The setting is also steeped in the past; Max is returning to Arcadia Bay after having lived there during her childhood with her best friend Chloe Price. Life is Strange boasts time travel mechanics, but simply revisiting a childhood town is a form of time travel in itself. There’s an inherent sadness in coming back to a place that hasn’t changed, but Max recognizes how the people have and how much she’s changed too.
Starting a new school year is also a form of time travel. Like Max travelling back in time and learning from her mistakes, we return to recognizable places and greet familiar faces, but each year we carry new experiences that allow us to make better-informed decisions. Thus, the fall semester is like a reset button where everyone returns to school back at square one. We grow as people even though our environment remains largely the same. The repetitious school calendar in the autumn demonstrates how life is cyclical: students move forward, accumulate experiences, and return as better people each year.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.