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Games Can Make Us Cry

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the especially-if-they're-bad dept.

Games 170

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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Emotions from games? duh! (5, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615163)


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.

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615340)

I started playing Resident Evil 4 this weekend and have dreamed of nothing but zombies and the undead for the past four nights.

Creepy even with the lights on.

As far as crying goes, I think the games are still far from having a script with enough character development to equal The English Patient or Schindler's List*. People want to control characters and kick ass, not watch FMVs in which their character gives a monologue on how much better a human being he could be (no pun intended).

*Not that these movies make everyone cry - just a couple of schmaltzy movies.

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615883)

...Schindler's List*.

*Not that these movies make everyone cry - just a couple of schmaltzy movies.


If Schindler's List didn't make you cry, it's time to run a VK scan on your retina, skin-job!

Otherwise, good point. I certainly enjoyed doing motorcycle stunts and shooting people in GTA:VC far more then I ever will enjoy watching a Vin Diesel flick, but no game can match the emotional impact of Million Dollar Baby or House of Flying Daggers (to name a couple recent examples.)

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (5, Insightful)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616174)

As far as crying goes, I think the games are still far from having a script with enough character development to equal The English Patient or Schindler's List*. People want to control characters and kick ass, not watch FMVs in which their character gives a monologue on how much better a human being he could be (no pun intended).

That is true of a certain subset of games. Perhaps the largest subset, but still only a subset. I don't belive it's possible for a movie to get you as emotionaly invested in a characher as one of the better written RPGs.

With a movie character, you watch their world for 2 hours. With a game, you live in their world for 80+ hours. That can lead to some serious emotional attachment.

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (0, Redundant)

oZt (689520) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616836)

I agree with parent. Following you characters life for 80+ hours leads to, sometimes a very close, attachment. (Though my bro rushed through FFVII in 14 hours) I for one, belong to those who wept when Aeris died in FFVII, but I was only 10-11.. I've never cried watching a movie though..

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (2, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617808)

Damnit - how about a spoiler warning!

Excellent example! (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615384)

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 was done, I felt a combination of "I am so glad to be out of there" and "Damn, those level designers are f**king good!"

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (2, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615818)

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 :)

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615910)


Yeah, I loved SS2 as well, played it twice (so far ;)) and worked on different skill sets both times. Military then engineer type. The psi-guy approach seems pretty hard.

Re:Emotions from games? duh! (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616349)

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 has got so far is Darwinia [darwinia.co.uk] . Yeah, its age rating is '7+', but learning about what had happened to the victims of the Soul Destroyers at the end really got to me. There's also a piece of text in one of the intros (a modified Conway's game of life with built-in, guaranteed extinction) which made me shiver. Something along the lines of 'it was agreed by all on the Darwinia Digital Life project that the Darwinians should be taught as soon as possible the meaning of their own mortality', with the writhing grid of green Darwinians in the background slowly fading away to nothing...

Fallout (1, Redundant)

AdamPiotrZochowski (736869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615200)

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.

Re:Fallout (0, Redundant)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615535)


Show me someone who wasn't felling down when Aeris was killed by Sephiroth in FF7, and I'll show you a heartless Quake3Arena zombie!

Re:Fallout (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615584)

What? I haven't had a chance to play this yet. I've been putting it off for a while. Thanks for the spoiler ass.


jokes!

Re:Fallout (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13616112)

Newsflash: King Captured at End of Chess.

Just trying to bring you up to date.

Re:Fallout (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616413)

Really? Weird, most chess matches I've seen so far seem to end just one move short of the king being captured. I guess the players just didn't have the guts to see it through.

Re:Fallout (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615603)

I was down alright...

Down because I realized that Squaresoft had yet again tricked me into buying the same damn game with the same damn story with the same damn elements as every single one of their games.

And then I laughed because it's funny watching people get stabbed by oversized novelty swords.

Re:Fallout (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616390)

Disclaimer: The comments expressed here are one person's opinions and do not reflect those of the slashdot gaming community as a whole.

I cried while playing Fallout. I didn't particularly care for it (a rarity among slashdot gamers, I'm sure). I wanted my money back.

Nothing compares to the ending of Septerra Core though. The game was great, but the ending left a helluva lot to be desired.

Re:Fallout (1)

AdamPiotrZochowski (736869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617213)

Septerra Core I tried playing but could not stand the fighting system... Not the recharging turn real time based system, but stupid things...

