I haven't finished Braid
yet, but so far the story seems to focus on Tim's loss of love. The name of the game refers to a moment where Tim gets slapped in the face by his love's hair when she turns away from him in an emotional moment.
Those first few minutes of playing Braid
impacted me so much that I had to take a moment to understand why the game created such a strong reaction in me. Aside from being extremely well written, the reason for the immediate emotional impact must have been the the game's themes of love and loss. Being an in-the-closet hopeless romantic, I can relate to Tim without even knowing how the rest of the story goes.
This made me wonder why we don't see more games that use these same themes to provide the main character's motivation.
Games that have used love and loss as their driving themes have included cult-status titles like Ico
and Shadow of the Colossus
. Both are considered classics as Braid
may one day be.
So why not have more games that appeal to the most overpowering human emotion?
Maybe because if done wrong, it could have a high potential for cheese. That's not to mention what would happen if we started seeing games based on romantic fiction like The Notebook
or A Walk to Remember
. Seriously, would you play a Jerry Maguire
Still, I'm willing to guess that a good percentage of the gaming community have suffered for love. Since we can mostly relate, shouldn't game studios try and use love as a storyline theme? It's motivated fiction for centuries, why not games?
Or did I forget a bunch of examples of love in games? Super Mario Bros.