritance, head trauma, and brain abnormalities, in 60% of cases the cause of epilepsy is unknown.

With treatment, most epileptics can lead a relatively normal life. However, in some cases people are diagnosed with refractory epilepsy, meaning the seizures are drug-resistant at one time or another during their lifetime. Some epileptics haven't had a seizure in years, and others have ten seizures a day. Regardless, it is important to be prepared to help someone having a seizure at a moment's notice.

Now that you know the basics about seizures and epilepsy, let's talk about how you can help someone in the event of a seizure.

Seizure First Aid Video


1. Stay with person until the seizure ends and he/she recovers.

2. Time the seizure, and call for emergency assistance if it lasts longer than five minutes.

3. Check for medical ID.

4. Pad the person's head with a soft, folded piece of clothing to prevent injury.

5. Remove the person's glasses and loosen tight clothing around the neck, like a shirt collar.

6. Keep onlookers away, and give the person plenty of space to prevent injury.

7. Reassure the person after the seizure ends. A seizure can be a scary experience.

8. Call 911 if:

- the person has no history of seizures.

- the seizure lasts longer than five minutes.

- the person stops breathing.

- the person is injured during the seizure.

- the person is non-responsive after the seizure.

- the seizure happens in water.

- the person has another seizure before recovering.

- the person is pregnant.

- the person has another medical condition, such as diabetes, that may be a concern.

Now that you know how to help during a seizure, let's talk about what you should avoid doing during a seizure.


1. Don't panic. Try your best to remain level-headed in the event of a seizure.

2. Don't restrain the person during a seizure. It won't stop the person from seizing, and you could potentially injure him or her by doing this.

3. Don't give the person mouth-to-mouth breaths (CPR) during or after the seizure. Usually, a person resumes a normal breathing pattern after a seizure is over. If not, call 911 and wait for trained professionals to handle the situation.

4. Don't offer water or food until the person is fully alert and can consent.

5. Don't put anything in the person's mouth during the seizure. People make this mistake with the common misconception that the person may be in danger of swallowing their own tongue. It's not true, so don't do it. The person's jaw may seize up during the seizure, and you could injure yourself and the other person.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Every day, I walk out the front door with my phone at immediate access to call for help, my medical ID around my neck, and the hope that nothing will go wrong. However high my hopes, I still may need your help someday.

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