Video Games and their Emotional Stories


Video Games can be powerful storytelling devices capable of bringing out great emotion in people. Oftentimes, video games are misinterpreted as childish, unrealistic, or gory. While sometimes they can be, this is not universal, and whether you intend to partake in these games or not you should know some games have deeper meanings and wonderfully crafted stories. Video games are narrative entertainment same as television, film, and books but they are quite a lot of the time left out in people’s lives. Because of violent games of the past, many people do not consider video games for entertainment because they are perceived as too gory, or violent. The truth is some games are like that but not all.

Take The Last of Us, a Sony Naughty Dog game from 2013. This game was not supposed to be a hit, but it was. You know why? The story. The story related to the player in a moving way while staying true to its fictional dystopian world. Joel and Ellie the main characters live in an apocalyptic, infection-ridden world where they must make their way across the country, leaning about each other to survive. Ellie gets bitten by a zombie-type figure, called an infected, before the start of the game but she is immune and Joel must get her across the country so doctors can make a cure before it’s too late. This may sound like any other zombie game but it’s so far from it. As they are making their way they bond and become like father and daughter. Joel was hesitant to let another person in after losing so many to this new world as seen in a quote from the second act of the game, “You’re not my daughter and I am… not you’re father.” but over time he opens up in part thanks to Ellie’s optimism and semi-innocent look at this world they now live in. Joel’s transition is a powerful one as seen when he saves Ellie at the end of the game saying “I got you, baby girl, let’s go home.” He now sees her as a daughter and is willing to do anything to protect her, even actions that are questionable and leave the player conflicted, but people feel that.

We feel that because we are Joel, we are there… A video game did this. Video games can and do bring out deep emotion in people. We cry with them, scream with them, win with them, and lose with them. We are them and that gives the game weight, that gives us the emotions the characters feel. So to wrap up what to understand about video games is that they are complex and can have deeply emotional stories that may leave the player reeling from the experience, whether that feeling is joy or sadness or something more complicated. But when you find a game that moves you in a real meaningful way, it will be incredible.