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Wavinator

Has any game ever made you think about the larger world?

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Wavinator    2017
Have you ever been playing a game and experienced some insight into the way things are or how they work in the world at large? If so, what was the game and how did it do that for you? If you can, please be detailed in how the game got you thinking about life, the universe, and everything. [smile] As fun as a great many games have been, only two have ever done this for me: Civilization and an old game called Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri. Civilization's modeling of resources and expansion really made me think about why people have fought constantly throughout history because I was in the driver's seat of a nation and had to survive under rules of scarcity and fear. When my empire conquered others, or collapsed, I thought about how rulers in history had to face these things. The tech system, though artificial, also made me think about how invention helped to fuel warfare. In Terra Nova, one of the first FPS games with large outdoor environments, you could coordinate the movements of of a small squad and I had the experience of setting up a diversion to bypass a checkpoint. In the process I remember walking down a long road very nervous about whether or not the ruse worked or whether or not I'd be ambushed. As I crept down the roadway in a suit with cramped, limited field of view, zooming in and out, I had this awful thought of, "man, people do this stuff in real life in the real world, and this is what they have to worry about. The soldier's lot is nothing nice!"
Oddly enough, more realistic games from flight sims to Counterstrike never did this to me because I was thinking about getting the mission accomplished. Even something like The Sims makes me think more about leveling up than about how people live because the needs meters require constant attention. I wonder if this kind of pondering is just a weird thing some people (like me) occassionally do or if it's tied to having a game that makes you think about things bigger than yourself AND gives you, through pauses, the time to let such musings sink in.

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LJR    122
Yes! When I was still in my teens... Leisure Suit Larry 2 or 3? That game rocked!!! and I would love to find it again to run on my Win XP!!! Basically, you started the game out as a worthless bum... and thats how people in the game treated and identified you as. It was great. You had this whole social class system you were trying to climb through out the game without a dollar to your name. Eventually, as you climbed the social ladder, people in the game would start talking to you and offer advice, tips, freebies.. etc... like in the real world.

-LJR

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onyxflame    203
The closest I've gotten to this so far, is when playing various action games. (I HATE action games. Crappy reflexes. Gimme a good ol' classic turn based RPG and I'm hooked. Anyway...) A classic example is in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in the fire dungeon (whatever it's called), where you have to run up a curvy narrow staircase above a pit, in order to get to some hammer thingy before time runs out and the switch resets itself. After the first few times of swearing at this room, I thought "Man, if I had to do this crap in real life, I'd be pissing myself by now."

And actually, sometimes your perception of reality is distorted by the game. My mom used to dream about having a little meter next to her when she was on the toilet, after a long stint of playing the Sims. So yeah, it IS good for something. :P

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BlahMaster    122
Hmm... very interesting topic.

About a month ago I played a game called bullfight made by sega for the arcade. It was an overhead 2d action game, where you play as a bullfighter against a bull. Although, the graphics were very simplistic, I felt that I was really a bullfighter while playing it. It seems the more you attack the bull, the angrier the bull gets. Furthermore, whenever you manage to stab the bull, without killing it. You can run away from it until it dies. I remember when I did kill the bull that way, I felt very dishonorable.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Battlefield 1942 with the "modern" add-on makes me wonder why we don't nuke the entire Middle East and be done with it all.

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Scheermesje    169
I can't remember experiencing such a thing... Altough I'm really nervous when walking trough a level in Thief I never thought about stealing something in real live :)

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Waverider    169
When I played Warcraft II, I got an in-game sense of a living fantasy world whose pieces interacted with each other, and seeing things from both sides.

Opening that up all the way gave me simple insight into how to deal with all the people with differing religions and beliefs, and people with none at all.

But that's easy to think in a computer chair. Walk out into the world with that, and you get something very different.

I also connected heavily with games that start you out as a nobody and gradually increase your power and reputation. Of course that comes to fruition in the end as you save the world. Also very different from how the actual world works. Somewhere in there as you gain power and reputation, the world mostly expects you to serve it, not save it.

