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#1129622 - 10/25/17 10:21 PM Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis
BrownEyedTigre Offline
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Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 74077
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
There are an increasing number of games popping up with topics such as political correctness, depression, anxiety, child abuse, gender identity and various other topics that have been pushed into the forefront via social media and the news.

WITHOUT - and I stress again, WITHOUT getting into a debate regarding some of these issues which can be a hot topic, how do you feel about these games? Does it intrigue you to check it out or does it turn you off?

I do find that most of these games tend to have a high rate of positive reviews so I know they are popular.

Thanks for your feedback!

Ana wave
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#1129641 - 10/25/17 11:36 PM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
oldbroad Online   sleepy
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 3126
Loc: Chicago
I haven't played any of the recent ones but some do peak my interest. I played The Cat Lady and liked it. Many people did not.

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#1129665 - 10/26/17 07:38 AM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: oldbroad]
Mad Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 27435
Loc: United Kingdom
Afraid this type of theme in a game doesn't appeal to me. I definitely prefer my "escapism" to be more on the "light" side whistle
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#1129667 - 10/26/17 07:46 AM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
CaptainD Offline
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Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 467
I think games - and adventure games in particular, due to the inherent tendency towards a stronger narrative structure than most other genres - is a wonderful media to address different issues, and (whether related to that or not) for educational purposes.

I do however wonder whether the high rate of positive reviews that you mention is less to do with the quality of the games themselves than people with a particular viewpoint being drawn towards games that mirror their views (at least to some extent). Not that I'm in any way saying that these games are bad - I'm not sure how many of the games you had in mind I know about / have played / would have an opinion, positive or negative, of the issues addressed - but there's always a human tendency to applaud something you agree with being dealt with in a positive way, thus perhaps reducing the objectivity of the overall rating. Similarly if you disagree with the game creators' aims you may perhaps be inclined to rate lower than might otherwise be the case (but I would also expect you to have steered away from the game in the first place, as games taking on issues head-on tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves).

Er.. sorry I'm now rambling. In short I think yes it's a good thing that issues are being dealt with in games (irrespective of what I think of those issues), but I don't think the high ratings are necessarily a true reflection of the overall quality of the games. If people openly disagree with the views held in the game and still say it's an excellent game, I would think that's a definite indicator of a high quality game though.

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#1129694 - 10/26/17 10:09 AM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
Draclvr Online   content
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Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 12768
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I really enjoy these types of games. I also enjoyed The Cat Lady and Diamonds in the Rough. When the issues are woven into a compelling story, they can be thought provoking. I do a lot of reading and sometimes I read books that are totally entertaining and sometime I prefer something more down to earth. I don't have to agree with the premise or resolution of the issue either.
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#1129699 - 10/26/17 10:49 AM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
BrownEyedTigre Offline
The Sassy Administrator PR Liaison
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 74077
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
CaptainD, you raise good points! I agree with your review remarks because I have a lot of online friends that rally for these kinds of issues, whether or not they suffer with them, but they are glowing about their opinions of the games long before even so much as a real screenshot appears! I'd like to think they'd give a fair review, but I believe many of them would give it high ratings because they agree with the message.

Drac, that's interesting and a great way to expand your knowledge of topics!

I personally loved Fran Bow and Among the Sleep. They were outstanding games in every way. They seem to stand out from the others I have encountered. I have not been even tempted to play any of the others I come across for a host of reasons. I generally go for the lighter side of games so that they don't depress me as well!


Thanks for your opinions CaptainD, Mad, Drac and oldbroad! Appreciate it!

Ana wave
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#1129700 - 10/26/17 10:50 AM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: Mad]
Marian Offline
Global Moderator
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Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 31679
Loc: near Yosemite in California
Originally Posted By: Mad
Afraid this type of theme in a game doesn't appeal to me. I definitely prefer my "escapism" to be more on the "light" side whistle


I am of the same opinion as Mad. I find my interest in a game markedly lower if the theme or underlying message concerns a social issue.

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#1129720 - 10/26/17 02:10 PM Re: Games about Social Issues and the Human Psychosis [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
8dognight Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 479
Loc: deep south
It's thumbs down from me when a game is a well-intentioned slog through dull tasks that lead "like a tedious argument of insidious intent to an overwhelming question," in all likelihood to an overwhelming question I don't want to think about. I probably am playing a game in the first place to avoid overwhelming questions. I can think of two examples, one from the left and one from the right: "A New Beginning" and an anti-evolution narrative set on a spaceship. I do not recall the name of that one; you could not progress without forcing the player character to reach certain conclusions. Whether from the right or the left such games are more infomercials from hell than anything I want to play.

At the other end of the joy spectrum are both Inner World games yet they both have a clear message, which is save the world from authoritarianism so we can all breathe. An example on the right is Darkestville Castle in terms of two NPCs and our hero's, okay anti-hero's to get nitpicky, authoritarian goals. The Inner World games are tongue in cheek left; Darkestville Castle tongue in cheek right. All three romp through politics.

Between the two extremes is a game like Culpa Innata whose essence is political yet whose narrative, characters, and puzzles are engaging enough to allow me to ignore the message for the sake of the experience. While I'm not a big fan of Game of Thrones, as television or in the books and I have masochistically read them all, many gung-ho fans regard GoT in the same way I do Culpa Innata. They ignore or avoid parsing GoT's climate change message while savoring the story.

I usually dislike games about psychosis particularly if the player character is the psychotic one. All these years later, Black Mirror continues to offend me, and I will never play any of the sequels. I look at blurbs about games that say things on the order of a "hard-hitting psychological tale of horror" with a jaundiced eye and translate as "overgrown boys think it's cute and original to gross me out with blood-soaked cliches."

Science fiction notably and fantasy to a lesser extent are both often political. Horror as a genre tends toward xenophobic parable which I see mirrored in casual game plots.

Stephen King has some great essays on writing horror that go into fear of the other as a theme. I'll see if I can find a title.




Edited by 8dognight (10/27/17 05:11 PM)

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