Challenge my Emotional Skill Please!

This might sound a bit goofy, but I think video games, as a medium, would benefit from shifting their focus from just challenging the players reflexes and problem solving, and maybe add in a bit of conversation instead. It sounds odd, but hear me out. I love games where you must navigate a conversation with an npc, manipulating, befriending, or convincing someone through carefully chosen dialogue choices. I always find these sections a lot of fun, but it almost always seems like they’re relegated to a small mini game or small part of the game.

I’m confident that the ability to emotionally connect with someone is just as important, and maybe even more important (gasp!), of a skill as being able to click buttons in quick succession. It’s something that is a valuable skill, and I would love to see more games try and explore this style of play. Of course, making a game would take on a much more emotional aspect as well. In order to accurately simulate an interaction with an emotional being, the developers will have to start thinking very carefully about designing every aspect of an npcs personality, life, memories, and mood. This is no easy task, but I have hope that in the future this type of game will be more common.

Do you know of any games like this? Do you agree or disagree with my post? Leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Challenge my Emotional Skill Please!

  1. I always found these parts to be my favorite in a lot of games. It may be that I just have more fun and am better at thinking about feelings (my own and others’) than perfecting precision motion challenges (not that I don’t enjoy those from time to time; I don’t know why I love skateboard games so much if I’m so terrible at them) but I just sort of generally prefer interacting with the characters. There are a couple games that I know of that are more dialogue-oriented, but you may have already heard about them. Most BioWare games have loads of wonderful character interactions you can do, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 (which was actually an Obsidian game) will reward you making characters like you more by allowing you to train them as Jedi. Divinity: Dragon Commander has a rather strong political component, although I have some issues with the game as a whole. A graphic novel-ish game by the name of Long Live the Queen will put you in the role of a princess trying to make it through the political quagmire until her coronation, although that one has drawn complaints about its structure in that the game always plays out the same way. That’s about what I find from a quick look at my Steam library. I hope others can bring up some good suggestions, too!

  2. You should check out any of TellTale’s recent games! In addition to the Walking Dead game we played for class, they also have The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands (based on the co-op shooters), and a Game of Thrones series. They’re all dialogue and story driven, where making dialogue options and forming emotional connections is basically the only game mechanics. I really hope that other developers will follow suit and make their games more dialogue oriented as well!

Leave a Reply