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Games Entertainment

Games Can Make Us Cry 170

Posted by Zonk
from the especially-if-they're-bad dept.
A study by Bowen Research is getting some commentary in the gaming press, with their analysis being that "More than two thirds of all video gamers feel that video games already surpass, or will soon at least equal movies, music and books in delivering an emotional impact." The Guardian Gamesblog has a look at the research. From the article: "Of course it could be argued that RPGs simply attract more emotionally unstable gamers, and that if these same players were forced to try Microsoft Flight Simulator, they'd cry like babies when their Cessna crashed into a pylon during a failed runway approach. Sadly, Bowen does not appear to explore this possibility."
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Games Can Make Us Cry

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @01:40PM (#13615163) Homepage Journal

    Of course games can make us feel emotion.

    Thief: Deadly Shadows had a level in a place named The Shalebridge Cradle [PDF] [cream.org] which was scarier than anything I've ever played. A haunted, burnt out asylum/orphanage with creepy sounds and grueling atmosphere. It was a level that I was glad to be finished.

    Play it in the dark on a big screen and Dolby Digital sound. If there's a thunderstorm outside make sure you're wearing Depends.

    • That was definitely an excellent example! That level did the exact same thing to me as well. I actually dreaded going into that level because I knew that it would have that impact on me - and it certainly surpassed my expectations.

      The ghostly applause in the "theatre"; the voices and screams in the area of the asylum cells; the knocking near the staircase that sounded a lot louder than it probably was as you got close to the top... That level just completely freaked me out to the point that when it w
    • Personally, the only game that managed to scare me shitless was System Shock 2 [sshock2.com]. That game was excellent in many levels, and one was its superb atmosphere.

          Never cried with a game though :)
      • I am a voice in their choir ... the Many sings to us ...

        Argh! I really liked how the fear-factor in SS2 worked on numerous levels - there was the usual darkness-with-monsters, zombies and so on, but also the horrible sense that you were utterly alone, surrounded by the subverted, horribly repurposed shells of your former colleagues. Most disturbingly, they were obviously still conscious of what they were doing, but the Many had turned them completely... Ugh.

        As for a game making me cry - the closest any game
      • Never played Silent Hill then I take it. Tell you what, try playing Silent Hill 2 at night with the lights off and the volume up and tell me how you sleep that night.
        • I have played the Silent Hill series. It did scare me the first time thru, but I have played both in the dark with headphones on.... SS2 had me jumping at nearly every bend (especially if you keep the tough parts in the game that the patch takes out, like your gun jamming more often and such).
    • The strangest thing with the fear in the asylum was that you were expecting anything, and nothing came, for a loooong time, building up even more stress, the arrival of the zombies was a relief, really.
  • Fallout (Score:1, Redundant)

    Point me a person who has played Fallout and did not have emotional impact at the end of the game. Its truly one of the better RPGs developed.
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @01:51PM (#13615263)
    I've created a fair number of Neverwinter Nights modules and I was always surprised by the strong emotional reactions some players had. They'd report tears, joy, and fury.

    The key is for developers to tap into those strong emotions, telling a story that involves the player, encouraging them to invest a portion of their emotions into the game.

    Players will walk through a swamp for gold and fight an army for vengeance, but they'll walk to the ends of Hell for love.
  • it really struck a nerve. I wept for days thinking of the loss the family must have experienced due to my actions.

    Meh, games better than movies - maybe...if your talking about the latest summer blockbuster schlock. Books, no way.
    • One bad example doesn't demonstrate whether or not games have the capacity to invoke strong emotional reactions. I could say the same about children's books to dismiss literature's influence on our emotions but doing so would be pointless and wrong.
  • Games give players the illusion that they are one of the characters, so most of them are going to become more emotionally attached to what goes on in the story (assuming there is one with any substance, of course).

