Human Memory is Garbage

#295: Lara, Link, and Josué discuss the game Tell Me Why, and have a conversation about the fallibility of memory and how it impacts relationships and life narratives.


Josué Cardona 0:00
Hello. Welcome to gt radio. I’m gonna get the Welcome to gt radio on the Geek Therapy network. Here Geek Therapy believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves through the media we care about. My name is Josué Cardona. I’m joined by Link Keller.

Link Keller 0:20
What’s up?

Josué Cardona 0:21
and Lara Taylor?

Lara Taylor 0:23

Josué Cardona 0:24
hello. It’s your turn, Lara. So what are we talking? What are we talking about today?

Lara Taylor 0:28
My turn? Yeah. Okay, so I know I’m a little bit late to this train. But I just finished playing Tell Me Why. And I think is really good game for many different reasons. It’s by dontnod. And it’s so similar kind of style to Life is Strange, but which we’ve talked about at length before. But this game is, I don’t know, I, I don’t know, I might have liked it more than Life is Strange. Maybe kind of maybe, I don’t know.

Josué Cardona 1:08
if That’s true. It’s fine.

Lara Taylor 1:10
It’s okay, if it’s true. But I still I’m in love with Chloe in Life is Strange. So a little different. Um, but tell me why the premise of the game is you’re playing identical twins, one of which is a trans man. And they can talk to each other in their heads. And they also see their memories come like replay in front of them. And it got me thinking because the two of them as two different individuals will see the same situation differently. And in the game, you get to pick which one is they don’t necessarily say it as like the real one. But you go with believing whichever one of the two at certain points. Okay, it was, it was a good metaphor a few times this week talking with clients who actually played the game. And even myself, looking at how our emotions and our experiences and our internal states influence how we see things that are happening in front of us this, like, I don’t know, something happens in front of me. And my wife also sees it. And we could read something completely differently. Even if it’s an objective thing that happens, like a car crashes into another car. Well, I don’t know, somebody sees a person’s face and thinks it’s angry, and somebody thinks it’s like, they were confused and like, disoriented, I don’t know. But in the game, there are a few of these moments where you get to decide and they deliberate, like, No, no, no, no, no, you’re wrong. She was mad. She wasn’t sad that day, she was mad. And this is what happened. And this is how the argument went. It’s just a really cool, cool thing to explore.

Josué Cardona 3:23
So the game plays out that way, like it like has both characters, they, they both see things differently. And then you have to like, what is your role within the game,

Link Keller 3:34
you’re playing the two twins, you trade off on which of them you are controlling at any given scene, and they’re sort of walking around their home that they grew up in. And, you know, interacting with the townspeople and sort of like Life is Strange, just sort of walking around and interacting with things and reading, you know, the little blurbs about them its mostly just storytelling. But every so often there are these, you know, major moments where the two siblings are, you know, just discussing why it’s like, oh, hey, you remember when that thing happened when we were kids is like, Yeah, I remember this story. And they’re like, what I remember this story. And I don’t know there’s probably like four, or five that you choose as being this one is, the more believable one or as ends up being non spoilery. The last one, the big the big one that you build up to this moment where deciding which you know which version of a memory to believe it has less to do with which one is real and which one is more emotionally fulfilling for you as the player to apply to these characters you have come to learn and care about

Lara Taylor 4:57
right? Right.

Link Keller 4:59
Not There is not a right answer.

Lara Taylor 5:01
There’s not a right answer. And much like Life is Strange. It tells you which one you pick and how many what percentage of people picked. That choice is, like, the whole premise is there’s big family secrets, big family trauma, and you are trying to figure out what happened as an adult to you as a child to these characters as a child or as children. So in the same way as, and I think I related related to it, because there are a lot of things coming out now say about my mom, and how she took care of her health and other things that I didn’t know when I was a kid. And I think when our kids in the game, they’re about 11, which is about when I was when my mom died. And so learning these things as an adult, I’m like, Whoa, I didn’t, I didn’t know that happened. Um, so watching them interact with the townspeople as adults, and get to know them as adults. And like, oh, whoa, I just thought this thing was happening when we were kids. I never would have guessed that mom and her friend were having this issue or whatever it is, you know. And it’s an interesting experience, seeing how they play on the memories like that. And like how I’m, yeah, different perspectives and seeing, like, people focus on different things and different and have different differing opinions. And there’s, like Link said, there’s only so many of choices, but you see a lot more memories, and then most of the memories that will be like, Oh, yeah, I remember that. And they both remember the same thing.

Link Keller 6:55
There are also elements where you get to not necessarily see, like, flashback style, what happened in the past, but the other characters that you’re interacting with, will also refer to past events with their own particular perspective. And if you’re, if you’re paying attention, you start picking up on that stuff, and is really interesting to see. Not just, you know, how do people prioritize the things that they remember, you know, how emotions affect memory. But also, you know, the language we choose to retell stories. That ends up being more of the memory than the events is when you retell a story over and over again. And so getting to see these young adults sort of be like, I know that story that you used to say is bullshit, I’m an I’m an adult now, like, be straight with me. And the person’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve told this version of the story so long that that’s the that’s the true version.

Lara Taylor 7:59
Yeah. Yes.

Link Keller 8:01
Like, well, I found this post it note and the back of the freezer that says otherwise. Ooh, mystery.

Josué Cardona 8:09
Do you ever see the truth?

