Videogames That Make You Cry

800px-Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-SetThe television and movie industries (businesses) have long worked to elicit (get a reaction from) a viewer’s emotions (feelings), knowing that the more emotionally invested (feeling like you have something to gain or lose) or engaged (involved) in the story you are, the more likely you are to continue watching or to watch again. The video game industry knows that, too.

Long gone (no longer here) are the days when video games were just about shooting (using a weapon, like a gun) people and things to rack up (accumulate; add) points. Video games today, I am told, still cater to (are designed for) players’ desires to hunt (look for things to capture or kill) and hit, but that’s not all players do. For example, some games allow players to save and protect others from harm by using their own fighting powers and skills, letting players feel a sense of heroism (having shown bravery).

According to a video game research company, these are the types of games that gamers say are the most emotionally powerful:

Role playing games 78%
First person shooters 52%
Action 49%
Adventure 48%
Fighting 39%

Role-playing games that allow players to develop or assume (take on; adopt) the identity of a different person are particularly good at eliciting emotions, because of the complexity (many parts) of the story, the way the scenes (settings and situations) are introduced, and the musical scores (music used during a TV show, film, or game) that bring drama to situations.

Now, video game players want to find ways to read (detect) a player’s emotions and allow those reactions to help direct (set the direction of) the game.

Some of these new game consoles (devices that play different games) have devices that can look at players’ faces and read their reactions. Other devices being developed will be able to read a player’s physiological (related to the body) reactions, such as heart rate (how fast your heart is beating), breathing rate (how quickly you’re breathing), and temperature. Those reactions then change how the game reacts, which video game makers hope will make the game-playing experience more real and interesting for each player. (If you’re skeptical about (not believing) a computer’s ability to read people’s emotions, take a look at this report of a recent study showing that some computers may be better at interpreting people’s emotions based on facial expressions (how you move the muscles in your face) than humans are.)

I haven’t played a video game since I was 17 years old, which was, well, a very long time ago. I am of an age (old enough) that no one I know plays videos games, either.

Do you play video games? If you do, do you think games today are getting better at eliciting people’s emotions such as pride (feeling proud of yourself), anger, pity (feeling bad for others in bad situations), and horror (feeling afraid)?

– Jeff

Photo Credit:  Atari 2600 Wood fromWikipedia

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23 Responses to Videogames That Make You Cry

  1. Dan says:

    Hello everyone

    I used to play video games. Now it has been a while since my last game. I believe it was this last winter.

    It was not really a game. It is kind of those videotapes from the 80s with Jane Fonda where you stand in front of the TV and workout.

    The only difference is that this is far more technological with a device that see/read/follow your body’s movements.

    I do think video games are getting better and better under every aspect.

    Just recently Sony and Microsoft released their new generation consoles, but I am not sure I am going to get one.

    I am waiting for developers to produce good titles I like (for these new machines), and for the consoles to get cheaper, after that maybe, I am going to buy one.

    The problem with video games is that they can be very addictive and you end up just playing and not doing other things.

    Let’s not forget that nowadays you can play online. That can also be an opportunity of practicing English, since you are playing with people from all over the world.

    Unfortunately the majority of them are all teens or kids so you get a lot of insults and bad words. I had fun playing online and learned a lot of bad words.

    Thank you Jeff

  2. Tania says:

    Hi! I think that I know the song “Mack the Knife”, but I have had no idea that it was such a successful song.
    I was able to understand the lyrics after I had found them on Wikipedia.
    Anyway, macabre lyrics… and if you say you can kill…with no trace of red…

    “Oh, the shark , babe, has such teeth , dear
    And it shows them pearly white
    Just a jacknife has old MacHeath, babe
    And he keeps it …ah…out of sight.

    Ya know when that shark bites , with teeth, babe
    Scarlet billows start to spread
    Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath , babe
    So there’s nevah, nevah a trace of red.”

    A very good way for learning new words. Thank you.
    Like Dan said, an excellent performance of this song.

