Games that changed your life

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Games that changed your life

#1

Post by Spritedude » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:53 pm

So I was having a conversation with a friend, about how powerful games can be as a storytelling medium, and what strengths they have over others like movies, books, TV shows, etc. I brought up how some people still see video games as a juvenile pastime but have no problem saying a movie or book had a great moral or taught them some kind of life lesson. But, video games can do the same, and maybe more so because you're experiencing it as an acting participant, not just watching it. Anyways, I'm sure you guys get what I'm talking about. What are some examples of games that actually changed your life or your way or thinking? What games really stuck with you? Here's a few personal examples I thought of:

I'll try to be vague as to not give away any story spoilers, but reading these might spoil the experience for these games in a way, so I'll tag them anyway.

Celeste
Spoiler.
Celeste gave me a new perspective on my own mental illness. The parts of you that make you depressed or anxious (the "pragmatic" parts, as the game calls it) can be fought against, they can be suppressed or ignored, but in the end, they're still a part of you. Maybe, it's healthier and more productive to work with that part of yourself than to fight against it.
Night in the Woods
Spoiler.
Night in the Woods was a great story exploring existentialism (among many other things). Just because life and its blessings can be fleeting, doesn't mean they aren't worth it. There may not be any intended "meaning" of life, but you can always make your own. The connections you make and the experiences you have are all you get in this world. Two of my favorite video game quotes come from this game:

"When it's over, I want it to hurt. Because that means it meant something."

"I believe in a universe that doesn't care, and people who do."
Undertale
Spoiler.
A single piece of dialogue, which I'm not even sure is related to the overall conceit of the game, but stand outs to me either way: Near the beginning of the game you can interact with a mirror that just says "It's you!" But there's another, similar mirror near the end of the game that when interacted with, says "Despite everything, it's still you." Despite your journey, despite your hardships, despite your struggles, despite everything, it's still you. Once in a while I just need to stop and tell that to myself in real life.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#2

Post by Bomby » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:12 am

Not sure how much I would say that any particular games have changed my life, per se, but as the original Super Mario Bros was the first game I ever played, one could argue that it changed my life by spurning my interest in the medium.

I made one of my best middle/high school friends out of randomly mentioning Pokemon. Haven't seen or talked to the guy in years, but I have so many great memories of hanging out with him and another friend of ours.

Maybe Zelda helped me develop problem-solving skills? I dunno.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#3

Post by CaptHayfever » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:52 am

In a different sense of changing my life: Super Smash Bros is what led me to joining VGF.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

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Re: Games that changed your life

#4

Post by MeowMan » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:31 am

in yet a different sense, there are a few games i used to play to the point that i pretty much based my life around them (runescape, wizard101, and minecraft). most of my online friend groups were people i played those games with, and the events of the day that i actually cared about were always the in-game ones. i definitely wouldn't be the same person i am now if i hadn't played any of them

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Re: Games that changed your life

#5

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:47 am

No one game has ever changed my life positively, but I suppose these are the closest instances:

Early Pokemon games (Gen 1 & 2 stuff, so R/B/Y, Stadium, etc) were enthralling to me as a kid, I couldn't get enough for a long time. Sure, I was obsessed with Sonic and TMNT too, but Pokemon was on a different level.

TellTale's The Walking Dead, especially the first season, was the first game where I actually felt anything for a fictional character, a notion I had previously scoffed at (for any type of media). Lee was really great, well written and voiced.

Chrono Trigger was not the first RPG I played but it was what completely shifted my video gaming preferences from whatever junk I could get my dumb kid hands on toward higher quality games. It is why I really have very little interest in simple stuff like racing or classic arcade style games, they can't provide rich enough experiences (though they can be neat here and there).

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix was kind of like Chrino Trigger to me in that my preferences skewed heavily toward the fighting game genre because of it. I think any game that can alter your entire interest in the medium is significant, and rare (at least for me). It wasn't like I never had an interest in the genre before it, I was even well acquainted with Street Fighter II before HD, but something clicked with me (probably because I'm pretty dang good at it).

Journey made me consider games as art. I never really thought about that, dismissed the entire notion as a stuffy douchebag thing to even consider, but it is a true masterpiece. It belongs in a museum alongside any other art, not just a video game museum. It's a modern art form, the natural evolution of traditional still imagery (might not entirely replace it since the interactive aspect isn't necessarily always desirable when wanting to view art).

I guess nostalgia is also a major thing for me with video games. I remember my childhood really fondly, and since I played a lot of games I associate them with better days. Maybe it doesn't count since they didn't change my life as a kid, but they're woven into some of my best memories which comprise my life.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#6

Post by I am nobody » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:00 am

CaptHayfever wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:52 am
In a different sense of changing my life: Super Smash Bros is what led me to joining VGF.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"
Twilight Princess did that for me.

The obvious answer is Mass Effect, which is what really cemented an already developing interest in AI/computers. I think I'd probably still be basically where I am now without it, but it definitely made the decision to pursue that easier.