Picture this, (first stage) there is a wolf scouting an area. Its all real time, I sneak past it, but eventually it notices me. So we are to fight, and it becomes a gentelmen's duel, I walk to my predefined position to fight, so does the wolf, we pass each other, say hello, arrive at the right spot and then start a fight. It felt like playing a game designed in middle 80s.

Someone tried telling me that this is common in rpg games in the console world.

out of curiousity, if I may, what was with Fallout that you did not like?

Neverwinter nights experience . . . (2, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Neverwinter nights experience . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615297)

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.

Doom?

(I know, it's not the same. Just being contrary.)

Wow, this sure is an 'objective' article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615300)

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.
 
Can we get some other article that doesn't have smartassery from a Madden jockey?

When I killed that demon-spawn.. (2, Insightful)

leland242 (736905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615301)

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.

Re:When I killed that demon-spawn.. (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615362)

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.

Immersion (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615308)

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.

Books are victorious (5, Insightful)

Avacar (911548) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615326)

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.

Re:Books are victorious (0, Redundant)

Gleng (537516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615476)

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.

I have to admit, I cried like a bitch when Aeris died in Final Fantasy VII.

Re:Books are victorious (1)

deinol (210478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616601)

I have to admit, I cried like a bitch when Aeris died in Final Fantasy VII.

When I was getting to know an old girlfriend, she told me the same thing. You know what I said to that? "Aeris dies?"

I never got that far. I got bored after leaving the city. Then again, I'm not that big of a FF fan.

Re:Books are victorious (1)

bVork (772426) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616925)

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.

Re:Books are victorious (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616954)

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.

Re:Books are victorious (1)

Databass (254179) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617670)

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.

Some of the classic scary movies, like Hitchcock for example, are black and white films. But what's scary isn't what's happening on the screen, it's what's happening in your mind.

This is a surprise? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615341)

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.

You can argue anything (1)

terpl (897171) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615376)

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.

Re:You can argue anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615708)

That lousy furball. Saw that coming, though.

Re:You can argue anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13616269)

*SPOILERS* I was more upset when Vagabond got killed. More still when I was forced to use a terror weapon in order to get past the enemy. Wing Commander IV just kind of messed with me all the way through, since I was killing my own kind instead of evil aliens bent on my race's destruction, especially when I had to protect those formerly evil aliens from my race. I can't say it made me cry or anything, but plenty of moments in that game gave me more pause than destroying the Kilrathi homeworld ever did.

I have at times cried a little from the bittersweetness that is the ending of a game I have been playing for a long time. I've done the same with books and movies that really got their hooks into me emotionally. The only moment during a game that ever got tears out of me, though, was in Megaman Legends 2, *SPOILER* when Megaman regained his memories and relived the night the Master died in his arms. I was surprised at my reaction, because until that moment I hadn't realized that the game had me like that.

As for Aeris dying if FF7, well, I don't know how I would have reacted if that hadn't been spoiled for me long before I had any interest in playing the game, but earlier Final Fantasy games were so full of characters sacrificing themselves for each other that I probably wouldn't have been very surprised. I think losing the twins in FF4 was harder, personally.

Re:You can argue anything (2, Insightful)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617648)

More spoilers ahead, particularly for Final Fantasy 10.

As for Aeris dying if FF7, well, I don't know how I would have reacted if that hadn't been spoiled for me long before I had any interest in playing the game, but earlier Final Fantasy games were so full of characters sacrificing themselves for each other that I probably wouldn't have been very surprised. I think losing the twins in FF4 was harder, personally.

Losing the twins could have been considered hard, but I think perhaps the weepiest Final Fantasy moment would be at the end of 10 with the fading away of those neat aeons and with then, the fading away/death of the main character Tidus. Very emotionally affecting, and made a friend of mine rather misty-eyed, and he didn't seem like the type to do that sort of thing. Kindof a tough guy.. on the surface. ;)

Unstable? (4, Insightful)

jclast (888957) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615396)

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.

More like piss people off. (2, Funny)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615404)

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]

OK I admit it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615413)

THe last couple Silent Hill games managed to make me jump and feel creeped out a few times. OK I didn't CRY, but still.

The sappy love story in Final Fantasy X though... umm, ahh, it was touching. That's all I'm saying.

