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Games that mean more to you beyond being just "a video game"

gfxtwin

Member
Jan 15, 2011
1,940
0
695
Let's face it, most video games are intended to be little more than amusing distractions from life. Pure escapism designed to hook you and buy the next game. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, as they bring a lot of pleasure and allow us to have experiences that we would otherwise never have (exploring space, fighting a dinosaur, living in feudal Japan, killing nazis in WW2, surviving a zombie apocalypse, being a blue hedgehog that can run 200 mph, playing for your favorite sports team, being a cowboy in the wild west, etc). I think it was Shigeru Miyamoto who expressed (paraphrasing) that the human mind needs moments of recreation/play to be healthy, which makes sense.

But are there also games that have made a profound, lasting impact on your life? Challenged you intellectually, changed the way you look at the world for the better, have cultural value and/or give you an emotional experience rivaling music and film? Taught you insightful things about life the way your favorite books and plays might have? Etc. If so, what are they and/or what impact did they have on you specifically?
 

arigato

Member
Jul 26, 2016
741
0
220
Oregon
The original Dead Rising due to that one song "Gone Gurú". Confirmed what I had already known, and showed me glimpses into different realities. Unfortunately by the time I realized the songs true meaning it was too late for me..
 

Neoleo2143

Member
Dec 21, 2015
6,692
0
400
Super Mario Galaxy. That game brought me through some tough times. It was the only thing really keeping me going to the next day. I'd do my chores and work on a Star. Every day, that game was a constant shining light of joy when I was so deeply lonely.
 

DylanEno

Member
Dec 24, 2015
1,347
0
0
Life is Strange and Undertale are the first two that come to mind. They didn't change the way I view life from an intellectual standpoint or anything deep and meaningful like that, but they left a lasting impact on me in a way that few games have. Just thinking about them, I get a flood of emotions both positive and melancholy. They transcended the feeling of being "just games."
 

1upsuper

Member
Apr 19, 2015
2,988
2
0
Katawa Shoujo showed me that there's hope for good representations of disabled people in fiction. I have not seen a better portrayal before or since.

Undertale seriously warmed my heart and it became one of my gaming sacred cows.

I got really into the Mother series when I was about thirteen, fourteen, and the starmen.net community became a second home for me. The Mother series got me through some really bad health issues and it's very near and dear to me.
 
Sep 11, 2014
4,370
3
415
Grand Theft Auto V being a coping mechanism after a bad acid trip left me with generalized anxiety for months. February 2014, the online mode and it's progression kept me hooked.
 

nikos

Member
Oct 28, 2012
6,554
91
675
Brooklyn, NY
www.heartofbattle.com
Street Fighter IV.

I've met great people through the game, some of which have become my best friends to this day. Also took many trips to EVO, as well as other tournaments, and had some amazing times.
 

Pudge

Member
Jan 28, 2012
1,833
2
570
Cyberspace
Halo: Combat Evolved taught me how to make friends and cured me of years of childhood depression. Without going to years of LAN parties and bonding over pistol duels on Wizard, I would be way more socially awkward than I am now.

Needlers ROK!
 

GLAMr

Member
Apr 7, 2016
758
2
0
Australia
WoW helped me through a period where I was really depressed and couldn't leave the house some days. Having a "job" to do in raids and being able to interact with people through the safe distance of Ventrillo was helpful to me.


Does that count?
 

Crayon

Member
Jan 6, 2007
11,227
2
0
Gran Turismo. Street Fighter. I don;t play either that much these days but they are always there for me.
 

Tavernacle12

Member
Nov 23, 2015
1,133
0
0
Magical Quest 2: The Great Circus Mystery was emblematic of my childhood. I beat it with friends and family multiple times per year even in the age of the GameCube.

More recently, I got seriously ill around the time I was playing Bloodborne and being able to play again and actually beat it were the first signs I was genuinely better again.
 

Tan

Member
Oct 31, 2012
6,686
0
0
27
Fighting games. It's not really important which ones but the process of trying to get better at them has taught me how to find flaws in how I play and train, and to question myself about why I have the habits I have and whatnot. Once I got into university and found myself with not enough time to study the way I used to I went through the same process of analyzing what was wrong with the way I did things and found myself doing better than I ever have and having more time left over for myself.

Also any time I'm feeling down I think of Paper Mario and it makes me happy :)
 

bomblord1

Banned
Sep 6, 2014
9,616
2
0
Ar No Surge made me stop and seriously examine my feelings towards fictional characters too many times to count.

