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alvare's blog

8:04 PM on 04.06.2010

Persona 4: or how my brain got all mixed up

I don't tend to get emotionally involved with games, because as a game programmer I just see them as a beautiful showcase of programming skill and expression trough model art and storytelling. But Persona 4 had a party in my brain.

I started realizing I was talking really loud with my brother during the game (we usually play together when our free times overlap), and I noticed this was caused by me being nervous. I wondered a whole night trying to understand why I was nervous (I don't ignore feelings, I usually track them down and try to understand them), and when we continued playing the game a few days later I found the source, it was the game itself.

Somehow, Persona 4 got me nervous, but really nervous. After playing it I found myself really tired and desperate to chill out to some psybient (kind of ambient music) and couldn't tell why. I also didn't like the game that much, the dungeons where kinda boring and the enemies repetitive, and the social part was quite "ridiculous", people being bothered with random irrelevant stuff and spreading guilt all over each other and slowly discovering the obvious truth (until random facts turns everything upside down).

But ... why did it make me feel so human feelings? Was it the social links? The idea of having relationships in a game is absurd, but it seemed P4 accomplished this very well. This relationships progressed, and very easily. This was like "addictive".


Then Nanako got kidnapped, and this was a character I "felt" like my "real" brother (who is very similar). This made me "feel", this was something completely revolutionary, since I started experimenting with sensations a year ago and was able to semi-control and understand most of them (It's something I actually work on), so the idea of "virtual characters" having repercussions in my nervous system was quite weird for me.

Well, today I finished it with the "Bad Ending" and it was so "bad" I think I'm not gonna have a fun lucid dream tonight, so tomorrow I'm gonna finish with the "Normal" ending and take this load out of my shoulders, I can't take it anymore, it is wearing me out and I can't believe it.   read

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