The deeper meanings of Pajama Sam 1...

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The deeper meanings of Pajama Sam 1...

Post by windkirby on Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:24 pm

I started thinking about this when I noticed there was a parallel between the story of the game and that of Beauty and the Beast. I mean, it's all about the main villain who lives all alone, having no friends, just talking furniture, and the person who comes along who finally understands him. I mean, it's different since the original tale is romantic and this one is more about friendship, but I think you could draw a connection.

Pajama Sam 1 also always seemed to me like it was about a boy understanding himself and the world better. Darkness had the same room as him--I think it's safe to assume there's a huge symbolism between Darkness and Sam. Sam fears Darkness, but at the end it turns out to be himself. Our greatest fear is nothing more terrifying or unknown than ourselves, though the journey to connect with ourselves involves others, like Otto or Xing, and a lot of confusion and mystery before we can finally come to a more peaceful understanding. Speaking of Otto, the boat is afraid of the task he was actually built for. He just doesn't recognize it as so. Sam also doesn't recognize that he and Darkness are one and the same at the beginning of the tale, and there are so many convolutions he has to go through before he can come to this understanding. Further fear of the unknown is exhibited in the furniture that stops dancing when you come into the room, or the trees who refuse to let Sam pass unless he puts a trunk on his head. The game is all about the fear of the unknown and how what we are afraid of is actually the same substance as ourselves.

That got really philosophical, but I wanted to share these ideas... Pajama Sam games are all my favorite, but this one means a lot to me, probably because it's not a quest about finding assorted lost characters like the second and third game, but a quest about infiltrating the lair of a mysterious being, only to discover a deep kinship. I think there's something really awesome about that... [:

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Re: The deeper meanings of Pajama Sam 1...

Post by Nowhere Girl on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:21 pm

I agree. This game is probably the darkest, but generally in all the games Pajama Sam has to confront his fears (darkness, stormy weather...) or at least his impulses (impatience, childish approach to eating...). In a way Sam is a psychonaut: he travels though his own psyche, his imagination, and his imagination really creates vast new worlds in his dreams.
I envy him. ;) I always had to confront such problems just through diary-writing.

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Re: The deeper meanings of Pajama Sam 1...

Post by Nowhere Girl on Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:46 am

By the way, this topic and of course the games themselves have inspired me to write this little piece of "fanfiction": a school psychologist's letter to the parents of Pajama Sam.


Dear Friends,
it is my role to write an official evaluation of your son's behavior as a student of first year of Oakhill Primary School. Sam is a good student and behaves well, however there are some aspects of his behavior that might be a cause for concern.
First, there are hardly any problems of purely educational nature. Sam is OK in mathematics and natural education and very good in English - he can already read substantially better than most of his peers. Teachers don't complain about his behavior during lessons or breaks - he doesn't interrupt lessons, is friendly and doesn't get into fights. However, he sometimes tells things that have been a fair surprise for teachers and that's why I have been talking with Sam several times during the last semester.
I wouldn't worry too much about Sam's obsession with Pajama Man. Most boys at this age admire superheroes and treat them as if they were real. Even playing superheroes is completely normal. However, Sam seems to have taken on a superhero identity of Pajama Sam and talks about his adventures as if they were completely real. Mistaking dreams or imaginary adventures for reality is, too, common for children, but it seems to me that Sam is taking it too far. While I admit that Sam is also able to benefit from his extremely vivid imagination - for example one of his "adventures", or probably dreams, seemes to let him overcome his fear of the dark, which often troubles even older children - I believe that what Sam is doing is already serious business. I am concerned about the possible results of such a young child doing things that should really be termed "exploring his own psyche".
At this point, I believe any rash ractions would be a bad idea. Even telling your son too strictly not to mistake his imagination for reality would be premature. He may still grow out of it. However, I believe that Sam should remain under a psychologist's supervision - be it myself or another person, should you choose to refer to an outside specialist. You should also continue to obeserve your son's behavior and the things he says. It is possible for such vivid imagination to develop into something more problematic at later age - for example, your son may be at a heightened risk for drug abuse as a teenager or young adult.
I believe the best solution would be trying to channel his imagination into something more acceptable and more productive. I suggest you try to interest Sam with some artistic activities. Encourage him to draw or paint, or maybe to learn to play a musical instrument. His extraordinary imagination may even let him become a "real artist" in the future and extracurricular activities should keep him busy enough for not wasting his talents on unproductive mind wandering.
With kind regards,
Eileen M. Stress, school psychologist

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