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Ask PSLS: Has a Video Game Ever Made You Cry?

March 20, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

Video games have a way of creating an emotional connection with the player. Whether it is through brilliant story telling, climactic action sequences, or just wanting our characters to succeed, they have a way of grabbing hold of us, taking us on a journey.

In some cases, they even have the ability to make us cry, whether it is through tears of sadness, being scared beyond belief (“fear tears”), or even tears of rage because you just can’t beat a section and threw your controller at the TV, breaking it in the process. So, we asked the PSLS staff – “Has a Video Game Ever Made You Cry?”

*Spoilers have been edited out

Chandler Wood – Bawler (@FinchStrife)

I will admit that I can be a very emotional person given certain conditions and have indeed literally cried during moments in games. The Walking Dead game had me streaming tears at multiple instances, especially during episodes 3 and 5. The end of Final Fantasy X gets me a little bit teary eyed as well.

I won’t spoil either of these games if you have not played them, but humanizing characters and then making them go through loss, sacrifice, and tough moral decisions always gets to me on an emotional level. I am a huge fan of conclusions that require a sacrifice or loss to obtain victory, thus not making it a ‘happily ever after’. I enjoy the thought provoking emotion and humanization of these scenarios and tend to get deeply emotionally involved if possible.

Anthony Severino – Likes Going to Zanarkand for Vacation (@Sev_Anthony)

I’m going to second Chandler’s mention of Final Fantasy X. I can’t for certain remember at which moments, but I do remember having formed such a bond with these characters, and felt the pain they were experiencing. When I noticed this as the topic for this week’s Ask PSLS, FFX was the first game to come to mind, even before Chandler mentioned it. In fact, the Final Fantasy series is the one franchise that could bring out emotions in me each and every time a new one was released. After playing damn near 100 hours with these characters, they became like friends to me. I experienced through them.

It’s also the franchise that makes me want to break out into tears even now, thinking about how much I miss the good ole days of Final Fantasy. Such memories, such a journey. Now, it’s but a shadow of its former glory, and for that, I am saddened beyond what any game itself could do to me.

Cameron Teague – Sin-ner (@Cameron_PSLS)

My mom often times says I am the 2nd daughter she never had, so yeah, I cry often when playing games. The most recent was some leakage during Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, when Naruto was dealing with some family stuff from his past. It was very touching and I found myself having some minor allergy issues.

I also know like Chandler and Anthony, I teared up a bit in FFX, especially at the end when [no spoilers here]. I think there are plenty of games out there that have used great story telling and characters to bring out emotions in all of us, even if some won’t admit it.

Dan Oravasaari – More Into Running (@FoolsJoker)

There haven’t been that many games that have made me teary-eyed, let alone shed one, but The Walking Dead by Telltale Games really got me by the end. Having also just caught back up with the comic book series, I can honestly say that no franchise has ever struck so many chords with me. The way that that The Walking Dead as a franchise embraces death as a story arc, as opposed to the finite end that many writers use to punctuate a story, really gives characters a sense of being alive, as you really do not know when they wont be. Now I’m all depressed…thanks for the question. Happy Wednesday!

Jason Dunning – My Emotions! (@Jasonad21)

A video game has never made me cry, but The Walking Dead, specifically Episode 5, was very emotional. I won’t spoil anything, but the series had built up a big connection between the characters and the player, then when the final moments of the final episode rolled around, it was everything you had spent the last 15 – 20 hours building up to, all released in one powerful scene.

Jesse Meikle – Mass-ively Heart Broken (@Jesse_WM)

I’m not sure whether I cried, but, I was fairly heart broken when the [no spoilers here] died during the [blah] in my Mass Effect 2 playthrough. The death really impacted me because it was unlike any other video game death I’ve ever encountered. Not only was the death unpreventable from my perspective, but the death was permanent, and carried through into Mass Effect 3. I’ll miss them and they stand proudly on my dresser to this day, much to the dismay of my fiancee.

Louis Edwards – God of Sadness (@ftwrthtx)

I believe it was in God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP (there’s been so many I might be mistaken), Kratos had to make a difficult choice involving his daughter, Calliope. I can’t say this made me cry, but as a father of three kids, two of which are daughters, this really hit home and was a conundrum that that really made me think.

Sebastian Moss – Apparently not an Emotionless Robot (@SebMoss)

I cried when I realized how long the Gran Turismo 5 install was.

Vivas Kaul – Spaced Out (@VivasKaul)

I can’t think of an occasion where I cried while playing a game out of anger or profound sadness of any kind. Though one moment that came very close for me was towards the end of Dead Space 2. I won’t go into further detail because of spoilers, but in that moment, it humanized Isaac in a way that the series hadn’t really done. Gone was the stoic demeanor and in it’s place was vulnerability. It was surprising and a great way to kick off the game’s final act.

Has a video game ever made you cry? Let us know in the comments below, and please, keep the spoilers to a minimum.