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catch    192
Unfortunately, most games don't spark any of this in me. The few that have made me think are similar to what you (OP) said. The darker or more depressing facts of our reality.

Mostly, this comes down to killing and violence. For example, I really like the James Bond game, Goldeneye, on N64. When you shot guys, hitting them in the head really killed them, and shooting them in the chest and what not made a thumping sound and they reacted to bullets striking them.

It made me think about how we run through games wasting bad guy after bad guy and not even thinking twice about it. This has caused me some trouble. Games like Age of Empires have produced similar revelations for me, but on a larger, more global scale.

Then there's the "Postal" series of games....

Anyway, more often than not, movies or literature do this to me, and not games. Like Attila the Hun, Gladiator, etc. Most games just aren't that thought provoking or realistic. Even the ones that claim to be (Doom 3 being a good example - that game was utterly silly).

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Way Walker    745
Not so much the world at large, but FFVI got me thinking about myself and those I know. With so many varied and fairly developed characters, I could see part of me or part of someone I knew in each of them. Thinking about similarities brings about thinking about differences. Sort of "what makes me/you me/you and not you/me". So many little case studies. So many little glimpses of their lives. So many emotions and varying flavors of emotions.

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Spoonbender    1258
Medieval: Total War, for the reasons Wavinator stated with Civilization. Except with MTW, it really seemed so much more intensive. Civ was always a bit too abstract to have that effect on me, but in MTW, you really see the different nations struggling for survival, getting slaughtered by barbarian hordes, and fighting for resources and positioning. Battles weren't just abstract movements of a few icons, but thousands of corpses scattered over the battlefield, people running for their lives, and generals trying to use their tactics to keep as many people alive as possible. A very intensive history lesson, and damned good fun as well... :D

Deus Ex definitely did it for me too. The very detailed world, with countless conspiracies and shady plots everywhere, and a world slowly going to hell, really made me think about how much of it actually seemed likely. Not the whacky conspiracy theories, like Area 51 and secret societies running the world's governments, but the general theme. How some people did the cruelest things, either for personal profit, or because they believed they did it for a good cause. The way everyone had their own agenda, and pursued it, sometimes at horrific costs for everyone else. That felt very real.

I'll probably be able to think of more games like that later. I know I've experienced that feeling in several games... :)

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trapdoor    130
I'd say a few MMO's got me thinking. At first, I see it as a game and whatever happens in there is just part of what you can do in the game. When I see what cruel things people do in these games, I am reminded a lot after a while of going over in my head what I want to do to that bastard, that it's not a whole lot different in the real world. Whatever the worst thing that goes on in the game, has probably happened outside the game in a different context. Not only that but I begin to think of the programming aspect too. Sometimes it seems that the developers encourage cruelty a little to force people to play in large teams as opposed to just as a group of 2-3 friends.

A lot of times I get vigilante thoughts. And which ever game I have been playing last, I tend to think as if I had the same abilities as the character I was in the game. I see some jerk on the street or on TV, I think of what I'd do if I had this ability or that power. Not that I ever act on them. Just the thought enters my mind.

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krez    443
after playing counterstrike for a long time, and then walking somewhere, i always think about how wonderful peripheral vision really is.

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IFooBar    906
Yeah, one game made me think hard. Xenogears. It was an extremely deep game in terms of stoy line and character development. It was really philosophical and religious in a way. I think the story and a lot of the plot details and events are based on the writings of one Fridrich Nitzche. It went all the way from creation to destruction. It was quite a ride. Made you think of why the hell we're here, what's the whole point of everything. Why this and why that. I bet the game could become a new faith or religion or something, that's how deep I thought it was. Made you think of all types of things like who's really in control, what is really oput there. Is everything as it seems to be and questions along those lines.

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King of Men    394
Paradox Entertainment's Europa Universalis and Victoria have made me ponder economics and its interaction with strategy many times.

[Jedi voice] You will buy these excellent games. [/Jedi voice]

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