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Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]

Re: Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 11:47:48 am »

I really like the distinction made between horror and terror by theorists like Noel Carroll. He talks about one being the fear of a body in the dark, the other of actually falling over the corpse and being confronted with it. Ironically, in these terms, games are really quite brilliant at horror, but quite bad at terror - and actually, I think Amnesia is unusually good at that. But then there is this other level, which is more (this sounds a bit like i'm a complete tosser, but), dunno.... spiritual vertigo. That there is no floor, and no walls, and just a void of empathy, of morality, of humanity.

Erk. That did sound bad. Anyway. The interesting thing if players were not contemplating themselves carrying out Daniel's actions is that if they are regular players, they do far worse on a regular basis. Have you played Prototype? Jesus, I got slaughter-ennui off that. Loved the game, just loved it in terms of a genuinely dark, dark story ("p.s. player, you're not a human being, you're a bioweapon, a virus who only thinks it's human because it's infected with the memory of the corpse it's stolen..." HELLO!?!?), and the parkour is fabulous, and the city is amazing, but it got to a point where I wasn't offended by ripping the skin/head/organs/feet off innocent civilians so much as just quite bored of it. And what would have been interesting would have been if the avatar had got bored as well, but that's another thing. So we have all of these incredibly horrific acts that are mainstream activities, not even one-offs but grinding, the minute-by-minute neccessities required to just get from one end of Central Park to another. So how do we get more extreme than that, or is that even an answer?

I guess what I'm saying is that it's really hard to project a genuine, deeper sense of empathy with the abuse of power, as abusing power in a safe environment is the bedrock of so many games. Powerlessness, on the other hand, Amnesia did spectacularly well. I like powerlessness as it fucks with the primal instinct of play. That you have power and you are rewarded for this power, and survival horror games work off a delay system where you defer the manifestation of the power and its reward, but the deal is we all know it's there. Start screwing around with that, and you are in less well-lit territory.

I'm rambling (not enough sleep) but this is great stuff...
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Re: Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 01:31:09 pm »

While the players did not contemplate if they could do the action. It is quite common for players to start hating Daniel. This is very interesting as it makes me think that if I had made Daniel more "seductive" to inhabit, then players might have made a choice early on that become Daniel more closely. Then as they found out about his choices, they would have put a lot more into being Daniel and perhaps would deal with it in another way.

There has also been people who have in various ways argue in favor of Daniel. For example some have said that drinking the Amnesia potion was equal to suicide and thus he could not be accountable. Others blamed it on Alexander and said that Daniel was tricked. I cannot recall anybody thinking of it in a personal level (like I hoped), but these responses where interesting nevertheless.

I am annoyed I did not do a proper survey early on, but here are some info case there is interest:
http://frictionalgames.com/forum/thread-4126.html

Regarding prototype. I do not think that kind of violence has sensitized people for Amnesia. Because of the lack of gore (and anything graphical early on really), people seemed to be much more affected. As an example I watched a playthrough of someone who had previously played Dead Space, etc and upon arriving in the torture chambers he actually got silent and had for a while a hard time cracking jokes. And I think it is possible to go way further with those kinda feelings. Especially if it brought into a more familar and "close-to-home" setting (gothic castles are pretty much fantastic settings)
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Re: Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 06:29:10 pm »

Why do we want to make people feel bad?
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Re: Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 07:44:26 pm »

Why do we want to make people feel bad?
I do not want them to feel bad, but rather reflect upon on themself and learn something. It is also a way of in a safe way trying out the spectra of human emotions. I do not want to feel sorrow and be afraid about real life things, but they are part of being human, and it is essential that we can live through these things. And through art we can experience this without destroying our lives. I think many good things can come from feel bad.
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Re: Having played Amnesia [will contain SPOILERS]
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 08:58:32 am »

True. But I think there's also a lot of things that people don't realize about joy and hope that art can give them access too.

I don't want to "discriminate" against any emotions. Living is a rich experience. I don't want to be protected from feeling sad or depressed. I want to experience it all. Likewise I don't want to be content with simple fun or happiness. I want joy and delight. I want the sublime.

I think art enables us to see things we wouldn't otherwise see. It's not just a device for learning how to cope with chaos. Or to protect us from bad feelings. It's a device that allows us to get in touch with that chaos. Without art, we would live life with a much more limited idea of existence. Art creates a connection to the cosmos, the divine.
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