  3. Tania says:

    Hi! I have heard about “The Threepenny Opera” and in my own language with the same translation of the title.
    I can’t understand. Is it an oprea or a musical?

  4. Tania says:

    Hi! I have just seen the Monument Valley panorama on Wikipedia, a region of the Colorado Plateau
    with red, tall, vertical sandstones reaching 300 m above the valley floor.
    Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone valley. It is north of Monument Valley
    across the San Juan River.
    I think I saw that Valley in western movies with John Wayne and in movies with indians.

    Thank you for showing us these unique monuments of the nature.

  5. Tania says:

    Hi! We use the word “shark” with the same meanings, less “lone shark”.
    Thank you for the verb “to ooze”.

  6. Tania says:

    Hi! New words to me : shoplifting, shoplifter, a petty thief, , pricier…

    We use the verb “to weigh” and with the meaning of to consider, to take into account all possibilities.

    Thank you.

  7. Parviz says:

    Hi Jeff and others,
    I am not much of a video-game player either. The last I played a video game with one of
    my cousins goes back back to year 2002, when I had just finished college.
    We played Football (Succor), among others, which gave a lot of excitement, since I won over my cousin a couple of times.
    At the time he was very experienced at video games, despite of being very young. So he was sure that he would win with no difficulty.
    And I was an amateur with video games. I didn’t know how to hold the console, let alone to push the buttons.
    I played very awkwardly. But at the end, Out of his surprise, I won several times.
    That was my last (should say first and the last) experience with video games. But I can here people talk about the here and there.
    No surprise, with the technology improving fast and furiously, Video games should be designed the way that they could read people’s emotion.
    Thank you,

  8. Dan says:

    Hi there

    Hi Parviz nice to read from you again. Is everything ok?

    As a gamer, I have asked myself many times what is it that make video games so addictive, immersing and funny.

    I think, at least for me, is that basycally in the game, you are the boss, period.

    And, if anyone -in the game- as something against that you simply shoot your opponent in the head.

    While in real life we constantly have to compromise and adjust to others, in games you do what you want.

    Psychologically that is very powerful, and as they say “power is addictive”

    Something funny I remember from GTA IV is that when you got into a gun shop, the guy at the counter used to say “Stay safe! stay second amendment!”

    But that is Rockstar. The developer of the GTA series. They always make fun of some aspects of American culture.

    Thank you

  9. Jonathan Santos says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Nowadays the games are so complex. Thanks to (or through the?) technology push, we can create games more sophisticated and in this way we can elicit feelings and tell (deep stories). For the action scenes the graphical details and the new control techniques can deliver a great experience, which would awake euphoria, agitation, etc. And, thereby, when the goal is elicit emotions related to drama reflexions; the games can borrow from another media such as cinematographic features that already have proven be able to emote us.

    The videogame is so wide that can bring together other medias like literature, cinema, drama, music… I think you should try some games 🙂

    Thank you for your great work!

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! I want to share with you my joy seeing a good movie, “Casino Jack” starring Kevin Spacey.
    It is a fascinating true story, and I like this kind of movies.
    It is a 2010 biographical political satire film, focusing on the career of Washington, D.C. lobbyist and
    businessman Jack Abramoff.
    You told us about the word “lobbyist”. We use the same word “lobby” with the same meaning.
    But I have had no idea that the lobby can go so far.
    This movie is a good lesson to me regarding the political life.
    According to Wikipedia, Jack Abramoff was involved in a massive corruption scandal.
    He was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in 2006, and of trading expensive gifts,
    meals and sports trips in exchange for political favors.

  11. Tania says:

    Hi! I think Kevin Spacey is the Jeff’s favourite actor .
    I have appreciated Kevin Spacey since I saw him in “American Beauty”.
    And in “Casino Jack”, Kevin Spacey turns in one of his stronger performances.
    It is a stunning movie to me.

  12. Tania says:

    Hi! And Kevin Spacey is stunning.
    I like his monologue from the beginning of the movie.
    May I share with you this quote ? Just to practice my English.