I had a sad feeling for a moment, then it passed. (4, Funny)

Ackmo (700165) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

May I ask... (1, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615434)

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 unstable gamers, eh? How any site such as "The Guardian Gamesblog" can make such insane statements is beyond me, and then to get placed in the same post as a well researched factual article boggles the mind.

When was the last time a flight simulator had enough storyline to make anyone care or become attached to a character or a plane? Never. Save maybe the Wing Commander series. *gasp* maybe it is the fact that RPG's are story driven, and can be very immersive and draw the player in very close. I defy anyone who played FF VII to have not been emotional when Aeris dies. Maybe not box-of-kleenex tear gusher, but evoking some emotional response.

This was simply not needed and detracts heavily from the real "news," a well researched and well written article.

Re:May I ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615699)

Most RPG's have the character development of a Dr. Seuss novel... and the funniest part is most of the examples people use to counter act this are the characters in Final Fantasy games.

The characters in these games are about as shallow, two dimensional, and predictable as one can right them with the exception of but a handful.

I mean... the example of Aeris is a good one. She's not a really fully developed character, she's sweet and blah and yadda yadda but really nothing to get worked up over. In fact, her sickly sweet generalization is what makes her feel less human and more ridiculous stereotype. Anyone who cried for the death of such a boring character, and one who really didn't need to be in the game at all -IS- and emotionally unstable individual. You barely know this character from the game, and her static one-dimension is something that should be praised for being removed from the game so early instead of being used as an example of an emotional centerpiece.

It's sad what constitutes for good writing and depth these days.

Re:May I ask... (0, Flamebait)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615863)

Well you're AC, but I'll feed the troll.

Umm, contradict yourself much?

I mean... the example of Aeris is a good one. ...then you go on to state how she is so one-dimensional and who cares, blah, blah, blah.

So which is it?

I wholeheartedly agree that most RPG's have pretty cliche and tired storylines and characters. No innovation in well over 20 years does that to a genre. FFVII was a very engaging storyline and well written. The shock value and attachment to Aeris was palpable and not to be understated.

Re:May I ask... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13616188)

It's not a contradiction, I just worded it poorly.
And one time is not too much.

The example of Aeris is a good one to benefit my argument. That is what I meant to say and how I should have worded it. Apologies to my vague wording and upon retrospect I see I worded it wrong.

"No innovation in well over 20 years does that to a genre."

Exactly... the death of a "sweet" character is such a standard and obvious death in a number of stories and for some reason I should overlook this? Hell, it worked for A Christmas Carol with Tiny Tim. Now what would have been interesting is if someone who had actual depth to them perished, or if in the continuation of a real series a main character you grow to love dies. But since the FF series just slaps new names on the same stereotypes over and over again, you never see this happen.

Phantasy Star did the death of a character best. The main character through nearly the entire series of the games gets killed midway through the game. This is a character you grew up with, played the game with through the entire series, and now... toast. Now there is a shock. That is not to say the depth was there (look how old the game series is and how poor game stories were at that time) so I can't argue that. But as far as I'm concerned that is something you don't see coming; something that affects the people who are a part of the series.

Aeris is in ONE game and is barely even in half of the game and you've experienced so little of her life, feelings, ideas... hell she barely even has much dialogue.

I like an RPG as much as the next guy, but I can't honestly see why people use this Aeris example so much. When she died, it didn't bother me at all for all of the above reasons I mentioned. Hell, Barrett dying would have been more dramatic since he's actually a likable guy that your main character seems to have a real connection with, not just some forced love-like scenes.

Re:May I ask... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13615840)

Why this was needed to be added?

Because it was funny. Maybe if you weren't such an emotionally unstable crybaby then you'd see that.

Partially Agree (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615445)

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. If you did a poll of my generation of the best movie ever made, "The Highlander" would do really well.

Re:Partially Agree (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615958)

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 (2, Interesting)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615486)

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.

Re:Ico (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615816)

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 huge, involved adventure with intricate, fun characters, and lots and lots of great dialog. You really do get the feeling that the protagonist is an art student, struggling to get by. Her world is diverse and interesting. And THEN things start officially Getting Weird.

It was obvious that an enormous amount of time and effort went into crafting it just so. I have rarely been so hooked into a story; 'mesmerised' wouldn't be too far off. And the ending was very powerful, very possibly the strongest single gaming memory I have. Of all the story-based games I've played, that one is the best. (Grim Fandango got pretty darn close, though.)