    Now if only more of them can be scripted by quality writers, and voiced by professional actors instead of the Capcom Troupe.
  • by Avacar (911548) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @01:58PM (#13615326) Homepage
    Games have definitely been on par with Movies or shows for years, in my opinion. One of the scariest things I ever did was play SystemShock2 in the dark... looking back, the graphics to that game weren't even anything special, but the story telling and atmosphere certainly surpassed some movies I've seen. I've also certainly felt joy at winning games, or joy 'with' the protagonist of a game as they accomplish something.

    I'll also admit, I've almost come to tears once or twice while playing a game where a primary character dies off unexpectedly or unfairly.

    Yet, when it comes down to it, I can feel part of a well-written book over a game any day. The ability to completely use my imagination removes the last facest of alienation experienced when playing a game or watching a movie... Books definitely produce the largest emotional responses for me. Whereas some games are possibly better than movies, no game is as good as a well written book.

    • Ever played Planescape: Torment? The vast majority of all exposition is done through text. I'd say that the writing is a fair bit better than most books. (excluding true classics, of course) The advantage that (some) games have over even books is the ability for the gamer to make choices and see the effects of those choices.
    • One of the scariest things I ever did was play SystemShock2 in the dark...

      For me it was Doom and the Damn Demons jumping out at about midnight at a friends house. Those things didn't look remotely realistic, but they still made me jump out of the chair. My friends got a big kick out of it all night.
    • Yet, when it comes down to it, I can feel part of a well-written book over a game any day.

      You know, I like a good book and all, but I've never gotten an emotional responce from a book the same way I have from a movie. I'm not sure why it is, but for some reason a book, no matter how well written, fails to move me the same way a movie can. Perhaps it's because a movie forces you to take it all in at once, whereas a book is more drawn out and typically not finished in one sitting. Or perhaps I've just been

  • I wept after playing a few seconds of the first level of Medal of Honor: Frontline. It was such a moving simulation of what our forefathers went through in WWII.
  • It could be argued that RPG's attract more weepy gamers, but is there any evidence? Anything besides the authors preexisting biases to lead him such a conclusion?

    Nope thought not. /PS still pissed that Hobbes betrayed me.
  • Unstable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jclast (888957) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#13615396) Homepage

    Of course it could be argued that RPGs simply attract more emotionally unstable gamers, and that if these same players were forced to try Microsoft Flight Simulator, they'd cry like babies when their Cessna crashed into a pylon during a failed runway approach. Sadly, Bowen does not appear to explore this possibility.

    Couldn't it just be that RPGs have the most involved stories and that the people who play them pay attention to the story? Of course those who play story-intensive games will have a more emotional reaction to gaming than the person who plays only sports games and other story-light titles. The aim of a game is to entertain, and some us are entertained by a good story along with our button mashing.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:08PM (#13615404) Homepage Journal
    Crying, maybe? Pissing someone off is more likely. Crashing that Cessna might not make you cry but I would not be surprised at a DAMN, FWORD, or similar instead.

    Of course you can get really carried away in your games like this guy did over an item called Cloudsong in DAOC. Warning, don't play in public if sensitive ears are about. Sad thing is I run across people who react like this in quite a few games, especially FPS.

    http://content.ytmnd.com//100000/100051/sound.mp3 [ytmnd.com]
    • So THAT'S where it's from!
      I knew it wasn't from WoW as ytmnd first tagged it, but didn't know where.

      "YOU STOLE MY FUCKING CLOUDSONG!!!#%()*#) I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!!!!@(@%*)@(%*!!"

      But seriously for a sec, anger is a very strong emotion and can be used to a great effect in the story, as long as you are angry on something inside the game and not at the game itself.
  • by Ackmo (700165) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:10PM (#13615417)
    I couldn't help but shed a tear when my pet dog Rover was killed on the first level of NetHack. He was a good and faithful dog. Stuck by my side through thick and thin. Of course, he did have a nasty habit of stepping on cursed items but what can you do? Damn you, falling rock traps. Damn you all! I... I... I can't talk about it anymore... It's still too soon.
  • Stories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Godeke (32895) * on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:10PM (#13615426)
    While the emotionally unstable RPG player comment was amusing, the reality is that we react emotionally to stories. RPGs usually provide more story content (character development, background information about the world, complex interactions between the characters) than other games, so it makes sense that RPGs would be among the first games to elicit emotional responses.