Link Keller 8:14
Sure. from two perspectives of two different preteens

Josué Cardona 8:19
Got it. So what you’re seeing is their recollection of events. You’ve never actually there’s never like a, like a neutral. True perspective,

Lara Taylor 8:28

Josué Cardona 8:28
like you’re never wrong

Link Keller 8:30
what, what would that be?

Josué Cardona 8:32
Well, umm

Lara Taylor 8:34
there is no neutral. Nothing happens in a vacuum. There is no neutral, true perspective.

Josué Cardona 8:39
What I mean is like, there are video recordings of events of like, when I was curious now,

Link Keller 8:43
there is no omniscience. Back to the Future style, where it reveals the real version, it there is no real version, all that exists is what exists in our heads.

Josué Cardona 8:57
I mean, I guess,

Lara Taylor 9:02
because even if you watch a video, when you’re even if you watch a video of your childhood, you might remember still remember it differently than the person another person who was there even if you’re watching it

Josué Cardona 9:13
oh right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah. But like, like, Oh, I remember my, my room was painted blue. And it’s like, no, it was green. It’s like, Oh, yeah, prove it. It’s like, Oh, well, here’s a video like,

Lara Taylor 9:23
Oh, right, like those kinds of things. But that’s different from like experiences and interactions and the kinds of things that they’re dealing with in the game. I’m

Josué Cardona 9:36
I’m curious, like, I love this concept of memory, and I haven’t played the game. That’s why I’m asking a lot of questions. I’m very interested. It’s

Lara Taylor 9:41
really good. It’s actually pretty short. It’s only three chapters.

Josué Cardona 9:45
I’m looking forward to it now because I’ve had conversations like this recently, and I was talking to someone the other day about the research that was done on memory around 911. And how everybody like has a very clear memory of where they were,

Link Keller 9:58
and 90% of The time they’re not accurate.

Josué Cardona 10:02
They kept changing, right? Like, like, like this one thing. It was a great experiment because like, sure, in general, we know human memory is garbage. But like, how do you measure that? Well, you take a giant traumatic event for an entire country that everybody knew, like, collectively experience, and then ask them every two or three years to retell you the story. And some of them were completely different. Like they were in a different place like that. Everything was different. And I’m like, I get it like I can. I think I’ve been telling the same story for 10 years. I didn’t write it down. Nobody recorded it. And I’m, you know, I don’t trust my own memory. I say that, but at the same time, like, there’s no doubt in my own memory, right, like, but I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t like bet money that I’m 100%, right, because I don’t I don’t trust my own memory. But there’s no reason for me to not trust it, other than knowing that human memory is garbage. So I was just curious if some of the events in the game play out differently depending on like, Did you remember if there were any facts that were, you know, that were like, if we both remembered wrong, right? Oh, now we then there’s a different ending or something like that.

Lara Taylor 11:13
I there are some facts. But like, as far as the big things you basically get to choose, you choose as the player what the answer is, whether it is and it’s not even a definitive answer, it’s, this is what we’re choosing to believe this, this is what we’re taking from the information we’ve gathered. And there’s one point in the game that I really liked that one of the characters starts having panic attacks, and not able to, and the memories are playing tricks on them. So things that people have said about them in passing, were the thoughts that this characters had going through their head will then appear, and they physically see these memories. Like it’s like these glittering outlines of the characters, but like, things that never happened start happening as if they were memory in the same way. And we do that all the time as human beings, we will think that somebody said something about us, and they definitely did not. But we tell ourselves, that’s what happened. And so at one point, there’s also this point of like, Are our memories real? Is this what really happened? Because this is, this has been happening to me, and I know that the things that are popping up his memory are not real. So maybe overall, overall, this whole thing has been bullshit. And it’s really cool to play through that too.

Josué Cardona 12:56
I cannot wait to play this game. Um,

Lara Taylor 13:00
yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 13:01
It also has a couple of cool puzzles, which I love.

Lara Taylor 13:04
I love the puzzles. And I love the storytelling aspect of how I mean, the two characters are trying to figure out something about their mom. And then as a kid as kids, the mom developed this whole like fairy tale and they are goblins. Her goblins and then like, they have all these different forest animals. And she’s telling her story through these fairy tales she wrote for her kids. And I think there’s a lot of power in that to this game is beautiful and amazing.

Link Keller 13:43
Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely you know, Part part of the themes that they’re grappling with is like, she the mom took a series of traumatic events and turned it into a tale that she could then share with her children to try and explain like this is you know, why we’re here and what’s happening in our past and you know, trying to answer some of the questions but in a manageable way without actively Delving into your own trauma

Lara Taylor 14:10
traumatize your children

Link Keller 14:12
and then just being like here intergenerational trauma for you. I mean, she ended up doing that a little bit anyways, but in a fun storytelling way. But it really adds to the whole thing about, you know, the power of stories and how, you know, memory and storytelling go together and how the feelings end up being way, way longer lasting impact wise than any particular like plot elements or character elements. It’s like these kids had you know, their mom basically drew them a beautiful book, a beautiful fairy tale book with all these stories inside and it’s like as adults, they’re like, Oh, this lady A friendly bear character is our friendly bear character neighbor. They were they were the towns people all along. And it’s like, I mean, 11 year olds aren’t that dumb, right? Come on. But it’s like, that wasn’t the point of the story. They didn’t have that context to that it was like, No, mom’s not just making this up, mom is telling us something in a way that she hopes we can handle. It’s really good. It’s it’s, there are a handful of parts that made me a little uncomfortable, just just in the way of having two siblings who are very close to each other, but they have been estranged for a while. And so there’s this sort of familiarity stranger element, and it’s like, you are the person I can trust more than anybody else in the whole world, like you’re my other half. But then also, like,

