5 Years of Pilgrimage

Taking the time.

Persona 5 has taken me an obscene amount of time to complete. When I began the journey, back in the ancient time of 2017, I first regarded the loading screen, as shown above. This year, I sat idle in front of the message for the last time. Needless to say, I took the advice a bit too seriously. In turn, I realized important aspects about maturity and relatability in media.

The reason I moved at such a slow pace was because I simply didn’t want the game to end. I found some recluse in the game, and found myself coming back to it during certain maturing moments in my life, then taking extended breaks. In this way, I grew with the game and felt a close bond with it, especially at the beginning, when I was at a more comparable point in my life relative to the characters.

As I grew older there came an inflection point when the game started to become less relatable, the dilemmas and villains more silly rather than menacing. At first I thought this was a sign of a change in quality throughout the game, but really the main thing that was changing was me. At some point, Persona stopped fulfilling a certain role and just became another game. One I still enjoyed dearly, but not in that specific way. This is what drove me to finally finish it this year.

Yet, as I reflect on the experience, I don’t think I would have played it any other way. If I binged the game in a month, the game wouldn’t have meant as much to me as it does now, nor would it occupy the specific place it currently resides in my mind, right next to the lessons I learned along the way.

By Griffin Shufeldt

Griffin Shufeldt is a writer and junior economics student at UC Berkeley. He is an editor at the Berkeley Economic Review. He enjoys exploring economics, games, and the intersection between them. You can find him on Twitter @kennethshu

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