Aritro Bhattacharya— The Secret Seekers, NieR:Automata and Searching for Meaning in a Meaningless World

The Shadow of the Colossus (released in Japan as Wander and the Colossus) sparked a decade long search for a hidden mystery in the game’s world by a community of Gamers who aptly named themselves “The Secret Seekers”. This real-life quest for a hidden truth mirrors the plot of another game, NieR:Automata in which the character are each searching for the meaning of existence in a world which won’t give them any answers. While the meaning of existence can be claimed by many in the real world; in case of a fictional world created with several limitations and the creator’s own vision a claim of such hidden truth did get busted eventually. But what “The Secret Seekers” got instead was raw knowledge about an art piece they loved and held dear. This meaninglessness and subsequent meaning-making are two of the central tenets of the philosophy of Nihilism. NieR:Automata elegantly invokes these tenets of Nihilism and subverts concepts put forward by philosophers(both eastern and western) throughout history and shows us a way to engage critically in meaning-making of our own in a meaningless world.

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