The characters are presented in such a way that they transcend he divide between the screen and make you feel like you are interacting with real people.

There's a point where I was asked my feelings towards a certain character
and the obvious correct choice was the "I love her" option. However I kind of froze up there and had to ask myself what I actually thought
. Could I lie to this person and say that? If I do say that am I actually ready to commit to it? Which made me go even further into thought because I was then realizing wait this is a fictional character why am I even thinking about this.
 
Feb 25, 2013
7,647
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1,135
I posted this in another thread recently but I guess it applies here as well,

My most precious gaming memory is also part of one of the worst memories of my life.

The story that I'm about to tell is going to seem like part of a Lemony Snicket novel. A work of fiction, but I assure you, it isn't.

My father mentally and secondhandedly physically abused me and my brother and mother for years. I grew up poor, we lived in an tiny run down RV that my father would take around the surrounding state and do tile jobs. I literally ate ketchup sandwiches for lunch for 3 years. It was sometimes the only meal we would have unless we dumpster dived for the stuff that the fast food restaurants would throw out every night if we where lucky and camped out in time to see them do it. My parents eventually split.

My mother... sold me to a shady experimental research facility when I was ten because her new boyfriend didn't like me. This place made me sleep in a gown on a pad directly on the floor in a literally bare 6x7 room with metal walls and hard cement floor a sink and a drain in the middle of the floor. They would come every morning with big trays full of vials and draw blood until they where full, (This is why I hate needles now) then give me a ketchup cup full of pills to take.

I don't even want to talk about the showers... or bathroom breaks.

Then, so long as we didn't cry or complain while they where drawing blood and taking the pills, they would let me go to a very small room with other kids, a tv, SNES and a genesis and have only two turns playing a game. They had Mega man X and Ninja turtles. (This became my most precious gaming memory of my entire life. I would later learn to play and beat the main stages of Mega man blindfolded. I let myself get lost in that game and it saved me.) They also had a small basket with a few toys in it and it strangely had one of my transformers in it. (Beast Machines JetStorm) It was my favorite one and I wouldn't want the other kids playing with it but they made me keep it in the basket when I wasn't there. As time went on it started missing pieces.

They had a strict rule that we couldn't talk to each other. Ever. We where always under observation. They would then take me and do tests on me. Strange things. For one, they would always give me pills first and then make me play chess. There was always a person in a lab coat writing stuff down on a chart. At first it was against the other kids but eventually they made me play against people in lab coats. I never lost a game though as far as I can remember.

As you can imagine, I hated it. I was so confused. I kept asking for my mom but they wouldn't let me see her and she never came. I don't know how much time passed by but one day... I was taken to the "activity room" as usual and to my horror I found my little brother sitting there crying in a corner with snot all over his face. I was stunned. He saw me and we hugged and cried. They came immediately and separated us and told us that they would let us talk this once but only for 5 minutes if we where quiet... I just wanted to run and get him out of there. I did NOT want this for him. I can't even explain how painful that was. I don't know exactly how long we where there but it was months at the least. My mother came one day on her birthday to see us but they wouldn't let us be alone. We where told not to ask about going home or to say anything that would upset her. She only stayed for a moment and then left crying. Days went by, the seasons changed. I actually don't remember leaving that place. All I remember is waking up one day in the back seat of a car with my brother and my mother was driving. I've blocked a lot of it out. Really, if it weren't for my brother I would have thought it had all been in my head as my mother remains tight lipped about it to this day, denying that it ever happened and avoiding the subject.

Anyway, since that day mega man X has held a special place in my heart. God bless video games.
 
May 12, 2015
4,806
0
0
Playing Super Metroid during my High School years kept me from going nuts


Resident Evil 4 and No More Heroes 1 on the Wii also kept me sane when I was working in a shitty dead end factory.

I'm glad I did play Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri as a child during the 90's.That game was the kind of thing that helped me develop in terms political thought and enviromental issues.

Half Life 1 and Max Payne 1 were also very excellent games that I played during my youth.

I have some reverence for Resident Evil: Revelations 1. I traded in my Wii games and preordered it. I forgot how many hours i put into it, but god I fucking loved that game but it was freaking hard. The Clint and Quint (IIRC) section made the whole game feel like a Cop Buddy movie set in the Resident Evil world. That was so cool.
 