Lara Taylor 15:59
I don’t know, you I

Link Keller 16:00
don’t I don’t know if I can trust you with like these littler things, or how to even bring them up to share them with you to, you know, provide you a chance to earn trust or whatever. And so having, having a couple of scenes be like okay, choose which one you think is real, was really, really hard. Because for me, projecting onto this choice, if I felt for me is like, if I choose this one, I am completely invalidating this other person’s experience, experience. But if I support them, then I am causing harm currently. And so it’s like that it’s really tough to be like, I want I want to, I want to validate everybody’s feelings and traumas. And it’s like, yeah, whatever you remembered, sure. That’s what happened exactly. Like, no cap is like, Oh, wait, I have to choose. Shit

Lara Taylor 17:01
doesn’t. And it doesn’t help that in some situations, when you choose, it doesn’t hurt the person as much as you think it will. Like, they’re like, Oh, yeah, I guess I can see that way. That makes sense. kind of thing. And it also depends on how you’re playing each of the characters, too. And how you think, because that’s another aspect, you get to pick how angry Tyler is at certain things, and how and how angry Alyson is at certain things and how much she wants to push back on things. So yeah, the player has a lot of choice, doesn’t have a lot of choice, but still has a lot of choice in how they are going to play these characters. And it’s, I enjoy it. But I do get your point about invalidating people’s feelings.

Link Keller 17:54
And it’s only, I mean, I don’t I don’t want to be specific, because I do want people to just play the game. And maybe you’ll choose something different than I chose. But it’s like there, there were definitely at least two choices where I was just like, This isn’t fair. i don’t wanna pick. Which I guess that’s, you know, if you don’t care, then like why play? So obviously it’s impactful,

Lara Taylor 18:16
and there’s no third option, which is like, Well, maybe you’re right about this, and maybe I’m right about this, which is an option that you can have in real life. That hopefully, if people are disagreeing that much in a heated situation, you have someone who can moderate that conversation and be like, oh, maybe this is right about this. And maybe this is right about this. And there’s a place where you can the Venn diagram crosses. But because it’s a game, and you need to move the story along, you have to pick

Josué Cardona 18:49
Do you is your perspective or your character chosen for you? throughout the story?

Link Keller 18:55
Yeah, you don’t you don’t get to choose when you switch

Josué Cardona 18:57
got it. Yeah, so sometimes you are one character and sometimes you are the other okay.

Link Keller 19:02

Lara Taylor 19:03
yep. Yeah.

Josué Cardona 19:04
So did you so you never did you ever feel like you weren’t either? Because of that?

Link Keller 19:11
No, I think the because so much of it is you know, like Life is Strange as you’re hearing the internal monologue of the person as they interact and move around through spaces. You feel very much like whichever character you are currently embodying because they are literally saying their thoughts at you, in their tone of voice with their inflection and everything. So there are definitely parts where, you know, it was more apparent that they were twins. And that you know, their their reactions to things really aligned up and then there were, you know, parts where it was really obvious how, you know, they had grown up and they were they were different human adults and had their own perspectives about things and

Lara Taylor 19:57
and had very different life. Circumstances

Link Keller 20:01
Oh yeah,

Lara Taylor 20:01
in the 10 years that they’re apart

Link Keller 20:03
and completely different contexts for coping with the thing that led to them not being together for that amount of time, like completely different people helping them process that stuff from, you know, 11 to 20. Something.

Lara Taylor 20:20
Yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 20:21
Which I think I thought was really cool is getting to see the way that you know, Oh, see, Tyler goes to like a sort of a boardings

Lara Taylor 20:33
boarding school

Link Keller 20:34
boarding care program thing. a group home, basically. And so is like, his relationship is with a bunch of like strangers, but also people who are either going through similar things to him, or are trained professionals intending to, you know, help them cope with that versus Alison, who stayed home. And so as like, she got support from a bunch of people she already knew, which is good, because there’s already you know, connection and trust there. But also, they’re just neighbors and and you know, the person who works at the grocery store and stuff like that. And so it’s like, not necessarily as well equipped to be like, hey, you were traumatized. Can we talk about that?

Lara Taylor 21:22
Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. Link, do you have one of the twins that you relate to more than the other?

Link Keller 21:32
This feels like a trick question. um, Tyler. Tyler. I feel like I relate more to Tyler.

Lara Taylor 21:38
I feel like I relate more to Tyler too, even though Alyson’s experience is probably closer to my own experiences as a human being.

Link Keller 21:47
I. I think I think my my like, how do I want to phrase this? I think, Alyson, I think I am probably actually more like Alyson is in that I’m not confrontational. And I will prioritize other people’s comfort over my own. But in my heart, I

Lara Taylor 22:17
I wanted to be Tyler

Link Keller 22:18
wanna be like fuck that, ACAB. and I don’t care what you say. You’re not my real dad. Which, you know, maybe, maybe that is a fun space for me to explore on my own.

Lara Taylor 22:33
Oh, this game is so good. Uh, oh, we got Jonathan in the chat asking what game we’re talking about. We’re talking about Tell Me Why. Yeah.

