Spoiler Alert: Please don’t read if you’re planning to play Beyond Two Souls. 🙂
I want to tell you something. It’s something I’ve never experienced before. It’s truly unexpected despite my intense attachments with video game characters.
When I pick up the controller, I lose my sense of self. I guess I lose myself the same way actors lose themselves when playing a character in a film. I become the main character. I feel her hate, love, passion. When there’s a mission, I don’t do it because it’s the only way to move forward. I do it because it is my duty. I do it for honor, for love, or whatever motivates the main character.
When I played The Last of Us, I (playing as Joel) saved Ellie not because that’s what the game wanted me to do. I saved her because I really wanted to. It didn’t matter how many guys I had to kill, the only thing that mattered was to keep Ellie alive.
I know it’s crazy to care so much for a fictional character. But to those who played games like The Last of Us, you understand, right?
Recently, I played another story-heavy game: Beyond Two Souls. I knew that I would be in another emotional ride.
But something entirely unexpected happened.
I fell in love. I fell in love with Ryan Clayton.
In fact, I have to confess that it was love at first sight. I mean, any girl could easily fall in love with him. For starters, Eric Winter plays Ryan Clayton. Ryan’s character is the exact 3D replica of the actor.
But I just didn’t fall in love with his looks. What is so amazing–and I believe is noteworthy–is how the game’s story let me experienced the whole falling-in-love business.
When you fall in love with someone, it’s not like flicking a finger. First, you think you like someone. But then convince yourself that you don’t. Maybe because you’re scared that he might turn out an asshole. And just when you think you’ve finally let your feelings go, he does something to sweep you off your feet. So, you find yourself helplessly in love. And there’s no turning back. You trust him and give him your heart.
And that’s how I felt with Ryan Clayton while I was playing the game as Jodie (played by Ellen Page). I experienced all that in a matter of hours.
There is one scene in the game where Jodie has an unexpected date with Ryan. He is supposed to come over in the apartment in an hour to have dinner. The apartment is a mess! Jodie is a hot mess! She has to cook dinner, tidy up, and find the perfect dress.
So, as the person holding the controller, I took the task seriously. I tidied up the place–throwing old pizza boxes in the trash, picking up the dirty laundry, and storing scattered books in its proper place. The hardest part was picking the right outfit! I had to choose from three outfits: cool, sexy, or elegant. And for a girl, this took some serious thinking. But then the doorbell rang, and my heart literally raced!
Although in reality, that scene only happened for a few minutes, it felt like an hour. It felt so real, my racing heart even confirmed it.
A lot of things have happened between Jodie and Ryan after that date. As a player, I had to make decisions that would determine Jodie’s fate. And those decisions were mainly based on how I truly felt about the situations and the characters in the game.
By playing Beyond Two Souls, I realized how much video games could tell powerful stories. Somehow it transcends a game. To me, it felt real. I felt the pain of growing up and being different. I traveled to different places and made connections with other people. And more importantly, I fell in love–even if it was only for a span of seven hours.
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