Can Games Make You Cry?

/. is running a thread on this topic:

“How many times have you cried while actually playing a game as opposed to sitting there with the controller in your lap watching some CGI ”

“in-game interactions develop a sense of connection with the characters”

“Such an event is emotional because you can’t control it … If something bad happens (like one of your teammates dies) you aren’t as effected by it because you are not ‘in’ the scene like you would be if it was a movie. You are, in a way, ‘outside’ the scene as an omnipotent observer with the ability to affect the world.”

“I can watch (FF7+10 spoilers) Aerith die and Cloud’s reaction, Tidus fading away as Yuna tries to hug him and falls through (end spoilers) without the sound on and barely batter an eyelid. Put the sad music in there and I’m blubbing like a girl.”

Another /.’er recommends Planescape:Torment:

“The game’s level of detail and its emotional impact have prompted some players to cast about for literary peers.”

And Bowen Research report:

“the only genre that tends to elicit reasonably complex emotion is RPGs (presumably Japanese ones), while other genres all inspire at least some basic kind of motivational urge in the player – be it rage or fear or what have you.”

“how innately bound any emotion is to the current fabric of videogames (that is, whether it has anything to do with what the medium is trying to accomplish), how much emotional potential videogames might ideally hold, and – assuming some degree of innate potential – how best to insinuate emotion into the framework or theory of a videogame. Or rather perhaps, how best to cull emotion from that same framework.”

“Every medium we devise is a study of certain properties in the world around us, manipulated to express meaning based on our existing understanding of the underlying principles of that medium. ”

“a framework for exploring the nature of cause and effect”

“intellectual or emotional clarity that would not exist without active participation”

“Only in an RPG, for instance, with its endless character fiddling and back-of-the-box gametime, would the above death scenarios hold such weight. Only in a situation where the player has no control, as in a cutscene, would there be room for such outrage”

“Releasing one’s grip releases the character’s grip. There is, therefore, a great tactile transference of the in-game actions, and their significance, to the player – creating a nice basic level of exhilaration.”

“much of the emotion we experience through our normal lives (and indeed from other media) is objective in nature: we watch, and reflect on, things beyond our control”

“emotion is our way of coping with, coming to terms with, things that are beyond us”

“the most principle emotion that videogames exist to conjure is wonder, at the new worlds and new logic and new choices available. The primary response to wonder is curiosity.

This curiosity, it seems to me, would be the impetus for all emotional cues.”


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