If you don't like adventure games, pick it up anyway, and use a walkthrough... it's an absolutely fascinating game just to WATCH, even without the puzzle-solving. Think of it as a very long, interactive movie.

I wish it had gotten more press and acclaim. It's really quite remarkable.

Re:Ico (1)

Ykant (318168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616282)

Ico is easily one of the most touching, moving games I've ever played.

I tend to agree, and I've never even finished the game. It definitely caused a reaction for me. I only play it when I'm in a happy mood - there's such an overwhelming sense of isolation and loneliness in that game that I find it unsettling.

Re:Ico (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616919)

I tend to agree, and I've never even finished the game.

Dude, it takes like 7 hours to play through the whole thing...

Maybe not the best example, but... (1)

Izhido (702328) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615514)

... I'd bet "Golden Sun" 1 & 2 are considered by many "the best RPG ever" (???) precisely because of how these game(s) make them feel. I, myself, think I'm among these people.

Re:Maybe not the best example, but... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616644)

You probably mean "Golden sun 0.5 & 1". Episodic content should not be sold at full price.

Re:Maybe not the best example, but... (1)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617008)

"Episodic content should not be sold at full price."

You mean like Halo and Halo 2? I fully agree.

Re:Maybe not the best example, but... (1)

Dogmatron (911467) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617602)

"I'd bet "Golden Sun" 1 & 2 are considered by many "the best RPG ever" (???) precisely because of how these game(s) make them feel. I, myself, think I'm among these people."

Are you joking? Golden Sun 1 and 2 are the best RPGs ever?!?!

Those games are merely imitations (even parodies) of the 8-bit and 16-bit greats that preceded them. And no, I'm not talking about FF here, or other subpar offerings from Squaresoft. Seriously, try some Working Designs RPGs such as the Lunar series if you want a taste of what a real RPG is like.

The fact that someone would suggest Golden Sun 1 & 2 are the best RPGs ever made is almost appalling. They are great games, but are not groundbreaking in the least.

Too many emotionally retarded gamers. (1)

Seor Jojoba (519752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615518)

Yeah, I'm getting tired of listening to what gamers think is a good dramatic story. These are the ones that fall in love with some anime chick that is, wow... intelligent (because she wears glasses), has big boobs, and knows how to wield a laser rifle. When a gamer tells me that some game has a moving story to it, I just don't believe them anymore. How do you feel emotionally connected to characters whose means of expression are punching, kicking, and shooting, interrupted occasionally by cut scenes where there is "acting"?

The game industry has all but abandoned the adventure genre where we were just beginning to grow up and see some good storytelling. Now we have crap! Gamers need to watch better movies, read better books, and learn to appreciate themes outside of their adolescent power and sex fantasies.

Re:Too many emotionally retarded gamers. (4, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615644)

The game industry has all but abandoned the adventure genre where we were just beginning to grow up and see some good storytelling.

Adventure occationally makes a comeback in RPGs. Elder Scrolls: Morrowind is a great example. There's plenty of plot and tons of exploration. The trouble is that the sequels to such games miss the point and fairly universally evolve towards a combat mechanics focus in an effort to gain universal appeal. As long as the reviewers continue to punish developers for neglecting combat and multi-player capabilities, and developers continue to do everything poorly rather than focus on doing one thing well, games will continue to have crappy plots and literary qualities.

Another perfect example: Xenogears. The game was almost all plot, and the reviewers trashed it for that. Now there are pseudo-sequels and they added so much combat and level grind that you have to buy a 100 hour "episode" to get 20 minutes of plot out of a game.

learn to appreciate themes outside of their adolescent power and sex fantasies

Those things describe at least half (but probably more like 90% when you consider how much pulp is published every year) of the literature that mankind has ever produced. If you're willing to seek out the diamond in the literary rough, why can't you accept that there are the same things in the gaming world?

Re:Too many emotionally retarded gamers. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13616420)

"why can't you accept that there are the same things in the gaming world?"

Because so far, a story in a game has not incited a revolution of philosophy or thought, nor has it created an enviroment where it is real enough to make you feel a connection to it.

The problem with the game is just that... it is a game. You have to play it. And a literary equivalent to an amazing story, great characters, and so forth generally means you have to sacrifice the gameplay to have add depth.