Link Keller 22:43
its another your dontnod game

Josué Cardona 22:45
Yeah. There’s so many things recently that remind me of like a part of this conversation. Like, I mean, I’m listening to a podcast called bipolar bi-Coastal. And it’s two twins who live on opposite sides of the country. And both were eventually diagnosed with bipolar. And they have these moments where they’re remembering events from their past, including their own manic episodes. And they remember them differently. To it’s almost like, I’m going to tell them to play a game. Yeah. And right before we started recording, I recorded an episode of conspiracy of light, which is the, like the Babylon five, podcast that that I’m doing with Woody Harris. And we discussed an episode called a late delivery by Avalon from Avalon. And it deals with a character who had a went through a traumatic event and then dissociates. And basically, the whole the whole episode is about the power of story. And he ends up believing that He is King Arthur, in a very specific story about redemption and absolution. And he, he goes to this place to kind of play out this version of the trauma that you were both explaining that like this makes it in a way that we can actually process these emotions without being direct and explicit. And the whole episode was about the power of story. So I’m, I’m super excited that the thats the theme of the day. And and they game sounds really cool. either of you. I mean, we all have siblings, and I’ve had those conversations where we’re talking about past events, and we either remember them completely differently, or one of us is like, That never happened. And I’m like, Ah, yeah, or vice versa. Um, did that. Did you think about any experiences like I’m assuming that you’ve had those experiences? First of all, I am not even asking that. So so I’m just curious if you thought of any of those of your own while you’re playing the game.

Lara Taylor 24:56
For me, it’s different. My siblings are so much older than me that a lot of my memories ended up. And I guess this feeds into it. And I did think about some of it when a lot of the times there will be this attitude not from my siblings, but from my my brother in law about well, you were just a kid you don’t remember. Right? And I’m like, No, I know for a fact that this happened. Or these ideas, like there was a whole conversation I had where my I was in Girl Scouts, and my mom was the cookie mom, right. And so we would store the cookies for all of us to be dispersed and dispensed. We were the dispensary the cookie dispensary. But we kept those things, we kept the crates of cookies in our garage to give to all the Girl Scouts in the area and have them give give out their shipments. And my brother in law swears that my mom did not like the idea that girl scouts put us out there and use this as tools to sell cookies. And I’m like, but then why would she want to be the cookie Mom? Why would she volunteer? She could have done anything else besides being the cookie mom? Um, and he was like, well you just don’t remember, you were a kid. And I’m like, Don’t tell me that about my mom, who I lived with for longer than you did and knew longer than you did. Just because you were an adult doesn’t mean that you remember, right.

Josué Cardona 26:35
That reminds me of a lot of situations where I’ve had where, because I also have an older sister who’s 12 years older than me. And same person, completely different mother, that she had them when I had think that with my grandmother, like the grandmother from from my mother’s side, the stories I hear about her when she you know, the way she treated my mom and my sister and my my older sister, a completely different than the sweet old lady who made us candy and stuff, right? When I was when I was a kid. So it’s like, sometimes it’s both can actually be true. Because like you can change your mind, right? Like, like, maybe it’s just like two different versions of your mom. But I understand that, like they don’t line up, like, how is that person, the same person that I remember? How did that person say that and then also said this, you know, years later,

Lara Taylor 27:24
well, and see the thing with that situation is I have this, I have the same situation where my sister is 12 years older than me. And I will fully admit with my sister that like we had a different experience. My mom was a very different person, when she was raising my my older brother and my sister, then 14 and 12 years later when she was raising me, because she was with my dad who is a completely different type of person. And she was in a warm and loving relationship at the time. And so my sister or my brother will talk about my mom. And there were like, no hugs and love was shown with gifts and things like that. And yes, I’m a spoiled child. I got a lot of gifts when I was young too. But like, there was more hugging in my family when I was growing up and things like that. So I it’s interesting to get my sister’s perspective, because I trust my sister’s perspective. But when my brother in law comes in and said something then I’m like you don’t even know, you don’t even know. Um, that’s different to me. But see how my experiences with the other person also influenced my memory and influence how I feel about a situation. I’m confrontational with him. But with my sister I trust her opinion. On Right, right. Right. Who my mom was.

Josué Cardona 28:50
Yeah, yeah. Like, just just your feelings towards I don’t know, if we were talking about this. And just in case your family’s listening.

Lara Taylor 29:00
They’re not listening.

Josué Cardona 29:01
But they might tonight it doesn’t. Yeah, it’s like, it’s like, yeah, the person. There’s so many emotions involved, right? That it completely Yeah, there’s a trust component. There’s just like, I’m not saying this is the case. But like, you know, like, Oh, this is so annoying. I’m, like, you know, just anything that comes out of their mouth, like is harder to, to, to accept?

Lara Taylor 29:22

Josué Cardona 29:22
And the other way around, too, right. It’s like, Oh, well, if this person said it, then it must be true. That gets that gets. That gets a lot of people in a lot of trouble. Also, and

Lara Taylor 29:30
I think there’s some aspects of that, if I remember correctly, there are some aspects of that in the game as well. Hmm. Hmm. Yeah,

Link Keller 29:38
I mean, we’ve been dancing around it for a little bit here. But it comes down to cognitive dissonance is when when you hit that, that patch of friction between what you believe and what somebody else believes is like sometimes it doesn’t matter, but if it causes that That cognitive dissonance where it’s like something isn’t lining up something is not maintaining the continuity I expect it to is like then is like, Oh, wee woo wee woo. Yeah, we have to actually is it that you can talk about? Somebody is wrong and I need to find out who, right now,

Josué Cardona 30:21
it’s most likely everybody’s wrong. That’s the secret.

