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Has a game ever changed the way you thought?

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I beat The World Ends with You for the DS last month and it was a revelation of sorts for me. It made me step back and look at my life and has made me try to act differently with regards to others and break out of some patterns I've gotten into over the years. It's story deals a lot with social isolation which particularly spoke to me as I was just leaving an area I had moved to where none of my friends were close by. That's all over (I've moved yay), but the message of the game still compels me to behave a little differently in my daily life.

I'm curious, has a video game ever changed the way you thought about the world, others, and/or your place in the world? My English teacher in high school always talked about particular books that might change your life. Has a game ever changed yours?

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I believe that any experience has the capacity to change your thinking, depending more or less on how much you put it to heart.

CABAL Online granted me a change in my thinking. I led a guild in that game, probably the largest population-wise (reached the maximum member limit) and about 5th in terms of pure level and damage potential. The struggles, conflicts, good times, and friends that I made from that experience have changed a lot of things about me. And since my friends are still around me from back then, I can say that through them, CABAL Online will always be a factor that's changing my life.

Very interesting thread by the way. Really put my mind to work on something I've never really considered before!

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Not games so much as a good plot in general. Especially movies though, I try to take something out of every movie that I see in one way or another. One particular movie that really made me think was Yes Man, it shows how much more interesting life is if you actually go out and live it. Also, while I've never played it, I've heard about the plot in Bioshock, which kind of made me re-evaluate some things. It's similar to Shadow of the Colossus, where you just do things because you're told to, and it turns out that you did something very wrong. What is right or wrong really except one's own perception of it. Do the "Bad guys" really believe that what they are doing is wrong?

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Not games so much as a good plot in general. Especially movies though, I try to take something out of every movie that I see in one way or another. One particular movie that really made me think was Yes Man, it shows how much more interesting life is if you actually go out and live it. Also, while I've never played it, I've heard about the plot in Bioshock, which kind of made me re-evaluate some things. It's similar to Shadow of the Colossus, where you just do things because you're told to, and it turns out that you did something very wrong. What is right or wrong really except one's own perception of it. Do the "Bad guys" really believe that what they are doing is wrong?

I played SotC, and I've always wondered who the real bad dudes are. Just because Dormin was split apart and sealed doesn't actually mean he was a bad guy.

*spoiler* Remember it was the priest dude who forced his cronies to kill the protagonist, and Dormin said he was only "borrowing" the body of the protagonist.

Anyway, to be on topic, Shadow of the Colossus definitely changed the way I look at potential plots. While I'm a big fan of black n white good-v-evil, SotC showed me that sometimes a good story can take place in a huge grey area, where everyone wanders out into the thick of it and finds their mission. The Wanderer wants Mono alive again, and he'll do anything to see that happen. Dormin wants revenge against those responsible for his imprisonment. The priest guy doesn't want Dormin to return. In each case, they throw caution to the wind and pursue their mission regardless of what others say about the rightness/wrongness of their actions.

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I wouldn't say any game has ever changed the way I think, but they've certainly made me think. The best example I think has been Fallout 3. That game lets you more or less decide if you'll be good or evil. I decided right when I started the game that instead of deliberately trying to be good or evil, I was going to play every separate situation by ear, and I've learned a lot about myself from that. The game forces you to realistically ask the question "What would I do and how far would I go to survive if this was the way things were?"

The best thing about it is that even if you THINK you're making a decision for the best, it might not turn out that way, and there's nothing you can do about it. I reported a shady character to the town sherriff and we went up and confronted him. He shot the sherriff in the head, leaving his son an orphan. I led the ghouls into a tower full of racist aristocracy, knowing full well most of the rich bastards would die and deserve it... but in the process the ghouls killed one of their greatest supporters, no questions asked.

I appreciate a game in which the repercussions of my actions can't always be predicted and might not be what I want. I REALLY appreciate a game that makes me take an introspective look at myself and realize that if I needed armor badly enough, I'd be willing to sneak up behind a girl, club her to death with a transmission bell, strip her down to her panties and take her money to pay for the repairs on the armor I just messed up. You don't get thought provoking social commentary like that in real life.

(Incidentally, for all the folks I've killed, the game still labels me the last best hope of humanity.)

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I'm with Avatar on the whole "World Ends With You" moral of the story thing. It made me think twice about having my tight-knit group of friends and thinking about letting others in on what we get up to and stuff and generally just letting people get to know me a bit better instead of scaring them off or ignoring them half the time.

But I also agree with the whole Fallout 3 sidem of looking at things too.

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idunno, that old DOS game "The Incredible Machine" always made me want to try crazy science experiments. Though it's not like I had a lot of the gadgets handy that that game offered. so that's about it.

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I wouldn't say any game has ever changed the way I think, but they've certainly made me think. The best example I think has been Fallout 3. That game lets you more or less decide if you'll be good or evil. I decided right when I started the game that instead of deliberately trying to be good or evil, I was going to play every separate situation by ear, and I've learned a lot about myself from that. The game forces you to realistically ask the question "What would I do and how far would I go to survive if this was the way things were?"

The best thing about it is that even if you THINK you're making a decision for the best, it might not turn out that way, and there's nothing you can do about it. I reported a shady character to the town sherriff and we went up and confronted him. He shot the sherriff in the head, leaving his son an orphan. I led the ghouls into a tower full of racist aristocracy, knowing full well most of the rich bastards would die and deserve it... but in the process the ghouls killed one of their greatest supporters, no questions asked.

I appreciate a game in which the repercussions of my actions can't always be predicted and might not be what I want. I REALLY appreciate a game that makes me take an introspective look at myself and realize that if I needed armor badly enough, I'd be willing to sneak up behind a girl, club her to death with a transmission bell, strip her down to her panties and take her money to pay for the repairs on the armor I just messed up. You don't get thought provoking social commentary like that in real life.