    A simulated aircraft crashing at the runway doesn't have the same emotional charge without story: it is just an event in a sterile world. If on the other hand prior to takeoff we had cut-scenes showing a pilot, spouse and children boarding the plane to make a trip that was important to them, then the same crash in the same game environment might have more emotional impact. The more "connected" the player was to their story, the bigger the impact.

    Other types of games can deliver story, sometimes simply through the environment (a burned out village, an isolated shoreline surrounded by jagged cliffs, etc). In some ways this is more effective for more interactive games because interactive environments tend to pull the player out of the emotional impact when the player can interact in ways unsuited to the emotion of the scene. Half life, for example: the scientists you meet throughout was a ground breaking "in game engine" way to experience the progression of the story. Assuming you listened, didn't shoot things while they talked, etc. RPGs tend to avoid that problem by literally tearing the control out of the users hands, although some more recent games have made good progress at interactive storytelling methods that don't feel so abrubt.
    • It wasn't only amusing... it was also a pretty disappointing comment on the emotional well being of the poser. Because truthfully anyone who doesn't cry or at least feel like it (cause well... we are guys after all ;) at a sad moment in a story is really the emotional unstable person.
      Perhaps it would have been better said 'a more emotional person' because you don't have to be unstable to feel sad, it's perfectly natural.
  • May I ask... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rAiNsT0rm (877553)
    Why this was needed to be added?

    The Guardian Gamesblog has a look at the research. From the article: "Of course it could be argued that RPGs simply attract more emotionally unstable gamers, and that if these same players were forced to try Microsoft Flight Simulator, they'd cry like babies when their Cessna crashed into a pylon during a failed runway approach. Sadly, Bowen does not appear to explore this possibility."

    The story was fine on its own merits, this is simply to incite a reaction.

    RPG's attract uns
  • I don't understand the difference. I guess I don't see why a game would by definition have less emotional effect than a movie.

    That said, I wonder about the possibility that *some* gamers just plain have lower standards. In high school I knew people who with religious zeal studied the life-stories of Street Fighter characters (I practically was one of them,) and considered Mortal Kombat a top-notch movie. I agree with the blogger. You have to examine what that person considers "eliciting emotion", and why. I
    • I don't understand the difference. I guess I don't see why a game would by definition have less emotional effect than a movie.

      With a movie you have no control. You sit and watch.

      With a game, you become the character. In many games, like Wing Commander III and IV, your actions and decisions have a direct influence on what goes on. While I'm sure that some people still can remain totally detached in those circumstances, the truth is that a hell of a lot of gamers can't and don't.
  • Ico (Score:3, Interesting)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:17PM (#13615486) Homepage
    Ico is easily one of the most touching, moving games I've ever played. You grew attached to your characters in an instant, and virtually everything--from the arc of the story itself right down to simply jumping across a broken bridge--could evoke an emotional response.

    For those of you who have played: consider what you were feeling the moment you realized just what the shadows were, and what you had to do to progress to the final battle. Have you ever played a game that could create such empathy for your "foes"?

    For those of you who haven't played--you really should pick up a copy. It's an excellent game, and it's cheap.

    • by Malor (3658)
      Ico was wonderful, It had a.... wistful poignancy to it, and telling a story with so few words was a feat in and of itself. With so little dialog, the story was very open to interpretation, and I think everyone that played it experienced it a litte differently. A brilliant game, no doubt. One of the ways I measure games is by how clear my memory is of them, and I remember a great deal about Ico. It's certainly in my top-10 games list.

