In the above video, you will see the season one finale of TellTale's The Walking Dead. You'll also see video of YouTubers OfflimitsPC, Morfar, and PewDiePie bawling their eyes and shouting out as something really bad happens in the game. (insert frowney face)
The video comes from TellTale CEO and Walking Dead game director Dan Connors's D.I.C.E. presentation, in which he discusses the game's episodic structure and its success. The above portion is provided to back up his focus on building strong characters -- proving that the game was effective in eliciting an emotional response.
Does laughing at the above video make me some sort of sociopath? I wouldn't begrudge anyone having a genuine emotional reaction to a game, as even some songs from my favorite games can make me misty-eyed. But, the reactions on display here are so exaggerated that I can't help but laugh. Who shouts at their TV during this scene: "You need to learn because this is a cruel world and we need to love each other!" It's as if this guy thinks there is a camera recording him ...
I was not the least bit surprised to find that the three featured YouTubers all put out those ever-so-popular jump-scare reaction videos (see: here, here, and here).
While I laugh at these gross, forced weepfests on display, I certainly did not laugh at the finale of The Walking Dead. Connors does a disservice to his point and game by using these folks as an example of the game's emotional impact. It feels like the equivalent of those old console ads where some dude bros are standing up with their controllers, while chips are inexplicably flying through the air, to show just how extreme and adrenaline-pumped this new console or game will make the player.
Or, does the video reflect how you responded to the ending? Did you also shout at the screen and cry out? Or, did you just somberly watch and feel a weight sink to your gut, like I did?
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