Link Keller 30:25
statistically, everybody is mostly wrong,

Josué Cardona 30:27
my secret is that I’m always wrong. Everybody’s wrong. Hmm. But yeah, that part about the emotion. Like, I’ve had experiences recently where I’m like, I remember being very angry about this at one point, and now like, I’m not angry about it. I don’t remember why I was so angry. The last time I did it, there’s no necessarily rational. meaning behind it. And I was talking to, to our friend Ali Mattu to the day because there is an episode, there’s an unpublished episode of this podcast. Okay. That that we recorded. There’s there’s a couple but there’s one. Yeah, there’s one, where we watched Batman v Superman, when that movie came out, right. And then we immediately met afterward. And I remember pausing, this is my memory of the event. My memory is that he was so angry, about like, like, we were doing like a like a discussion about the movie and the themes in it and stuff. And, and I liked it. But I remember him hating it so much that after we recorded, I said, I’m not publishing this. This doesn’t feel like a Geek Therapy podcast episode. There’s no way I’m gonna post this and I don’t know if you want me to. Like you want everybody to hear this like rant of yours about how much you hated this movie. And so the other day we spoke and, and because the Snyder cut came out, and he saw he, he watched all the DC movies. And he’s like, I gotta tell you, I really enjoyed Batman v Superman this time. And then his his rationalization was that he? Again, this is my, I think this is what he was trying to say it was like, Oh, no, like, because I watched the extended edition now, and just makes such a big difference. How was like, I don’t I, I’ve seen both. I don’t think there’s that big of a difference. And I don’t think there’s any difference that would have, like, undone the rage?

Lara Taylor 32:40
Like I prefer the extended edition. I think it adds more to it. But I don’t think it changes the story that much. I don’t Yeah,

Josué Cardona 32:47
I don’t I can’t imagine someone being like, Oh, this was maybe throw up. But it’s like, oh, those extra 22 minutes, just like now it’s really good. Now, I really think it’s a great movie. And and so we didn’t really get into it much. But I brought up the question like, like, and there’s two ways to see it too. Right? It’s like, is, is it? What’s funny? I asked him the question of like, how do you like what do you think was going on? at those two different times when you watch the movie? And do you think they affected your perception of of the experience like that they change your experience? And it was it was it was an interesting thing? Because the way he replied, It was completely, it caught me by surprise, because he interpreted the question the opposite way. Which is also relevant, which was like, Oh, yeah, no, I often see movies that change the way I feel like, like, this is basically what he was saying, right? And when he answered was like, oh, I’ve had obviously I’ve had events that occur, and then they change my mood at the current time, like, Oh, this thing happened. And it made me happier, this thing happened. And it made me angry, which is a whole other conversation, like a whole other piece of the memory puzzle, right? It’s like, depending on the like, trauma has like usually these very negative experiences, right? That like stamp your brain and like make all these connections, because it was so intense and negative. But there’s also like, really great memories that you can have. And it’s like, oh, every time I smell, you know, like this, I don’t know, candy and reminds me of the day we went to the carnival, blah, blah, blah, right? And they take the associate because the stronger the emotion, the more they connect, and so and so we never really had the conversation of like, Oh, well maybe like, at that moment, I was feeling a particular way before the event and then it didn’t it affected the way that the memory was put into the file cabinet and catalogued and you know, and noted those. Again, there are two sides to this memory story, especially when you’re dealing with in the game. It sounds like it’s dealing with a lot of other least at the end you’re building up to very serious. I think

Lara Taylor 35:05
the whole game is a serious thing. Content content warnings galore,

Josué Cardona 35:13

Lara Taylor 35:14
galore. But it is. And they put they even put a warning in the beginning of the game, which was nice, because I don’t think they did that with life is strange.

Link Keller 35:26
they did not.

Lara Taylor 35:28
Yeah, yeah. But it is it is good. Good. Good warning at the beginning.

Josué Cardona 35:37
This is this is kind of, again, kind of related. It’s a discussion that I’ve been seeing often. And I explained to a coworker, either yesterday or today, the idea of the Mandela effect, they hadn’t even heard what this was. And that is like, I tend to question my own memory a lot in general. And actually, I used to think about this so often, that I could feel that it was kind of affecting my work as a therapist. It definitely influenced my, my, my work with, with kids. And I was like, I need to get past whether what the saying is true or not, right? Like doesn’t, isn’t what matters, right? But at some times, I was like, it would make a huge difference, I think in this situation, if, right, if this if this event actually happened this way, or that way, or, or who’s actually telling the truth. In couples counseling, I can go into a whole thing about about that, and and a little bit two people telling you the same story that just happened this morning, and they’re completely different then like, did anybody take a picture? It’s hard.

Lara Taylor 36:48
Some couples counselors will record you. And play it back for you.

Josué Cardona 36:52
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I’ve used stuff like that a lot in the past, because it can make a difference can make a difference at times. And it doesn’t and I’m not even saying that like, oh, because we caught a lie. Because I don’t I often don’t think that either of them. That anybody’s lying to me. Yeah, I just think that the the the memory is actually the faulty right, that there’s something about it. That is that is untrue. And sometimes that makes a huge difference. Sometimes you can you can believe that something happened in a certain way. And then there’s, there’s like a, it’s like a revelation can make a huge difference. So you’re like, but I thought that this happened, and I’ve been so angry about it. And now I click I have evidence that it didn’t happen. And and now what what do I do with that? information, but it was, I know, I lost the thread of what I was saying, at some point here, I tried to connect too far back into the past. And now I forgot. The point being that I don’t trust my own memory. And this comes up often, I don’t know where else I was going with that. But that’s that’s probably the general takeaway I want the both of you to have right now.