      If you haven't played it, also look up The Longest Journey. It's a h
    • you really should pick up a copy. It's an excellent game, and it's cheap

      Grrrrr...! And, of course, it's for PS2, not a PC. Well, I'll just have to pretend that I know what you're talking about from the Ico web site. It's too bad, too, because the trailer looks pretty good - and the music was really good. It just seemed to fit while at the same time not seeming to be totally appropriate. Would that there were a functional PS2 emulator for the PC out there ... somewhere ...
  • Myst (Score:3, Funny)

    by tsa (15680) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:21PM (#13615519) Homepage
    Every time I play a Myst game I walk around in silent amazement. The ages are just so darn beautiful. I'm not into eyecandy but Myst grips me every time I play it. The surroundings, the sounds, the horrible story of Atrus and his kin... Together they create e real life-like experience. I just started Myst V and damn is it beautiful. I think a Myst theme park would be fantastic!
    • I think you're being silly. But I honestly thought Zork:Nemesis was a nice mix of plot and eye-candy. Forbidden love, betrayal, vengeance, whatnot.

      The Myst theme park is a non-starter, because the people in charge of creating it would make people solve intricate puzzles before they could use the restroom, flushing the urinals in the proper sequence would open up the concession stand outside, and an evil monster would block your exit until you washed your hands.
      • by tsa (15680)
        My post wasn't meant to be funny but I can see your point. A Zork theme park would also have its problems: people being squashed by the giant hand that sticks out of the subway train, or being seduced bij Dirk Benedict...
      • ...an evil monster would block your exit until you washed your hands.

        Honestly, for the sake of public health, I'd like to see this implemented at theme parks everywhere.
  • by CDLewis (775622) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:26PM (#13615548)
    Some games can make you cry based purely upon the emotional investment made *before* you play the game.

    See: Daikatana. Dr3ver. Pac-Man (2600).
  • Check out this game if you get the chance. It should be out for PS2, Xbox and PC now. It does a good job of pulling you in with the story and I actually cared about what happened to the characters. It isn't the hardest game in the world and it's different than most games (think Shenmue style) but fun enough. I think it's getting an average review of about 8.5

    http://www.atari.com/indigo/ [atari.com]
    • Or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, try Fahrenheit [atari.com] instead.

      ...

      Yeah, it's the same game, just not trimmed for American prudes. :-]
      • Yeah, that was actually what I was playing. There were two different (and pretty graphic with the positions) sex scenes in it when I played through and another movie scene in the bonus section where one of the characters strips her clothes off in a strip tease. During the second in game sex scene the moaning was a little distracting. Not for Americans...it makes hot coffee seem a little tame I think.
    • This is the game you just need to put at "hard", no matter what.

      Even the guitar playing is a blast. I kept doing that scene over and over..

      I'm still trying to play Shenmue 2, but each time I just quit... On a dreamcast, continuing my first game.. The palm reader says "watch out, you'll lose your money". And I'm like.. yeah, I know, you told me last time. I'll just spend it all before I lose it. And I somehow forget to spend it and lose all my hard earned cash driving a forklift.

      I guess Shenmue is the game
  • ...and I think he has a point, at least with certain games (read: "Final Fantasy"). You guys who are going into hysterics over an off-the-cuff facetious comment are just proving it.

    Rob
  • Top Four Moments (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MiceHead (723398) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:28PM (#13615576) Homepage
    I've posted these before in a similar /. thread, but for me, there are easily four cases that fit the bill for Bowen's analysis:

    #4 - The opening sequence to Alternate Reality (Atari 800 version only) by Gary Gilbertson and Phillip Price.

    #3 - Deus Ex -- The death of Paul Denton. (The first time I played it through, he died. The second time I played it through, I saved him, and felt really good about myself until I found out that everyone else I knew saved him on the first try.)

    #2 - RP-heavy text MUDs run by live GMs can pull at the heartstrings as no MMORPG has. (But, no doubt, they will get there.)

