Angry Video Games
Some people say that games can help you deal with negative emotions. If you feel angry just slay hundreds of demons in Doom or destroy half of Los Santos in GTA V. I agree, it’s fun, relaxing and it doesn’t necessary make you a psycho. Some people go to a shooting range, other do a killer workout, other play games like GTA, Doom or Call of Duty.
When you are angry, you want to break things and those games simply give you a chance to do that without any consequences. It’s so simple and yet so unfulfilling. Do you want to know why? It’s because characters of many of those games are not angry. They may be pissed off, but they are not filled with rage, anger, disappointment. It’s you, not them. It kinda works, but not as good as it could be.
There are games, on the other hand, that are really good at it. Games like Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain.
Venom Snake wakes up from the 9 years coma only to find out that everything he has ever owned was stolen from him. He was betrayed, his men were killed, he lost his hand and that’s just the beginning. Now he’s filled with rage and anger. He wants his revenge and he’s gonna get it no matter what. He’s not human anymore. He’s a demon.
Every character portrayed in Phantom Pain is a phantom with deeply disturbed emotions. They all lost something and they will never get it back. They all are empty inside, there is nothing left. It’s really hard to sympathize with them, but they are easier to understand than many other modern video games characters.
When I feel lost in my life, when I feel angry I play Phantom Pain. Not because I can destroy the whole plant with C4 and kill dozens of soldiers. It’s because I feel that the character I play knows what I’m going through.
Do you know which other game handles anger really well? It’s Batman: Arkham Origins.
Many people criticized Batman: Arkham Origins, but this game does a really good job in portraying Batman as angry, broken man he really is. He’s not an older, wiser and heroic version of himself like in other Arkham games. He’s a young men who is reckless, arrogant and filled with anger. He wants to share his pain with the world. And that’s who Batman really is.
Wolfenstein: New Order is another example of a game which handles anger in a proper, yet bloody way.
This game is an example of wonderful storytelling that creates a truly remarkable experience. It starts with failure. You loose, your army loose, the whole world loose. Nazis win and you can’t do anything about it. Literally. After accident, your brain is like scrambled eggs.
B.J Blazkowicz is a ghostt, stuck in his own body. He lives in a hospital somewhere in Poland. Throughout the years he’s seen the true face of nazi’s terror. Imagine how humiliating and painful it is for someone like him. He was THE action and now he is just a puppet. Until one day…
When nazis soldiers come to the hospital, kill everybody and kidnap a girl that have taken care of him for all those years, B.J grabs a knife and kills all bloody nazis that stands in his way. Because enough is enough.
This whole sequence is simply brilliant because it makes angry not only a hero but also a player. After all horrifying shit you’ve seen you just want to kill those nazi scums. You want to show them that you are something more than they think. It’s not about revenge, it’s about sending a message.
You see anger is not about destruction. It’s simply about sending a message and proving something. Each character I described wants to show the world that he is not finished yet, that even the biggest tragedy can’t destroy him. And proving that is the best revenge EVER.