Link Keller 38:05
just talking about couples counseling, and how you can get two very different versions. And it’s like, sometimes the, the feeling is you need to like unbury, the truth of what really happens, and a lot of times, and that is something that comes up in the game. Tell me why is like what the truest truth doesn’t even fucking matter. Because that’s

Lara Taylor 38:33
they can both be true.

Link Keller 38:34
That’s not what you’re engaging with, you are engaging with a human being who has thoughts and feelings and attitudes and beliefs that shape not only their memory, but how they, you know, transmit that to you and how you receive it, and nothing is coming through perfectly clear the truest of true versions; that doesn’t exist. And so a lot of times I think getting people to free themselves from that aspect of being like, well, this is what I thought happened. And you think something totally different happen. Like, ah, how can we ever solve this problem? It’s like, Okay, well dive deeper into it. Why, like, what made you feel that that was the thing that was happening? Like, yeah, wait, what previous experience Did you have that, you know, has assumptions that are secretly affecting this thing that you don’t realize? Unless I ask you like, has this happened before?

Lara Taylor 39:30
Oh, there are plenty of times Nina and I will be watching a show and completely read a scene differently. Like No, this person was motivated by this. And I was like, No, no, this is what they’re thinking. And this is what they’re motivated by. And each of those things come from our own experiences or personal experiences or other stories we have read or heard or we’re, I mean, there are times where she’s actually right because she went to school and learned about storytelling, and I’m like, oh, wow, I didn’t see that coming. But like, there are times where like, we did we feel like we’re just speaking the same language but completely different dialects.

Josué Cardona 40:14
The last time we talked about the Falcon and Winter Soldier, I don’t know if it was last week or the week before. That’s probably the week before that I am. I remember, like, actually like switching, like, changing my mind about something, as I was talking about. I was like, No, I read it this way. And then afterwards, I was like, but wait a minute. I remembered one thing completely differently and changed the entire way that I that I saw it, and the couple’s thing, it’s so I mean, it depends, right. But to give a specific example, like, like, a couple would come in and argue about something like, I told him to buy milk. And he didn’t buy the milk again, like, and then and then the partner might be like, no, but you know, he told me, he didn’t tell me to buy the milk. Right? And then, and then it’s like, okay, like, sometimes you get stuck on that point. And obviously, that’s not the point. It’s like, but why were you such an asshole about them not getting the milk tonight, and that part is kind of hard. But also, I’ll get to the also in a second, right, but in there, right? Like, it takes like, some finesse to, like, get past that moment, right there. It’s like, why are you so upset because because they never list they never listened to me. And therefore they do not love me. Right. And and, and then you keep going down and things like that, that may not be what’s happening. But like, you still get hung up on that one thing, which is a whole nother piece that which is like, actually this person is developing like actually has a cognitive impairment and is actually like, there are multiple, like, it could be ADHD symptoms, or it could be like, this person is older and like to actually develop, they actually have problems with memory, or they’ve had memories for a long time. And this is a problem that they’ve always had and

Lara Taylor 42:04
or they have a hearing problem.

Josué Cardona 42:07
That’s, that happens a lot.

Lara Taylor 42:09
So I’ve worked with so many children where, like, the parents are like, Why won’t my kid listen? Why won’t my kid do what I’m telling them to do? And there’s a language barrier or a hearing problem, or sometimes both

Josué Cardona 42:24
cultural differences. texts can arrive out of order. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you. But like, that completely changes the context. But that’s but that’s not that’s not memory. But But you know, like those? Yeah, I mean, it’s hard to what makes it hard is that there’s, we don’t talk about the fact that our memory is garbage. And that, that, how much does that matter? not matter. But like it’s something that we just take it at, we assume that what we’re remembering at this very moment is 100% true. Like we don’t we think of our memories as infallible and and that like gets us into a lot of trouble. And, and it’s something hard to navigate and i can’t believe theres a whole game about it. I’m really excited to play. I downloaded it yesterday, but I didn’t have time to play.

Lara Taylor 43:19
It’ll be really good to hear because it does. I don’t know if it does the thing where it compares your friends and what they’ve picked, but it does compare overall who picked what so it’ll be interesting to see.

Josué Cardona 43:32
Did you take pictures? Because I mean, we can we can kind of remember like a strange

Lara Taylor 43:37
way to go back and figure it out.

Josué Cardona 43:40
You too Link

Lara Taylor 43:40
open up the game soon.

Josué Cardona 43:41
Look up. Look up. What you got

Link Keller 43:44
I’ll have to look up. Like a FAQs or something because I don’t I don’t have access to the Xbox anymore.

Lara Taylor 43:51
Well, and this way, if you take pictures I can be like oh, yeah, I

Josué Cardona 43:54
probably remember. Yeah, it was recent. Yeah. Yeah, I’m gonna play it on Xbox. It’s, it’s on game pass. did you. I’m curious why you played that game now.

Lara Taylor 44:06
So it actually has to do with Life is Strange. Because the New Life is Strange was announced. And I was like, I want to play all the games and I’ve had Tell me why. I wanted to play it when it first came out. But I don’t have an Xbox, so I bought it when it came out on Steam. And then never played it. I was like, I’m gonna play now.