    #1 - The death of Floyd in Planetfall:
    "Looks dangerous in there," says Floyd. "I don't think you should go inside." He peers in again. "We'll need card there to fix computer. Hmmm... I know! Floyd will get card. Robots are tough. Nothing can hurt robots. You open the door, then Floyd will rush in. Then you close door. When Floyd knocks, open door again. Okay? Go!" Floyd's voice trembles slightly as he waits for you to open the door.


    ] OPEN THE DOOR

    "The door opens and Floyd, pausing only for the briefest moment, plunges into the Bio Lab. Immediately, he is set upon by hideous, mutated monsters! More are heading straight toward the open door! Floyd shrieks and yells to you to close the door."

    ]CLOSE THE DOOR

    From within the lab you hear ferocious growlings, the sounds of a skirmish, and then a high-pitched metallic scream!

    Time passes...

    You hear, slightly muffled by the door, three fast knocks, followed by the distinctive sound of tearing metal.

    ] OPEN THE DOOR

    Floyd stumbles out of the Bio Lab, clutching the mini-booth card. The mutations rush toward the open doorway!

    ] CLOSE THE DOOR

    And not a moment too soon! You hear a pounding from the door as the monsters within vent their frustration at losing their prey.

    Floyd staggers to the ground, dropping the mini card. He is badly torn apart, with loose wires and broken circuits everywhere. Oil flows from his lubrication system. He obviously has only moments to live.

    You drop to your knees and cradle Floyd's head in your lap. Floyd looks up at his friend with half-open eyes. "Floyd did it ... got card. Floyd a good friend, huh?" Quietly, you sing Floyd's favorite song, the Ballad of the Starcrossed Miner:

    O, they ruled the solar system
    Near ten thousand years before
    In their single starcrossed scout ships
    Mining ast'roids, spinning lore.

    Then one true courageous miner
    Spied a spaceship from the stars
    Boarded he that alien liner
    Out beyond the orb of Mars.

    Yes, that ship was filled with danger
    Mighty monsters barred his way
    Yet he solved the alien myst'ries
    Mining quite a lode that day.

    O, they ruled the solar system
    Near ten thousand years before
    'Til one brave advent'rous spirit
    Brought that mighty ship to shore.


    As you finish the last verse, Floyd smiles with contentment, and then his eyes close as his head rolls to one side. You sit in silence for a moment, in memory of a brave friend who gave his life so that you might live."
    I still get vaclempt after reading the last line. You gotta problem with that!?
    • Re:Top Four Moments (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gulthek (12570) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @04:15PM (#13616523) Homepage Journal
      Play the IFF game 'Photopia' now. It's moving, you will be moved.

      Seriously.

      Here, have a link to the game [adamcadre.ac] even.
      • Play the IFF game 'Photopia' now. It's moving, you will be moved.

        I generally found that I was tightly railroaded in a game that I had no control over. Not only that, but the jumping from character to character at appearently random intervals tended to be a little confusing. At best, the story development was highly chaotic - there was a very limited join among scenes.

        This was different than "Blue Chairs" where I was just as tightly railroaded in a game that I had no control over (but had an in-game opt

      • Out of curiosity I tried it out. Brilliant. Thanks for the tip.
    • Call me crazy, but I think that AoE2 is still an awesome game. And I don't know if it counts as a "game" since it's just a cinematic, but I think that the opening [microsoft.com] is genuinely moving, and it immediately sucked me into the game before I even played for the very first time. Very well done, Ensemble!
    • I had to stop playing the game after Floyd died.

      The way he's scared before he runs for the card makes it even sadder. There are so many subtle touches in that small block of text.

      You stop and wonder...that's just text...WHY HAS NOBODY MATCHED THIS?! Story doesn't take compile time. It doesn't add tons of developers to the proejct. Story takes no processing power.

