The Beginners Guide A narrative video game with no goal or purpose. Instead, it tells the story of a man whose mind is slowly settling. Also, it touches on issues of depression, loneliness and self-doubt.
I remember that moment where it all happened and I had not seen that person as a character, but no one was going through the same emotional struggle with me. It felt as if the game has been placed as a mirror and has fundamentally shifted how I consider myself. I was removing this constant need for social validation and the desire to find meaning when sometimes there is none. I did not feel that I was going to the game whether I would move or with lessons that I would still carry with me to this day – but I did.
Even before my experience with The Beginner’s Guide, I was thrilled with games that strive to create challenging experiences. I mean that is not challenging in terms of logic puzzles or twitch reflexes, but experiences that make me question the way I see, think or think about the world, the game, or even myself.
Games challenge us
Some of my favorite games that bring similar reactions Fire observation, A walking simulator where you play as a fire lookout, and Papers Please, a game where you are an immigration officer for an authoritarian government who can decide who can enter. Through player input and mechanics (the system of rules in the game) provides a different perspective-challenging experience for each individual, allowing for experiences that are unique to gaming.
We know that games can create stimulating or reflective experiences thanks to the work of human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers Tom Cole and Marco Gillies. While gaming academics Julia Bopp, Alyssa Mechler and Klaus Opavis Turns out how the game can cause negative emotions, such as guilt or sadness, but somehow still lead to an overall positive but emotionally challenging experience.
To get to the heart of challenging the perspective of these experiences, from the mundane to the horizon-shattering, I had to unpack players’ records, reports, and their experiences in minute detail. my First study Small Eureka-type moments have been identified that change how players interact with a game. I labeled these examples of “micro-transformative reflections” – subtle in the sense that they don’t shatter anyone’s world view, but are still transformational because they change how players act. An example of this is a player who felt extreme guilt after killing an innocent person and avoided killing anyone for the rest of the game.
Many participants began to find philosophies on topics of morality, prejudice, free will, justice, and truth. For example, one participant commented on how Stanley Parable, Players who break the “fourth wall” by fighting with a narrator, are faced with how much control they have over the choices they make in their lives. This, the player said, was completely inspired by how the narrator commented on his choice in the game.
Finding out how they challenge us
I am currently recruiting for the largest study I have done. I posted an ad on Reddit Platform dedicated to gaming Search for participants and play a diary to play possible perspective-challenging games over two weeks. I expected a sweet response with five to 10 interested participants, but the next morning 500+ upvotes (essentially liking the visibility of a post to improve), 126 comments and a huge influx of new participants. This is further evidence of how common these experiences are and why they deserve further study.
A vast array of games were discussed in the comments that challenged the players in some way. A user left the following comment about his experience with the dark fantasy game Helablade: Sacrifice of Senua:
I have never done anything that leaves me with that game. When I started rolling credits, I was literally speechless for minutes. When I started to realize the symbolism of the final cutscene it is impossible to describe the feeling of turmoil on me [(a video shown on completion that concludes the game’s narrative)]. It was as if I felt that all the stress had just vanished and I started crying legit because it was just so amazing and indescribable.
The game, which is designed to reflect the experience of living with psychosis, offers an explicitly emotionally challenging experience, instigating difficult emotions that potentially fall at the life-changing end of the spectrum. .
I am more than half through my studies, having gathered 11 participants to speak in detail about their experiences. Across all my research, it is clear how influential sports can be, and I hope that my research will continue to uncover powerful ways in which sports can challenge people’s thoughts and feelings.