Oct 24, 2007
"Emotional choices" is the current buzz word for big-buck role-playing and adventure games. BioShock says it has them, Mass Effect says it'll make you feel things - but do either of them actually click our emotional buttons?
RTS legend Chris Taylor, who's currently trying to work a little feeling into his project Space Siege, thinks the games industry has still got a way to go before it makes us cry:
"Hollywood has a cry button. They can go, 'I think we're going to make them cry now - buzz!' Hollywood waits another seven minutes... 'I think we're going to make them cry again; buzz!' That's damn refined art," says Taylor.
"In videogames do you think we can make people cry with the press of a button? I think it's going to take us a lot longer."
"Movies have been around for a hundred years. I don't think in the first 20 years they had complete command over the human emotional spectrum," he added. "It's like science. They were in a lab researching it and refining it. It's the science of refining the art and the tools and it'll take us years and years."
Taylor and Gas Powered Games' RPG Space Siege features a cybernetic upgrade system that (in theory) will have players asking if it's OK to replace their body parts with mechanical limbs.
"The first time you play through you're probably going to say 'yes, yes, yes - give me the cybernetics' and you're going to be a hulking cybernetic master," says Taylor. "But you're ending's going to reflect that - you'll walk into a room and people will scream and be like 'who the hell is that?! That's the hero?!'"
"It's a process. We're working towards it because we think it's important to have an entertainment experience pressing emotional buttons."
Have any games "accidentally" hit the right emotional buttons though? Taylor answers:"Someone said they cried in Final Fantasy VII..."