I'm really interested in the topic of "games as great additions to culture". You have to remember that they aren't that old, I mean even comic books had to take a while to get to where we are today (with deep, developed stories and characters that are more realistic/dynamic and less soap opera). So hopefully a developer will come along who can make something that will create a real, long lasting emotional attachment... but until then, we'll just have to keep playing games and see what happens.

Everyone can disagree with me, but as far as I'm concerned, the gaming world has yet to produce a truly classic story with really memorable, deep characters. They are excellent, on the other hand, at creating pop culture icons that give us catch phrases.

Re:Too many emotionally retarded gamers. (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616651)

Because so far, a story in a game has not incited a revolution of philosophy or thought

It's incredibly rare that a book will do this either. Becoming more rare every day, in fact, because publishing is profit driven.

Everyone can disagree with me, but as far as I'm concerned, the gaming world has yet to produce a truly classic story with really memorable, deep characters. They are excellent, on the other hand, at creating pop culture icons that give us catch phrases.

I disagree with you on the most fundamental level. Unless, of course, you also think that modern literature has yet to produce a story that isn't a rehash of an ages old plot. The problem isn't that games can't be an intellectual work, it's that the signal to noise ratio is roughly the same when it comes to games as it is with every other form of expression, and there are more books published every week than there are games published all year.

Re:Too many emotionally retarded gamers. (1)

aspeno (840243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617569)

Adventure occationally makes a comeback in RPGs. Elder Scrolls: Morrowind is a great example. There's plenty of plot and tons of exploration. The trouble is that the sequels to such games miss the point and fairly universally evolve towards a combat mechanics focus in an effort to gain universal appeal.

Not sure if you knew this, but The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is itself a sequel, and from all I can tell, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion looks to be even better in every way, story and game world included. http://www.elderscrolls.com/home/home.htm [elderscrolls.com]

Myst (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615519)

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!

Re:Myst (2, Funny)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616461)

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.

Re:Myst (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616515)

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...

Tears (and a few expletives) (4, Funny)

CDLewis (775622) | more than 9 years ago | (#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).

Re:Tears (and a few expletives) (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616484)

$69 for Dragon Warrior II. What a dumb twelve year old I was. After saving up the whole summer for that game, damned straight I had an emotional investment in it.

Re:Tears (and a few expletives) (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617374)

Armada. Phantasy Star 2. Hidden & Dangerous.

Indigo Prophecy (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615552)

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]

Re:Indigo Prophecy (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616219)

Or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, try Fahrenheit [atari.com] instead.

...

Yeah, it's the same game, just not trimmed for American prudes. :-]

Re:Indigo Prophecy (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616362)

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.

Re:Indigo Prophecy (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 9 years ago | (#13618002)

There a particular place a Canadian could pick that up online? I'm assuming I'll need a modded XBox to play it, as well.

RPG is my favorite genre... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615554)

...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 (5, Interesting)

MiceHead (723398) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615576)

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 (1)

Ykant (318168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616374)

Whoever wrote those things did some damn fine writing. I think the end of "A Mind Forever Voyaging" is one of the best-written game endings ever. Just plain touching.

Who did that game, anyways.. Meretzky?

Re:Top Four Moments (4, Informative)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616523)

Play the IFF game 'Photopia' now. It's moving, you will be moved.

Seriously.

Here, have a link to the game [adamcadre.ac] even.

Re:Top Four Moments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13617461)

I HEAR AND OBEY!

Art vs. Product (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615649)

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 and 2, although they are victim to some RPG cliches, manage to overcome it with amazingly witty incidental dialogue.

Don't forget: making the player laugh is also an emotional response, so I include the Paper Mario games, and some of the better moments in Mario & Luigi.

Most of my crying... (1)

Nice2Cats (557310) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615712)

...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?

You want an emotional reaction.... (1)

svtmunk (461967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615808)

Let's hope Valve gets a little Alyx and Freeman action going in one of the HL2 expansions ;)

Some of my experiences (4, Interesting)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615861)

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.

Re:Some of my experiences (1)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617065)

"No game had ever made me want revenge like that before."

Yeah, I got that with the beginning of Fable after I got it for the PC recently. Goddamn bandits.

I cried playing Final Fantasy... (2, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 9 years ago | (#13615967)

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 (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616186)

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.

Re:Differences (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616217)

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.

Emotional Gaming (1)

Zephiris (788562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616143)

"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."