BigApple3AM

Neo Member
Feb 29, 2016
9
0
0
new york
Majora's Mask. I played it during a very critical stage if my life, and realized years later just how relevant it really was. It's a game that helps me define who I am as a person.
 
Oct 18, 2008
10,814
0
0
NJ
Let's face it, most video games are intended to be little more than amusing distractions from life. Pure escapism designed to hook you and buy the next game. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, as they bring a lot of pleasure and allow us to have experiences that we would otherwise never have (exploring space, fighting a dinosaur, living in feudal Japan, killing nazis in WW2, surviving a zombie apocalypse, being a blue hedgehog that can run 200 mph, playing for your favorite sports team, being a cowboy in the wild west, etc). I think it was Shigeru Miyamoto who expressed (paraphrasing) that the human mind needs moments of recreation/play to be healthy, which makes sense.

But are there also games that have made a profound, lasting impact on your life? Challenged you intellectually, changed the way you look at the world for the better, have cultural value and/or give you an emotional experience rivaling music and film? Taught you insightful things about life the way your favorite books and plays might have? Etc. If so, what are they and/or what impact did they have on you specifically?

This is too low a bar to clear, especially since videogames often have music in them.
 
Jun 12, 2016
3,491
2
0
Grand Theft Auto V being a coping mechanism after a bad acid trip left me with generalized anxiety for months.

There were certain games that were so intense that they blocked out the self destructive voices in my head for a while when I had depression. It should be a good therapy tool if games were not so demonized by the media.

"Suddenly all the voices were silent. Only Tin man speaks to me now"
 

Makoto Yuki

Banned
Dec 26, 2013
3,991
0
0
Anyway, since that day mega man X has held a special place in my heart. God bless video games.

I'm glad you managed to find something to help you through such a difficult period of life. Stories like this make me grateful that video games can be an outlet for people during trying times. I hope everything has improved dramatically for you since then.

Thanks Mega man X. I personally loved that game because it brought me closer to my extended family.
 

Goldboy

Member
Oct 6, 2016
1,128
0
0
Seattle, WA
Played Dark Souls while going through a really shitty break up and it really helped me through that part of my life. I now have a weird nostalgia for that time of my life, and for Dark Souls.
 

lvl99 Pixel

Member
Oct 28, 2011
3,149
1
0
games like Smash Bros and Counter Strike communities back in the day were where I met my best friends.
CS:GO these days though seems more like where you would go to treat random people like crap.
 

Pinky

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
4,128
9
0
Street Fighter II. The biggest phenomenon to ever hit an arcade. Played the hell out of it and met many people because of it. Incredible memories!
 

Irishonion

Member
May 31, 2016
1,695
3
350
Though I can't explain it. Final Fantasy XI comes to mind for me.

Would not be the same person I am today if I did not play that game the way I did.
 

Vital Tundra

Member
Apr 13, 2015
8,032
5
0
Wilmington, NC
Pokemon changed my laugh. Without it, I wouldn't have met the beautiful people I know today. Kingdom Hearts is another one. Smash Bros. Melee is a cherished gem because of the late summer days packed around a 10 inch tv screen with my friends. I can never forget those tiems thanks to Melee.
 

MisterShine

Member
Feb 26, 2014
1,778
0
0
The Cleve
I've had some very strong emotional reactions to games in the past, part of the reason I'm such a big fan of the medium.

Overall the biggest three that spurred significant shifts in my personality or outlook: Baldurs Gate 2, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Mass Effect 3.
 

KyanMehwulfe

Member
Aug 26, 2004
10,842
178
1,345
Huntusk
www3.telus.net
Becoming one of the first High Warlords (Rank 14) in World of Warcraft has shaped -- I'm not sure if for better or worse of my health lol -- by work ethic for the last 15 years. Any time I lack motivation or inspiration, I try say to myself, if you can work your ass off 24/7 for a HWL's Great Sword, you sure as heck can for your family lol

I'd say I take a lot of creative inspiration from certain games, too... especially futuristic/cyberpunk games when it comes to business, entrepreneurship, architecture, etc. I've always found the Deus Ex series creatively inspiring, and for some reason I love replaying games like Syndicate, Syndicate Wars, Shadowrun (Sega), even XCOM to be honest, for professional inspiration -- something about the setting + management elements always puts me in the mood to work harder on my own finance job or my own marketing business.

Even with an open world game like GTA V, where I just use 'free roam' as a sort of 'Trevor Philips Industries' sandbox: I use GTA V as a 'screensaver'... I'll just let it idle in my office. And I'll listen to its menu music while I work. Just find it... humbling but coldly inspiring.