      Yet, for the most part, it's the least developed part of any video game. This stuff drives me insane. Especially when I hear people talk abou
    • The original Quake (esp. in early 1997, when the graphics were still pretty cutting-edge). Living away at university for the first time ever. Alone. At 03:00 in the morning. In the dark. In a room so cold you can see your breath in front of you, lit only by the flickering blue light of the monitor. I fucking defy you not to flinch when you heard the random occasional growl coming from the speakers just over your right shoulder. And then, when you get so into the game you start instinctively flinching
  • At first I dismissed the premise out of hand, but reading some of the comments here has changed my mind, a bit.

    Ico, sure, but it was made with a sense of art. Most of the games that really seem an emotional response are not the game industry's version of big budget blockbusters. (Which EXCLUDES Final Fantasy, almost in direct proportion to its mainstream popularity. I never cared much about the characters in VII -- what, we're supposed to like Cloud??)

    Ico is the best example that comes to mind.

    Grandias 1
  • ...during computer games comes from times when they were simply crap, and I realized that I had actually spent money on them. Take Masters of Orion 3, for example. How couldn't you cry over that waste of money?
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @03:00PM (#13615861) Homepage Journal
    I've had a lot of games pull some strong emotions out of me, everything ranging from close-to-tears to hair standing on end.

    I remember getting freaked out playing Castle Wolfenstein. (Yes, the original.) I was on the fourth mission or so. Up to that point, the last level was open a few doors, go down a few hallways, there's the boss. Wipe him out. This one had me going after (if I recall correctly) a mechanized general. At every hall and door, I expect to see the boss. First door, nothing. Second, nothing, Thrid, nothing. Then I got to the point of nervous where-the-hell-is-he? thinking. Another hall, another corner. Still no boss. (Keep in mind it was also in the wee hours of the morning and I was very tired, making me more susceptible.) Another door, no boss, another door, no boss, another corner, no boss. I'm completely freaking out by this time wondering where the hell he is. I walk into a room that didn't seem to be a place for a boss, making me lower my defenses for a bit, when I hear "AMERIKANER!!!" from my left speaker. I jumped out of my chair by several inches and was rightfully slaughtered.

    I had had enough, shut the game off, and went to bed, but I actually sat up in bed for about 1/2 hour, twitching at every damn creak that the building made.

    Conversely, I was really impacted by the storyline of Unreal II. Believe it or not, that game had an incredibly strong character arc. (It was not the mindless shoot-and-kill like the original Unreal.) Every non-action sequence and cut-scene was dedicated to character development and relevant story progression. Anyway, throughout the whole game I obviously learned more and more about the background of my crew - why they left their home, what they want in life, why they made the decisions that they did. The writers really did a superb job of helping you to bind with and to understand the crew.

    SPOLIERS AHEAD, but the game is four years old, so doubt it's much of an issue.

    When the ship and crew were destroyed and the main character drops to his knees in sorrow as he watches the ship blown apart in the atmosphere above him, my jaw just dropped and all I wanted was revenge. No game had ever made me want revenge like that before.

    The final sequence where he plays their final, recorded messages of thanks and goodbye - now alone in his escape pod - had me almost close to tears. I was really hoping for some kind of expansion pack that shows that the crew actually made it out alive, but alas it was not meant to be. I had never gotten that emotional about video game characters before, but the story writers for Unreal II really were just that good as far as I'm concerned. (Others believed differently. So be it.)

    Finally, although I have always been one to respect and honor our military and the sacrifices that they have made (and currently make) for us, if Medal of Honor was anything close to what our soldiers had to go through in World War II (and I'm sure that it was actually much, much worse), I have a much more profound respect for those who fought and died to preserve our liberties.
    • I've had emotional responses from games. The ending to Final Fantasy X was definitely one of them. As soon as I finished it I had to go get FFX-2 just to see what happens next.

