In a book, the first person narrator is always difficult to trust. We read a story as told to us by one of the characters, who may or may not be telling the truth. Things are emphasized that may not actually be important, while other seemingly more important events are ignored. The narrator may even outright lie to the audience, seeking to elevate his or her own importance. (This is one of the fascinating things about The Sound and the Fury, for example. The narrators of the first three parts all carry their own biases into the mix, which makes it difficult to figure out what is going on until the introduction of an omniscient third person narrator in the fourth and final section.). A similar trick can be used in a movie, as the camera may follow one character’s version of events only to go back and contradict that very same version of events (such as in Fight Club or really any movie with a twist that involves a trusted friend’s betrayal). The narrator of a story mediates between the world of the story and the world of the reader/viewer.
Suda 51’s divisive masterpiece Killer 7 chooses to throw additional levels of mediation into its gameplay beyond merely seeing the game world through one character’s eyes (or more accurately the seven characters’ eyes). Killer 7 utilizes several sub-layers of mediation as the game progresses, including changes in art style during some animated sequences that add to the confusion of what the world of the game really looks like. The reality of the game demands that the player engage it through these additional levels of symbolic mediation in order to not just play the game but to understand what is going on in the narrative.