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2012: Dishonored's dishonorable pull on my emotions

It takes a very special game to make me feel emotional attachment to its characters. Bioshock let me care for the little sisters, Half-Life made me say "Holy god-dammed fuck" over and over as Alyx Vance almost died on a table while I did all I could to protect her. One thing I've noticed is that I feel more attached when it's ME whose saving little sisters or Alyx Vance, not some character I'm just playing as.

This is why I think Dishonored had such an impact on me, and it wasn't even the main story that did it. I was attempting to play a completely stealth and pacifist run. This means not being detected and not killing a single person. I was also not using a lot of saves so that my decisions had more of an impact.

I was on the third level and my target was in a mansion on the top floor. To get there I had to get through a main room with stairs leading to the second floor on each side. As guards would patrol up the stairs I took them out one by one. Once I had finished knocking them all unconscious I starting running around looking for various items and collectables, thinking I was safe.

As I sprinted down some spiral stairs I saw a guard slowly walking up towards me, looking really bored with his job, probably thinking about all of the orphans he fed earlier. Now I was sprinting really fast and had no time to think, so perceiving my already started actions in slow motion, I pulled out my really cool sword... And shoved it into his throat, then threw him over the railing of the stairs. I screamed out "I'm so sorry!" to my computer screen then sat there in silence staring at my monitor.

I had just killed a man. A man with his own life, just doing is job. But not only had I killed him, I cut out his throat and threw his corpse over the side, with all the though of a reflex. I had not intended to kill him, but in the heat of the moment I just reacted, and now his life was over. The next words out of my mouth were "Oh my God..." I felt genuinely bad that I had killed this man merely because he was in the way.

Dishonored will always have a place in my memory for the emotions it allowed me to feel in its world. That was my best gaming moment of 2012.
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About Blast73one of us since 3:13 PM on 09.09.2012

My first console was the Nintendo 64 but my first experience with video games was with Doom. My dad would let 1 year old me sit on his lap and play it. From about then on I have harbored a healthy affection for gaming (it's totally unhealthy). I enjoy most types of games but I have switched from just a player's standpoint to a more analytical position. I am currently working on a research paper for one of my college classed that ask the question of video game's validity as an art form. I major in film studies but that may switch to some form of writing.

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