I'd have to question the personal insecurity of the person who wrote this article if they included such a statement. How could any decently intelligent person come up with this, let alone a supposed gamer, unless they felt deeply threatened by the apparent results of the research?
The point of feeling emotions because of games isn't because of 'instability', emotional or otherwise (no matter how many guys would like to put on a tough act), but because emotions are natural. They're especially natural concerning any interaction, of which books, movies, and games can be considered a part of. In books and movies, you sympathize, make a connection with the characters. You sit 'on the edge of your seat', so to speak, as the story develops and as you begin to understand the characters and their interactions and development more. You see more into their lives, and appreciate the author for taking the time...if it's well done. It's not really any different for a book, game, movie, play, or any other method for telling a story.
Today, I was watching 'Dad', starring Ted Danson and Jack Lemmon. I tend not to cry all that often, but it was such a good movie that it had me sobbing, among feeling many other emotions.
It's a sad day when people who play video games can be easily considered emotionally unstable for feeling things about a video game character, or crying when something tragic happens, or after a long, hard-won victory.
However, why would crying at a failed landing approach in MSFS (particularly after the 300th time) be considered any worse than cursing at the game, or your own lack of skills, in frustration or anger?
That seems like completely unreasonable double standard, to me. For many decent games, like Freespace 2, Septerra Core, even Rogue Spear, The Thing, and System Shock 2, who hasn't displayed a wide variety of emotions? Who hasn't cheered or cried with the thrill of victory? Who hasn't felt anger, remorse, or sadness at a humiliating defeat? Isn't it the emotional response to begin with which keeps most gamers playing? It's not just that there is a challenge floating around that makes most play, it's the emotional response to that, to the story, to the challenge itself.

Nothing is more injurious to the character and to the intellect than the suppression of a generous emotion. - John Jay Chapman

It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam. - Gilbert Keith Chesterton
If you would have me weep, you must first of all feel grief yourself. - Horace
The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. - George Santayana

10 Game moments that made me shed a tear (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616297)

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

Emotional gamers have nothing to do with it. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616414)

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 or so, compare that to about the 5 hours you play most games, or the 10 hours for extremely long games? It's not the same. In fact look how much story there is in that 10 hours?

There are exceptions, such as MGS and MGS2 and MGS3 all of them fine for evoking emotions, but Hideo is a genius at that. But I don't know many games, or even RPGs that can evoke those emotions any more, FFX did well, Xenosaga always does good, but the fare we have now compared to some of those the SNES rpgs is poor. Though I have sorta loved Rachet and clank recently and it does move me at times.

It's all about the characters development, and story, not about the game, and that doesn't mean a emotional game is good, I love the testies burners too. But for a great game in my book I need great character dev, and great story.

Wha--?! (1)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616463)

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.

Um, yeah, ok.

As a looooong-time RPG player (going back to 1st-ed. D&D from the 70's, not just CRPGs), if I was forced to play Microsoft Flight Simulator, I probably would crash my Cessna into a pylon just out of sheer farging boredom. Don't get me wrong, I love combat flight sims, but the pointless fly-civilian-aircraft-around-just-for-the-sake-of- flying stuff bores me to tears.

Also, I love the hack-n-slash aspects of many CRPGs. Call me a sadist. Yeah, the storylines are a draw (when they're not the generic rescue-the-princess-from-the-evil-badguy crap), but mainly I like improving my player-character(s) and finding new and interesting badguys to take on in battle. The cool stories are just gravy. Mind you, that's just PC/console RPGs, I take a different approach with the pen-and-paper variety, where you get to interact with real people playing their characters, as well as the DM/GM role-playing everyone else in the world.

But back to this non-topic...

Ok, maybe "emotionally unstable" does accurately describe my game-playing mentality. But not in the pussified way the Gamesblog author fantasizes.

...grumble... where's that bitch Diablo... need a punching bag...

Homeworld (1)

Norfair (845108) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616576)

That was the only game i played where i came close to crying, though I think it had something to do with the beautiful, haunting music. The plot was something that anyone could connect to (human race on the brink of extinction, but it was so brilliantly done). No other RTS even comes close to touching this one's feet.

Re:Homeworld (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616725)

I'll second this! Homeworld's gameplay was superb for its time, but I really enjoyed the story behind the game the most. I don't know if I ever shed a tear, but I definitely did feel a lot of emotions during the game. I agree that a big part about it was the music -- Adagio for Strings (the music from level 3 I think, when the world was destroyed) still haunts me. The use of vocals especially added to the haunting nature of the music.