Josué Cardona 44:27
It’s Tell me why the same universe?

Lara Taylor 44:29
Yes. Oh, there is a reference. Oh,

Josué Cardona 44:31
okay. Okay. There’s a ref Oh, okay. Okay,

Lara Taylor 44:34
you’re gonna have to look at everything.

Josué Cardona 44:36
Okay? It’s Tell me why was that the one No, no, the super the kid with a super

Lara Taylor 44:42
that’s Captain spirit.

Josué Cardona 44:44
Captain spirit was a prequel to Life is Strange 2 right Okay, okay, but they’re all in the same universe then.

Lara Taylor 44:50
They’re all in the same universe. At least as far as you know, with Tell me why. Like, they do mention some Life is Strange references in there. So it’s cool. The soundtrack was okay. Not as good. But the there’s beautiful vistas in Alaska. It’s wonderful.

Josué Cardona 45:11
Okay. Okay. So that’s why you played it now. Because of

Lara Taylor 45:17
because of that, um,

Josué Cardona 45:19
you said, you started, right. You say that came up, like, with clients and stuff like it actually something. Yeah.

Lara Taylor 45:24
I mentioned like, we talked about what games were playing. And I mentioned, oh, I just finished playing Tell me why. And we’re like, oh, I played that a while ago. It’s really good. And then we talked about memory and stuff. And that was good. Yeah. I have another client who was really excited when I told them the premise. they’re like oh I want to play. We talked about how triggering it can be. So there is that too? Yeah. Okay.

Josué Cardona 45:53
Yeah, no, this was, yeah, I’m thinking about these topics a lot lately. A lot. And I think about memory often. I often try to take every chance I get human memory is garbage.

Lara Taylor 46:10
You like when I bring up memory? It’s okay.

Josué Cardona 46:11
I do I get very excited.

Lara Taylor 46:12
cuz You get to say it’s garbage.

Josué Cardona 46:14
I get to say human memory is garbage. Yeah, it’s um, yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Lara Taylor 46:20
I will say that. I feel like I have a pretty good memory. But it is also garbage.

Josué Cardona 46:25
Yeah, most people. I think most people, even people who are like, I don’t have a good memory, you just like you just say stuff because you assume that it’s the off of memory. Everything is a memory.

Link Keller 46:38
What else can you do ?

Josué Cardona 46:39
that? That’s all if that’s the only thing you can.

Lara Taylor 46:41
All I know is I am pretty damn good at trivia. And so I can remember those random things. But when it comes to events, I can also remember where things are in my house. I have a pretty good visual memory. Other than that.

Josué Cardona 46:57
I did when Apple announced air tags this week. I I I texted so many people about it. I’m so excited.

Lara Taylor 47:04
oh you texted me.

Josué Cardona 47:05
I’m so excited to pay $29 so I can find my keys.

Lara Taylor 47:10
I said I said that Nina needs some air tags, but I’m her air tag. Like I can see her looking around the house and I’m like your wallet is here. Your keys are there your glasses are there your phone is there. without even looking

Josué Cardona 47:21
it may not be helpful if if the problem is that I that I literally cannot see them anymore, right? Like the whole object permanence thing. If that’s the problem, their tags aren’t gonna help. She’s gonna get more mad. It’s like the phone says it’s right here in front of me. And you’re looking and you see it and Nina just

Lara Taylor 47:38
pay it’s under like, it’s in between like five sheets of paper or something. No, it’s right.

Josué Cardona 47:44
There’s nothing else there’s just the only thing in the front and and you’re gonna be mad at yourself. Yeah, yeah. Oops. I’m impressed. But But that’s also a memory thing. I mean, that’s, that’s

Lara Taylor 47:55
your phone’s gonna be like, my keys are right here.

Josué Cardona 47:59
Oh, the feature I use the most on my on my Apple Watch is the one that makes my phone beep. Because I this happens just constantly. And it’s not like I can’t remember a small apartment. Right? It’s not like there’s only so many places that can be and I use it every single day. Every day. It’s human memory. Some some human memory is more garbage.

Lara Taylor 48:26
Nina got a red iPhone. So that she can see it.

Josué Cardona 48:31
Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay. Okay. Any any any closing thoughts or things about? Tell me why or maybe other games that that or theres some media that touch on similar things that you might want to that might be interesting to explore.

Lara Taylor 48:54
I just really appreciate it. I didn’t even get into like, the representation in the game or the story itself for it. It’s just a wonderful game. Tell me why it’s a wonderful game. And I think that people should play it. And it’s going to bring up a lot of emotions. It’s good. Yeah. Okay. Okay.

Josué Cardona 49:15
Link anything, any thoughts?

Link Keller 49:18
um, like, in Life is Strange. There was a part early on that I got stuck in because I couldn’t highlight the right thing to interact with it. It was very frustrating. So I guess.

Josué Cardona 49:36

Link Keller 49:37

Lara Taylor 49:41
On my on PC, there were a couple of those even that I had a hard time clicking the right thing.

Link Keller 49:46
Mine was getting under the house. Like I knew that’s where I needed to go. I knew like that was the step and I’m just walking around like, that looks like a door right there. Why can’t I click on is like I had to go interact with a different thing first before it would let me Oh, anyways, I got very frustrated at that. And as I was playing I’m like, that’s a lot of points I’m docking off of you guys here. Tell Tell me why, like you better get your act together. I’m gonna give up and stop playing this game. I was like 10 minutes later, it had a door puzzle and I solved it on my first try. And I’m like, I’m the coolest puzzle master of all time. This is the greatest game can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Lara Taylor 50:31
The door puzzle I they were like, you should just smash through the door, we should just smash to the door. And I’m like, I’m just trying to read the story.

