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Games where empathy isn’t always easy

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On 7/18/2022 at 6:01 AM, Empire said:

This game is such a product of its time, in world where everyone was bumping out call of Duty’s and making you mow down endless people without batting an eye, this game tricks you beautifuly into playing its game, and you make the same choices as walker and make the same excuses as him too. You don’t even stop to think until someone else has already suffered. I’m glad I experienced this without spoilers all those years ago. And that many people are aware of its genius.

I totally agree - Spec Ops is so underrated, it's not even funny. It's one of the first games that really made me reconsider just killing every NPC in sight and that White Phosphorus scene really took me aback. Mind you, in Fallout games I've used dozens of nukes to wipe out the Fallout NPCs and I couldn't care less. I wish more modern games were as well written.

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Spec Ops was definitely a big one where you could barely empathize with its main character if you have a conscience at all. I remember how these were these real Special Forces soldiers who reacted to the game on YouTube, and they were complaining about how boring the action was and they barely reacted much to the white phosphorus scene at all. lol But I think the generic action was intentional, because it's meant to represent every single FPS out there. I love that the enemies were punishing too to make you feel encouraged to take the "easy way out" that was the white phosphorus. You could actually not go the phosphorus route IIRC, but you would have to cut through swaths of its punishing enemies.

I do understand why people got annoyed though, because being judged and criticized for playing an FPS when you've paid money to pay it was... problematic. I get what the creators wanted to say with their game, but still. It's like being called out by McDonald's for eating a burger and killing animals. It's like, dude, you made the burgers, not us. We only paid money for it.

Anyway, I do love morality in games though, but I prefer games where the morality isn't as clear-cut as Spec Ops, because otherwise, I would obviously go for the morally righteous options. Mass Effect 3 was a big one where empathizing with either the Quarians or the Geth wasn't always easy, even if you love Tali. The Quarians were harder to empathize with though because of what they did to the Geths. And then there's Mordin. Phew... do you go for the morally correct option and risk losing a war that might wipe out all life as you know it... or do you shoot your friend in the back? Dang. ME3's ending might suck, but the rest of the game was a banger. What a great way to end the trilogy.

Some Shin Megami Tensei games had good morality options too, particularly Strange Journey and SMT IV. In the latter, it's interesting because the game gets you to empathize with the demons by letting you explore the society and see that, despite what they did to humans, they have a pretty similar society to humans and what we do to animals, making the decision to side with either the humans or the demons not as clear cut. The angels would often suck though. F*** the angels.

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On 7/18/2022 at 5:07 PM, Clasher said:

I don't get affected by whatever is going on in a video game but when I Played mass effect 3 I actually did feel some level of empathy which increased my zeal to complete the game and bring an end to all the death and subsequently save what's left of mankind in that video game.

Yeah, taking care of all the Reapers did felt very good in the end. I'm guessing that it's only good side that comes up actually completing the game. If never did, the havoc by those nasty techs would hunt most gamers. 

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