You've gotta be kidding! (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#13616673)

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 them. Dang, I've lost my healer... that sucks.

For me, the most emotional scene an a game was during WindWaker when Link was setting sail with the pirates. I was full of tears just watching him wave goodbye to his grandmother. That was a great role-playing experience. Tetra's comment afterwards was so well timed.

SquareEnix knows presentation. They need to work a bit on making players emotionally invest (beyond Final Fantasy Fanboys) and they really need to work on gameplay (I'm pointing fingers at the damnable Kingdom Hearts and Crystal Chronicles) but they have the potential to make some great games someday.

Aeris (0, Redundant)

ecumenical_40oz (914889) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617007)

Did anyone here NOT cry when Aeris died? Me, I curled up in my leather gaming chair and wept like a baby when Cloud released her into the pool under the City of Ancients. It wasn't until my Knights of the Round had finished whomping Sephiroth's final form that I could finally quit grieving and move on with my life. My PSX controller still has the dried tears on it.

Other entertainment makes us cry (1)

pbaer (833011) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617019)

Think of all the people that cry after seeing movies or at a sad book ending. Why shouldn't a well developed and involved video game cause people to tear up either?

so-called Interactive Movies of the 90s (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617060)

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 over text-spoken or even fully voiced animated characters brings the player that much deeper into the story.

The game can be found for as little as $3 on eBay and it's compatible with WinXP with a free patch. Wait until the sun goes down, dim the lights, open your windows (chilly night air really enhances the mood), and be mesmerized.

System Shock 2, Alien Swarm mod, & DOOM 3 = Sc (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617251)

Those three games scared me. :) The usage of the audio is incredible to give me the chills.

Halo (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617253)

I think my exact words were "Oh my god, not more of this bloody library! I can't take it! When will it end "

Games that moved me (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617274)

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 of emotional response was Deus Ex. I remember when I played it, after I was given the three different possible ending scenarios, I stopped playing the game for a week or more while I worked through the mutually-exclusive options that I had, trying to figure out which was most true to how I viewed myself in the game. (SPOILER) In the end, I decided to bring about the Second Dark Age, that despite that huge cost, the benefits it gave (freedom for the people) outweighed them.

Post the source, instead of inaccurate blogs (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617649)

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.

Old news. (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#13617917)

Lunar 2 and MGS3 both have made me cry

Everyone's listing this, so am I... (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 9 years ago | (#13618052)

Here would be some of the moments that tended to keep me awake. There have been a lot more - I tend to take everything out of games that have some real substance.

Creepiest: A lot of different kinds of creepiness, I think, but I think I could call Elegia Eternum and Excrucio Eternum for Neverwinter Nights some of the creepies adventures I've played. Psychological horror is pretty tricky to get right.

Most evil: I was genuinely chillily touched by Horance the Lich in Ultima VII. I really don't know why, but that was one of the cases when an evil character's, um, evilness really shows well. I was definitely zapped. "This guy is evil."

Nerve-wracking disgust due to messing with the player's head: Ultima IX. I start a-playing. Ol' LB says Despise needs cleaning. I go deep in the dungeon. In the end, this badly dressed guy waits. He wants me dead, of course. Soon, he starts spinning some ridiculous theory that he's my good buddy Iolo, didn't I notice his bow and lute? "yeah right," thought I, and killed the guy. "Real Iolo uses crossbow. Do you think I'm some kind of amateur?" Well, turns out that whoever wrote that crud didn't know that kind of facts, and made the whole thing sound like the Oldest Trick in the Book. I cried for the day when I realized I had just killed Iolo, yes, it was that horrible. No, actually it was Electronic Arts that made me kill Iolo. That's right. Boycott them!

Weirdest source of guilt: Opening of Metroid Prime. The scan visor records everything there is to know about the Parasite Queen. I kill the thing. I escape the spacewreck and touch down on the planet. And then it hits me: I had just destroyed something unique - yes, an ugly space parasite monster thing, but still - and the only thing that survives is the scan in the computer. After that realization, a lot of monsters in the game seemed to make me scream "I can't kill that, it's too cute". =(

Automatic tears: Death of Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid. Even sadder in Twin Snakes.

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