      I've had a moment of triumph once and scared the crap out of my girlfriend (at the time, we're married now). I was having a moment of triumph while playing Dark Age of Camelot. For those who've played it and know what I mean... it was about a month after the New Frontiers expansion when people were still experimenting with taking
  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @03:00PM (#13615862)
    ...when I tripped and pressed the NES reset button with my toe and I then realized I didn't save and had just lost about 9 hours worth of game play.
  • Differences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paul Slocum (598127) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @03:11PM (#13615967) Homepage Journal
    This is something I've been really interested in for a while. I think that the idea that video games evoke as much emotion as movies, books, movies, or art is absurd, and I suspect any real research would show this.

    One theory is that games are almost always winnable by definition which doesn't accurately mimic reality, and this blunts an emotional response. There's no real question about the fate of the hero, they can eventually "win" one way or another. You're not going to get to the end of Super Mario and find the princess behind an impassable brick wall (this is a hack I've considered doing.)

    My friend and I were discussing this, and he pointed out that early video games sometimes had movie-like scenarios but were not winnable. Take Robotron for example. Sure there are some maniacs who can play a long time, but for the most part, it just gets faster and there are more aliens and robots until you die. Personally, I did find the game subtly disturbing.

    Part of all this may also be due to the fact that games tend to dwell more in the realm of craft rather than actual art. Videogame art is emerging, but there's not much exposure, or a middle ground between pure conceptual art and something that's actually fun to play. Perhaps Katamari Damacy is a step in that direction, since the importance of goals and challenges is diminished in that game. It becomes more of just an activity, a time where you exist in that world. Frankly, that's the game that's evoked the most emotion from me in recent times just because it's so beautiful visually, musically, and conceptually.

    -paul
    • Re:Differences (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Intron (870560)
      The converse is that one reason why recent Hollywood movies have less emotional impact is that they are always "winnable", ie. tehy always have happy endings. Movies from 50 years ago are darker and more emotional in part because they seemed more like real life then the escapist crap they make now.
    • Take Robotron for example. Sure there are some maniacs who can play a long time, but for the most part, it just gets faster and there are more aliens and robots until you die. Personally, I did find the game subtly disturbing

      Yeah, it was a pretty grim situation with no escape. The part of the game I found most disturbing was what happens to the people you don't save. Either they get pummeled by the brutish robots or have their brains enslaved by the brainbots. Creepy indeed.
    • The problem there is that you pass judgment upon a whole medium based on... what? An old arcade game like Robotron, some arcade-ish Mario games, and basically a puzzle game. Now I won't say Mario games aren't good games, but really, they're just easy-to-play arcade-ish games that have almost no story at all. They're not made to be deep or emotional, they're just meant to keep you happily clicking a controller button for a few hours.

      So basically you look at a few games that don't even have much story and don
  • 1: waiting for Daikatana
    2: Reading the reviews of Daikatana .
    3: Playing Daikatana
    4: running out of time in prince of Persia
    5:Loosing my last ship being one kill away from a high score on space invaders due to being nudged
    6: paying for an Atari Jaguar
    7: Remembering playing Daikatana
    8: Daikatana in general
    9: Playing Mario 64 (tears of joy)
    10: EA getting the license to make James Bond games
  • You know I always loved to crash the planes in Flight Sim (my dad is a pilot) and I'm a big RPG fan.

    Of course then again, while it was fun they never had a good animation, and for some reason those failures to thread the World Trade Centers... don't seem to be as "funny" as they were back then... ok they still are funny, but not as laugh out loud.

    The problem is that most of the games you play that are action just are testies burners, not emotional escapes. An RPG has characters you work with for 20 hours o
  • Respondents overwhelmingly cited the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games from Square Enix as the most emotionally rich games, and the death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII was the scene many people said made them cry.

    The most emotional scene in a movie (according to respondents) was when they sent the hotshot pilot with a powerbook to fly into the UFO thus defeating the aliens in Independance Day.