I'd say games in general though have always been more than just games to me. I mean, I think for almost anyone on GAF, games are inspirational, motivating, comforting, etc in the same way movies or novels were to other generations. Often they're just entertainment or relaxing but any entertainment medium that has emotional appeal of any sort can eventually take on greater meaning -- one in particular will get you through a particular hard time, serve as motivation or inspiration, or represent a memory, a sense, a loved one.

I mean, somehow I ended up majoring in finance and economics, which is very odd considering the tiny rural logging village I grew up in, and even that I think began with video games... Warcraft 2, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV and VI, Age of Empires 2... all my love for finance, economics, international trade began with the earliest strategy games I played.

Heck, every time I go into the Lhusu Mines of Bhujerba in FF12, I feel as if I can sense the -32 degree (celsius) weather that was outside my apartment, and the ice freezing all along the inside of my balcony weather, the first time my playthrough reached there back in late 2006 or early 2007 (don't remember which month it was; but I remember the cold as if it were this winter). A complete insignificant moment in the game or my life, and yet somehow that a dungeon evokes very strong memory of my physical environment at the time.

When gamers represent one of your main sources of entertainment but also fiction, arts, even history or fields of study, then certainly some take on greater meaning. My first exposure to certain histories (Age of Empires), to trade (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), heck even the stock market (Duck Tales on DOS lol) were in games, I think. I'd like to think they were educated elsewhere but my introduction or inspiration at times definitely started with certain games.
 
Feb 25, 2013
7,647
6,679
1,135
Halo means more to me than I could ever explain and it changed my life. It made me "me".

I found life long friends and a sense of belonging because of that franchise.

Yup, Halo is probably the second most impactful series on my life other than mega man.

Reminds me of this thread I started back before 5 launched. This thread is responsible for my flipping tag btw. I'll never stop wondering which mod plagued me with it.

Anyway, the first part of it is how much of an impact halo has had on my life and what it means to me for whomever it may concern.
 

gfxtwin

Member
Jan 15, 2011
1,940
0
695
This is too low a bar to clear, especially since videogames often have music in them.

Good point. A case can be made that video game music has/potentially has as much meaning or musicianship as just about any music, IMHO. To me, at least. It's probably debatable that any musician working in the games industry could have the cultural impact of Miles Davis, Beethoven, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, 2Pac, etc, but that's not due to any lack of talent, just that video games are seen as a more niche thing I suppose.
 

MegaSackman

Member
Aug 14, 2014
5,249
0
0
The Last Guardian, Journey, The Witness, The Swapper, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, To The Moon. Just a few on the top of my head.
 

punkmaggit

Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,262
0
0
Every time I put in the soundtrack to Flower, I'm instantly in a better mood. It keeps me sane on stressful days.
 

gfxtwin

Member
Jan 15, 2011
1,940
0
695
Fighting games. It's not really important which ones but the process of trying to get better at them has taught me how to find flaws in how I play and train, and to question myself about why I have the habits I have and whatnot. Once I got into university and found myself with not enough time to study the way I used to I went through the same process of analyzing what was wrong with the way I did things and found myself doing better than I ever have and having more time left over for myself.

I feel this! Playing fighting games and also Nioh/Soulsborne games in particular kind of sharpen my senses and force me to think in the moment a little better
 
Feb 25, 2013
7,647
6,679
1,135
I'm glad you managed to find something to help you through such a difficult period of life. Stories like this make me grateful that video games can be an outlet for people during trying times. I hope everything has improved dramatically for you since then.

Thanks Mega man X. I personally loved that game because it brought me closer to my extended family.

Believe it or not at a later point in life when I was having heart issues I was actually prescribed video games by a heart surgeon as a way to de-stress.
 
Mar 9, 2007
2,077
0
0
Alabama
www.oursitexl.com
Dark Souls changed how I look at video games and how I play video games.

WoW changed my life. I cannot imagine high school and early 20's without WoW. I made one of my best friends in WoW, and it got me through a serious depression and gave me a purpose to get up and something to focus on.
 

Jerm411

Member
Jul 6, 2015
2,305
914
495
Clinton, MO
Anything Super Mario Bros....the original trilogy shaped me as a gamer at a young age and I'm hyper nostalgic so anything involving SMB takes me back and puts a smile on my face.