Otherwise, Civilization III and Globetrotter 2 played a similar role much earlier in life for my interest in history/geography.

I wouldn't say any game necessarily changed me in an ethical/moral sense, but these ones definitely resonated with me: (also all vague)
Persona 3/4
Spoiler.
Akinari's route basically traces a terminally ill man's attempts to find meaning in what his life was before the end comes. It's great from beginning to end, and his final answer is a straightforward and appealing way to look at the sum of a life. I try to keep it in mind.

P4 built on that with the Sun, Death, and Devil routes that explore forgiving someone at the end and two forms of survivor's guilt respectively. Those ones didn't hit me quite as hard as Akinari's story, but I still found them valuable.
Virtue's Last Reward
Spoiler.
One of the major themes that emerges towards the end of the game is learning to live with the past. It's got a really clever and surprising way of saying that some things simply can't be changed once they've taken place, and there's a scene in the optional epilogue that looks at accepting loss when it eventually leads to new happiness. Sometimes you can't fix everything, and sometimes you shouldn't.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#7

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:06 am

I spent a lot of my middle school years half convinced I was the incarnation of the golden goddess Farore from Ocarina of Time, so does that count or

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Re: Games that changed your life

#8

Post by DarkZero » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:40 am

sonic adventure 2 taught me how to raise children and not to trust the military
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Re: Games that changed your life

#9

Post by Booyakasha » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:27 am

...adventure games made me good at understanding insanely complex things in general. And I'm not just talking about slider puzzles-------like, I seriously think figuring out 'Secret of Monkey Island' helped me understand calculus. I mean, maybe not the puzzles themselves, but just the ramming one's head against a wall over and over again, refusing to give up.
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Re: Games that changed your life

#10

Post by Bomby » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:36 pm

Bomby wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:12 am
I made one of my best middle/high school friends out of randomly mentioning Pokemon. Haven't seen or talked to the guy in years, but I have so many great memories of hanging out with him and another friend of ours.
Forgot something really important about this guy: he told me to register at the Nintendoland forums, which were part a larger network called VGF.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#11

Post by steeze » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:50 am

SSBM holds a special place in my soul. Just had a lot of good memories playing with Knux. Definitely was our favorite game to play. Evenly matched most of the time never could seem to distinguish who was better. Somehow would manage to use rest on me with Jigglypuff and I would get so angry.

The KH series really made me think about just being a better person and made me feel more comfortable about holding onto the kid inside me.

I'd say those are two games that have changed me for the better.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#12

Post by Heroine of the Dragon » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:58 pm

LoZ:OoT first... I needed some help and ended up here, and meeting you all. ;) Second, FFIX, and watching Vivi's character develop through the game resonated with me at the time. :D
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Re: Games that changed your life

#13

Post by ScottyMcGee » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:35 pm

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: This was the very first video game that I ever finished. As such, it will forever remain in my heart. I remember the day I finally beat Giant Baby Bowser. I was just a wee lad. I was jumping up and down my bed shouting, "MOM, MOM, I DID IT!" It was "The Big Bang" for me and video games. I always loved dinosaurs, so I quickly fell in love with Yoshi. I wanted to write fan-fiction about Yoshi being a superhero, and from that I developed a knack for writing and started writing my own original stories.

Super Smash Bros. Melee: The N64 technically did too but this one takes the cake because it was what really brought me and my friends together.

James Bond 007: Nightfire: So I had two groups of friends growing up. My school friends loved played Super Smash Bros. Melee. But my friends in my neighborhood and I would love to play this game. Forget the story. The multiplayer was awesome. You could have AI bots in the game and it was a shooting spree. They don't make James Bond games like this anymore. I had many fond late nights playing this game with friends.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Like a good book, I always go back to this game from time to time just to experience the story. It made me realize just how artistic a video game can be. I think this game made me fully realize that video games can be more than mindless platformers and shooters. They create imaginative worlds and can reflect human nature through its story.

Final Fantasy X: This was the very first RPG I got into. So it effectively introduced me to RPGs.

Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy:
I followed the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series to the very end. This game led me to mods, and thus I spent hours online exploring custom maps that people created (I played the PC version). It ultimately changed my life by getting me interested in creating films by using FRAPS - this program that I doubt anyone uses anymore that records games. I got the idea for this webseries animation I'm creating called Space Hotel. It all started with this game.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: I first played this game back as a freshman in college. It ended up meaning something to me because I was going through a somewhat turbulent, whiny period and realized I was Raiden in a way. I didn't want to be Raiden. I wanted to be Snake. It's incredibly corny to say but the ending inspired me to take my future into my own hands.

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Re: Games that changed your life

#14

Post by smol Kat » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:27 pm

The roguelikes of my childhood made me good at directions (I am absolutely serious!), and The World Ends With You had a big influence on my tastes in a lot of real-world things (especially music and food; fashion to a lesser extent). Replaying it made me realize just how much.
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