(Incidentally, for all the folks I've killed, the game still labels me the last best hope of humanity.)

I would agree with this if it weren't for the fact that the character interactions were just as stiff and unrealistic as the interactions in Oblivion were. I couldn't get all that emotionally invested because the sense of immersion was broken everytime I walked up to someone and started a conversation. Not necessarily a knock against the game mind you since I still enjoyed it a fair bit, but it wasn't the the grand stage for self reflection it could have been had I actually given a crap about any of the characters.

For the life of me I can't think of any games that have really made me change the way I think about something, though I know some have undoubtedly influenced my thinking. I just can't seem to come up with any examples right now.

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after I played through Portal, for the next few days I looked at elevated orthogonal architecture in terms of how I would portal myself up there and then caught myself and wondered what I was thinking

This.

Also in another sense, SSBM changed my way of thinking in a competitive sense. I've been an athlete my entire life, and many of the strategies and head games I learned from smash translate into other competition, such as getting by a blocker in football or finding an unexpected passing lane in basketball. Stuff like that, I use the strategy from that game in real life.

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after I played through Portal, for the next few days I looked at elevated orthogonal architecture in terms of how I would portal myself up there and then caught myself and wondered what I was thinking

exactly. I would be walking through campus, see a gray panel set at a 45 degree angle on top of a building and immediately think "that would be a great place for an orange portal"

it was strange.

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Only Braid, and to be honest I think this basic idea (of whether video games can change one's thoughts/make them reassess positions on something) is what is behind a lot of the "are video games art" dilemma, but even then is it really the video game that changes your thoughts, or the writing?

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Xenogears had that sort of effect on me, to take a step back and look at my life. Really, Earthbound too.

Kind of off topic, puzzle games like tetris attack, magical drop, sudoku... i'll close my eyes and continue playing as i'm drifting off to sleep, like my brain is still trying to piece together these fictional puzzles. I know this happens to other people too XD but i tend to play a lot of puzzle games...

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i feel starla on xenogears and earthbound - very thought provoking games - i would find my self pondering the events of both

xenogears: the hero having to take up arms to protect, and the whole allusion to religion

earthbound: poo and going through his training, the importance of friends and how good natured people are and what makes them bad

but star ocean 3 was pretty heavy - when they dropped the bomb i had to open up my level of thinking

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I suppose games might have changed the way I think indirectly, but that's all. When growing up, games gave me something to talk about with others, which meant I made friends who affected my way of thinking.

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The closet a game has ever affected me is Metal Gear Solid 4. I've played a lot of games with good stories, but MGS4 is in another league. There's a lot of real facts used throughout the series, but MGS4 actually scared the heck out of me with some of its stuff. Just research Private Military Companies. We live in one insane world indeed.

Other than games, there's a documentary series that really affected the way I think about the world around us. It's similar to MGS4's general idea about how we're easily manipulated by super powers.

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If it's been less than 24 hours since I've last played Dead Rising, if I see a crowd of people I get the urge to run in there with a lead pipe, then I catch myself and slap myself mentally.

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puzzle games like tetris attack...

COME TO THINK OF IT ever since I started hardcore playing that game, I would look at the tiles on the floor (in any building with tiles) and picture them to be the specific shapes and stuff and picture a combo being made.

Damn that is one amazing game

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The cutscene with Raiden talking to the Colonel and Rosemary AIs right before the final battle with Solidus.

That part spoke to me a lot.

As was intended. It's what makes MGS2 so bloody fantastic. It actually broke down the barrier between the player and the game.

I didn't sleep all too well the night I beat that game.

On a lesser scale, Age of Empires made me understand the law of diminishing returns better than my high school ELPSA teacher ever did.

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While Metal Gear Solid 2 was a WICKED trip, MGS3 and Silent Hill 2 are the games I think of.

MGS3's "what it means to be a patriot" messages really spoke to me, and when I played it I really started to wonder about what it meant to do good as opposed to doing one's duty, if the two aren't the same. Also the choice to either mercilessly slaughter people or merely knock them out presented an interested "karmic" aspect to the game that I really enjoyed. And although it was a little weak, I liked the symbolism in all of the bosses of the game. What really did it for me, though, was the end of the game. The final cut scene and the "post-credit" conversation were almost too much for me.

SH2 did much the same thing to me, but instead of duty or patriotism, it brought life and our perception of it into question. Am I sane? Is everything what it seems to be? Can things affect us so profoundly as to create false memories? Is there more than meets the eye to even seemingly normal people? How will my subconscious come back to punish me for all the dissonance I've caused?

I'll sometimes wake up at night and listen for the sound of air-raid sirens, or look out my window to check for fog. I also have a 2-foot wrought Iron spike by my bed. Y'know...Just in case.

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MGS3's "what it means to be a patriot" messages really spoke to me, and when I played it I really started to wonder about what it meant to do good as opposed to doing one's duty

This is true, thanks for reminding me

The final cut scene and the "post-credit" conversation were almost too much for me.

Isn't it this way in (almost) all 4 of them?

As was intended. It's what makes MGS2 so bloody fantastic. It actually broke down the barrier between the player and the game.

I didn't sleep all too well the night I beat that game.

Honestly, I had forgotten about the cut-scene until a few months ago when I decided to replay it!

When I first beat the game waaaay back, however, I was too young to appreciate the quality of this scene.

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Isn't it this way in (almost) all 4 of them?

Yeah, but 3's in particular sent me a message. I'll have to youtube 1's because i don't remember it well, 2 was trippy but not as meaningful (to me) and 4's I downright hated for reasons I won't get into here.

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