Why “choose your own adventure” games are so helpful for the human psyche
Choose your own adventure games help us all deal with the tough decisions we face every day.
With the Telltales The Walking Dead: The Final Season ongoing, let’s take a collective look at some of the choose-your-own adventure games that built the genre before and during TWD‘s reign, and the benefits to our minds which each presented.
Choose to be good or bad
Real life is full of seemingly small choices whether or not to help someone, let alone hinder them. the Infamous series toyed with this idea in the form of a reputation meter that went up or down depending on how you treated NPCs in town.
What’s unique about this approach to choosing your own adventure games is this feeling that you have complete control over the consequences of your actions. If you want to be a bad guy, the game won’t stop you from doing all the bad things.
Infamous prompts players to play through good, bad, and gray choices, ultimately leaving it up to the player to decide which route was the most rewarding. In life, we can often live in the gray, with the choice to go right or wrong. Hopefully, through experimentation in the digital world, we can learn that our good choices are often more rewarding than our bad ones.
Put yourself in the place of the protagonist
It can be very rewarding to feel that you are having a big impact on the life around you. You could say it even gives you a taste of what it’s like to have a god complex. With Heavy rainyou work as four characters simultaneously trying to fight for what is good and just.
However, one of the protagonists turns against the player, creating an interesting moral dilemma. Should you feel guilty for playing the bad guy, even if you had no way of knowing at the time?
The classic line of Spider Man comes to mind here: “with great power comes great responsibility.” The lesson learned here is that even with your best intentions, there will be outside forces that keep you from achieving your goals. Also, while it might be nice to be the hero who makes all the choices about whether or not to save human lives, it’s probably a good thing to get that kind of decision-making out of choosing your own games. adventure.
Even mediocre, they stay with us
The stories told through Choose Your Own Adventure Games are sometimes the strongest. The game led by Ellen Page and William Dafoe Beyond two souls struggled with plot pacing and supernatural integration, but delivered an extremely powerful motion-capture performance from both tracks.
The thing about choosing your own adventure games is that even when they’re not so good, you feel a sense of belonging and therefore a connection to the decisions you’ve made for your character. It’s much more compelling to be able to feel this property on an average game rather than not having the power to change the path of another mediocre title.
Lessons learned from games like Beyond two souls are impactful and important. There are still days when I wonder what else Jodie can teach me in her struggles to maintain a life with a psychic friend. For a game that isn’t too great, that’s saying a lot.
learn from grief
Losing someone we love is one of the hardest experiences in life. Luckily, we can practice a bit for this type of horrible event through a proxy in games like Telltale. The Walking Dead.
The death of protagonist Lee made me feel like I lost a part of myself. I had given the character a lot of thought and expected him to lead the show from there. His last words to Clem will forever resonate in both of our minds.
While the death of someone in your real life is a much more traumatic event, sometimes it’s helpful to see and relate to characters going through something similar to yourself on screen. Thanks to Clem’s resilience and survival instinct, we can all collectively take notes on how best to get through life when it feels like the world is collapsing around us.
witness of The Walking Dead: The Final Season ends in December. The first episode is now available for download on PS4, Xbox One and PC.