Another would be The Last of Us...I didn't play it at launch and played it in October right when my daughter was born, the story of that game and the nodes it hits combined with being a father for the first time really stuck with me and still does.
 

PaulloDEC

Member
Sep 6, 2012
8,557
3
0
Zork was a series that fired my imagination from a young age, whether it was that dark mystique of the text adventures or detailed immersion of the graphic adventures. Those worlds fascinated me for years and led to loads of creative endeavors for young me.

More recently, Overwatch has led to a big group of my real-life friends all playing together, which is something I've never had before. It's become an awesome way to socialise, especially with the people who don't live close by anymore.
 

Red UFO

Member
Jan 23, 2010
5,817
0
0
Stardew Valley helped get me out of rock bottom when dealing with crippling depression and anxiety. That game is just good for the soul.
 

CertifiedFP

Member
Mar 25, 2013
5,385
2
470
Valkyria Chronicles.

I was left vulnerable after suffering through the horrors of 343 Industries' butchering of Halo known as Halo 4, I picked this game up at random as a last-resort to see if gaming still had any worth left for me or if it was time to pack up and dedicate my life to more useful pursuits considering my favorite series had just died and lost any semblance of artistic integrity to Cawwadoody Fever.

It turned me into a fucking weaboo.

Kill Me.
 

Outrun

Member
Oct 7, 2014
4,241
44
510
Canada
The Witcher 3 reaffirmed the importance of parenting.

Sega's blue skies made me happy when it was grey in real life.
 

Jangowuzhere

Banned
Mar 12, 2015
2,368
6
365
Meal Gear Solid 3

The first time I've ever felt teared up when playing a game. Changed my perspective on how games can make you feel.
 

MightyKAC

Member
May 4, 2008
3,856
2
785
This game,



And this one,



Hit me at a really intense point in time....
 

sf2fanatic

Member
Jun 9, 2004
42,698
0
1,435
Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 1-3.

Meeting new people at arcades that enjoyed the game as much as I did.
 

amoebae

Member
Aug 14, 2016
197
6
170
Mass Effect - the original.

I'd taken a long break from gaming. I grew up with games. We had pong when I was a kid, and my mum was in charge of computerising her workplace, so we got a Commodore 64 so she could work at home, but of course she got games too. I remember Little Computer People and Blue Max - my dad loved Blue Max. I had a Sega Master System II, a Gameboy, Amstrad CPC, and various other things along the way. Then my mum bought me a Playstation when I got engaged in 1998. I played so much Civ II. So much. And quite a bit of GTA (original). I dabbled with Civ III and Alpha Centauri on my first proper PC, and then I stopped, more or less altogether.

I didn't pick up a game again until I got a DS Lite and a bunch of roms.

Then, one day in 2008, I don't know what inspired me, but I decided to get an xbox 360, and I picked up Mass Effect for it, as well as GTAIV and a couple of other games.

I played GTAIV first, and I don't think I moved from the sofa for 3 weeks. It was amazing, like nothing I'd experienced before.

Then I played Mass Effect.

It's no exaggeration to say it changed my life.

I had no idea a game could inspire such emotion, or make me connect with characters on such a level. I really wish I could go back and play it for the first time again. When Shepard becomes the first human spectre, when you pull into the Citadel for the first time, what happens on Virmire, going to Ilos, and everything at the end. As the credits rolled I was snivelling like a snotty child, and when they finished I started a new game immediately.

I became a fan of BioWare. I joined their forum. Over the next few years, as I played more ME and got into Dragon Age as well, I met a group of people over on their forum and I became great friends with them. In fact, I ended up travelling 5000 miles to visit one of them, on two separate occasions. Becoming friends with them, having this new group of people to share things with, to laugh, to love, to be there for... it's all been responsible for a lot of changes I've gone through and for some of my outlook on life. None of that would have happened if I hadn't picked up that used copy of Mass Effect all those years ago.
 

asagami_

Banned
Dec 3, 2014
1,805
0
0
Mexico
Persona 2 (both games) and Trails in the Sky FC.

I'm a very Persona 2 fan, so I will try to explain why Trails FC and not SC (which I love, still)

Well, FC is a journey, there is something magical about know the Liberl Kingdom, the place, but more important, its people.

I don't remember everyone, but I know there is a kid who want being detective, and I hope she will find a place in the future of the series. There is a young lady who is upset with her sister because she is getting more popular than her, but she don't know what the future will bring to her (SC).

To learn such people and learn from them must be comparable to Estelle experiences, I guess.