    C'mon people, the characters in FF7 were so unlikable and Aeris' death pissed off more gamers than saddened
  • Being a die hard fan of the original Gabriel Knight adventure game by Sierra On-Line, I recently acquired a copy of the sequel, The Beast Within. Having completed the game and being blown away by the characterization and performances of the actors, main and bit, I can hardly fathom why there hasn't been a deluge of live-action video adventures. I've loved adventure games since the earlier Sierra games (Police Quest 1 for DOS was my first) so I can say with some authority that the inclusion of live actors
  • Those three games scared me. :) The usage of the audio is incredible to give me the chills.
  • I've played several games that have evoked an emotional response. Ico brought a tear to my eye as I played through the ending. (SPOILER) After all that Yorda and I had been through together, after protecting her from the shadow guys and defeating her evil witch mother, Yorda was the one that became strong and made the self sacrifice to save me. It was a very dramatic ending. However, if you stick through the end credits you get a very satisfying second ending.

    Another game that evoked a different kind

  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @06:45PM (#13617649) Journal
    FTA:"More than two thirds of all video gamers feel that video games already surpass, or will soon at least equal movies, music and books in delivering an emotional impact."

    Here's a link to Bowen's write-up of the research:
    http://www.bowenresearch.com/studies.php?d=3 [bowenresearch.com]

    This is a survey of a subset of gamers, whom Bowen was able to survey online. "Surveyed gamers" cannot be extrapolated to "all gamers."

    66% is not more than 2/3. For that matter, "has the potential to equal or surpass" != "will soon be at least equal".

    Guardian Gamesblog needs some help getting their facts straight. They should have also referenced the source of their blog entry.

    I would also guess that two-thirds of avid book readers think books have a greater potential for emotional stimulation. Ditto for movies amongst avid movie-watchers.

    • The end of Earthbound, when you have to pray for your team is moving.

    • Majora's Mask, when Anju decides to wait for Kafee, even as the moon bears down on her house is really sad.

    It just depends on how emotionally open you are. If you harden yourself enough, you can make fun of Schindler's List. If you open yourself enough, you can cry during an AT&T commercial.
    • Yeah, Anju sitting there happy and *knowing* that her love will show up and you know he's not because you f'd up the mission. You're just sitting there going "Oh god, please leave, he's not going to make it" and she just smiles and tells you that she just knows he's going to be there. ...and that's where she dies, and it's your fault.

      Yeah, that was a real heart breaker that brought tears to my eyes.
  • -------- Sound
    As much as everyone are like: "wow great graphics etc etc", for creating emotions, the audio part is MUCH stronger.

    What you see you can generally grasp, you know what you're up against*, but when you hear something, you don't know what it really is, it scares you more or sooth you, if you hear a voice of someone who came to help.
    Music in games is also a very important emotion maker. When you hear a soothing melody, you feel good. When you hear it turning dark, you get emotionally prepared. Aft
  • I've yet to see a movie or read a book that made me experience vertigo.
  • Silent Hill 2 has, in my opinion, the single greatest ever moment in gaming history, and most people pass it by without knowing it. Read on.

    *** SPOILER *** Your flashlight is used to find out where the monsters are in the dark and reveal them. It's ironic that your character finds the flashlight pinned on a mannequin that has his wife clothes, and is startled by the light illuminating him. Since at the end you find out that his wife didn't actually die of cancer, but was killed by him, and the whole alter
  • "More than two thirds of all video gamers feel that video games already surpass, or will soon at least equal movies"

    If you're out there labeling yourself as a video gamer, I'd imagine that you would feel that way. I'll bet if you ask people who label themselves "movie goers" if video games already surpass ore will soon at least equal movies, they'd give a much different response.
  • Nobody seems to have mentioned it, but I think the music in a game has a lot to do with the emotion. If I see a character die, so what, but if I see the same character die accompanied by strings, especially well played violin or piano, that'll make my skin crawl. A recent example I can think of is FFX (not 2), that game had really good music in my opinion.

    By the way, what's up with slashdot's formatting right now? Its strange!

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