Link Keller 50:40
I wanna smash. I’m reading the book. Hold on. Wait, hold on.

Lara Taylor 50:46
It’s such a good game.

Josué Cardona 50:49
Yeah, I haven’t played it. I’m gonna check it out. I can’t think of any other games that have kind of a memory aspect to it like that.

Link Keller 51:00
I feel like there are definitely like, indie narrative games that cover similar themes, but I do not have any recommendations off the top of my head, unfortunately.

Josué Cardona 51:11
Yeah. And some of the things you were talking about reminded me of LA Noire, where it’s like you’re interviewing people and like, yeah, again, I haven’t played that either, actually. But

Link Keller 51:21
LA Noire is a lot more into the concept of there being a one true truth that you can figure out.

Josué Cardona 51:31
Right. And so this game isn’t about deduction.

Link Keller 51:33
This game is not about that

Josué Cardona 51:35

Lara Taylor 51:37
LA noire is less about memory and more about reading people.

Josué Cardona 51:40
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But that’s what reminded me right? Because you were like, even though you can read your, your siblings mind and stuff like that. It sounds sounds like that’s a that’s a part of it. I like that. The other movie I thought of that. I remember made me think I mean, there’s a inside out is inside, inside out. Is it? No.

Lara Taylor 52:02
Inside Out the Pixar movie?

Josué Cardona 52:04
Yeah, yeah, that’s Yeah, I was like, that’s the name of the movie, right? Yeah, yeah. I use I like the way the guy even referenced it before but like the file cabinet with a memory and, and all that, right. Like, there’s something that I liked that it explores in that. That movie is like, the idea of the I forget her imaginary friends name,

Lara Taylor 52:23
Bing, Bong,

Josué Cardona 52:24
Bing, bong, right? He’s like, fading away, like, like, like a memory, right? Like, it’s, it’s, like forgotten. And there’s, and there’s these memories, like, you see that they like the brain can only hold so much information, right. And there’s, it doesn’t go into the science of recall. And like all of these other things that is super interesting. And I’m not gonna geek out about now. But I like the simplicity of like this long last file cabinet. And that if you just the longer you it takes for you to revisit that one file. sometimes it just like gets dumped out the back. Right. And, and I think about I think about that, then, like that analogy of that representation of it a lot. When I have those conversations with people are like, Don’t you remember that this happened? And they’re like, no, is it because they didn’t care? Because they haven’t thought about it? since it happened. I’ve thought about it repeatedly, possibly, to the detriment of like, like, I’ve not like re re molded it into something that it’s not, or like I remembered it, but like, there’s no, there’s no, the other person hasn’t thought about it. So it’s not. I mean, it makes sense that they completely forgot about it. But there’s a movie called memento. We were seeing memento by

Lara Taylor 53:40
It’s been a long time

Josué Cardona 53:42
if you don’t remember it, it’s behind. Yeah. And that movie plays with memory and in a very interesting way. And you don’t know what’s happening until, because of the way that the movie is shot and the way that everything is presented. And the premise is that the person has no short term memory. And so you’re, you’re actually seeing the events in a particular order that you’re not aware of. And it’s it’s great. And like I remember on the other DVD, like it had a version where the story was in order. Right. And seeing it after you had just seen it, like all the revelations, and you’re like, oh, wait a minute, like the all of these things. It was it was so cool. And like that whole movie, every single scene, the person is working off of not the memory of the events that just occurred, but working off of like a small piece of information that was left for them to then continue to to proceed. Anyway, if you’d like memory, I think that’s a fun movie. It’s a Christopher Nolan. Classic. pretty old. It’s good. It’s good.

Lara Taylor 54:47
It’s pretty old. We’re pretty old.

Josué Cardona 54:49
We’re we’re pretty old too. Yeah.

Link Keller 54:51
I saw the College Humor joke. satire version of momento star Donald Glover, long before I saw the movie, and so when anybody brings up Momento all I think it was the college humor version. which is not appropriate, but very funny.

Josué Cardona 55:12
That’s funny. And Christopher Nolan’s more recent tenant is actually very similar to that movie, even though it’s not about memory. It’s about time travel, but in a way they’re telling related the same kind of story. Yeah, yeah. Anybody wants to geek out about that, please reach out to me, or just bring it up the comments for this video at the GT forum and Facebook group and discord. We got links all that in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening. Remember to geek out and do good and we’ll be back next week.

Link Keller 55:51

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Tyler Ronan / Tell Me Why
  • Alyson Ronan / Tell Me Why
  • Life is Strange
  • L.A. Noire
  • Inside Out
  • Memento
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Memory
* Consequences
* Cultural representation
* Death
* Difficult emotions
* Family
* Fear
* Feeling alone
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Guilt
* LGBT Issues
* Mental Health Services
* Moral dilemma
* Standing up for others
* Standing up for oneself
* Trust
* Redemption
* Taking responsibility for one’s actions
* Other: cognitive dissonance

Relatable Experience:

* Clarity/Understanding
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Coming Out
* Death
* Guilt
* Separation
* Trauma

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

What’s an example of a time you and a family member had completely different memories of an event you both witnessed?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top