    You know, I do a lot of reading and studying and praying, and I’ve come to a few conclusions I want to share.
    People look at politicians and celebrities on the TV and the newspapers, glossy magazines – what do they see?
    “I’m just like them.” “I’m special. I’m different. I could be any one of them.”
    Well guess what, you can’t.
    You know why?
    Cause in reality, mediocrity is where most people live.
    Mediocrity is the elephant in the room.
    And those of us who knows this – those of us who understand the disease of the dull – we do something about it.
    We do more because we have to.
    Some people say Jack Abramoff moves too fast.
    Well, I say to them , if that’s the difference between me and my family having a good life
    and walkin’ and using the subway every day, then so be it.
    I will not allow my family to be slaves.
    You say I’m selfish?
    You say I – I got a big ego?
    I’m humbly grateful for the wonderful gift that I’ve received here in America the greatest country on this planet.
    I’m Jack Abramoff. And oh, yeah, I practice sport every day.

  13. Betty says:

    Thank you Dear Jeff, and thank you all my fellow bloggers,

    I have enjoyed reading what you say above.

    I was going to switch off my iPad to go to the garage to pick up my car which needed repairs. And then I thought, better write something now because it’s quite a while since I wrote here.

    Interestingly, I had played a video game called DIGGERS (DOS System). That made me sound like I am a dinosaur.

    Anyway, I must go.

    Oh, before I go, THANK YOU Tania for explaining to me that ‘The Lively Morgue’ is not an oxymoron. It is very kind of you to help me learning English. I can feel my English skills going downhill recently.

    I thought human’s health go downhill when we age. Surprisingly our language skills can go backward even faster.

    Many thanks again, Jeff and all my blog friends.

    Best wishes.

    Betty 🙂

  14. Tania says:

    Hi! I have a question.
    During the movie, Jack Abramoff repeats , but especially, at the beginning and at the end of the movie
    “I’m Jack Abramoff . And I practice sport every day.”
    Is it an irony at the American life style?
    Or “lobby” for sport?

  15. Tania says:

    Hi! Last week I saw the movie “For Whom The Bell Tolls” again after many years.
    I read and the novel by Ernest Hemingway many years ago.
    A pleasure to see again Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.
    A real philosophy on life.

    “…After a while, when you are as ugly as I am, as ugly as women can be, then,
    as I say after a while the feeling, the idiotic feeling that you are beautiful, grows slowly in one again.
    And then, when the feeling is grown, another man sees you and thinks you are beautiful
    and it is all to do over.”

  16. Tania says:

    Hi! I have found Metallica, the American heavy metal band from L.A., have a song with the same title
    “For Whom The Bell Tolls”.

  17. Tania says:

    Hi! I forgot to tell you that in “Casino Jack” was mentioned and
    Red Skin Washington football team.
    Thanks to you I could understand the meaning.

  18. Tania says:

    Hi! Excellent acting of the basic military commands in ESL Podcast 1009.

  19. Parviz says:

    Hi Dan,
    Yes it is addictive. And also since you can empty your emotion (anger/ happiness…..), you feel you want to continue.
    I have stayed away from video games. Time and money shortage, among others, have never allowed me to spend time on games.
    Frankly speaking, I don’t know what’s going on in the world of technology.
    I have a Samsung smartphone I received as a gift from a friend. And it works very well for me. And that’s all.
    Thank you


  20. Marcos says:

    Hi Jeff and everyone,

    I played arcade when I was young and that is all. I haven’t play a video games, any kind, never!
    I suppose everyone know arcade. Or not rs? Jeff? Everyone?

    Thank you Jeff and bye everyone

  21. Peter says:

    I just popped in to say sth
    I did it
    I crossed over
    Eslpod was the kick in the pants I needed
    I think in English
    I Dream in Engilish
    However , it is not the point
    The point is if you set your heart on it
    You will cross over too

  22. Tania says:

    Hi! Fourth of July is Independence Day celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

    HAPPY 4th OF JULY, U.S.A.!

  23. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    Too many people saying a lot of things, but I linked with Brazilian football team. We beat Colombia. Now let Germany comes.

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