Video Game Tuesday: Games That Make You Reflect

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m doing a bit of reflection. It’s all about Games That Make You Reflect!

What do I mean “Reflect”?: Well I’m not talking about returning attacks or bouncing things back like Pong. I’m talking about games that make you really ponder about various things wether it be as simple as the story of a game or even as far as your own life.

Why am I talking about this?: Well with the most recent update to Final Fantasy XIV one major plot thread of the Heavensward Expansion came to a close. After completing the main story of this latest patch, a sidequest opens up. Doing the sidequest leads your character on a journey of reflection regarding their journey in Heavensward and all the various people you’ve met and adventures you had. It was very oddly reflective for an MMO, and while some people will complain that it’s merely a go and talk to various people quest, those people are completely missing the entire point.

What is the point?: It’s to take a step back and look at what has brought you to your current place in life. The entire quest lead me to think about how I got to where I am today, and it’s not less winding a journey than the one my character experienced in the game. I took Japanese in High School, a choice that ended up completely reviving my love of learning and leading me out of a really bad point in my life where I seriously hated myself and wanted to die. I also took the class Tech Support and Programing and learned that while I understood how to code, I lacked the creativity to make code myself. Later as a High School Senior I started to really write and found that I could enjoy a thing I thought I’d always hate, because my own handwriting is terrible I had always hated writing reports in school.

After graduating I chose to move to SoCal and attend an art school to learn how to make games, and learned all about how to use Photoshop, and 3D Studio Max and learned all about how to design games. It was a interesting period because while I enjoyed learning about it, my issues with my gross motor functions prevented me from successfully completing the most basic of art classes that required me to draw everything by hand. Further complicating the problem was that a mere 7 months after moving down to SoCal I learned that the school would cut a lot of various 3D Modeling classes, the main reason I was there. So I moved back to Oregon and transferred to the local branch of said Art School. There I found that they taught a completely different program, Maya, and that I had the same issue with modeling that I had with programming, the lack of creativity that allowed me to create something new.

However I still tried to learn and even took some Political Science courses. After having yet another run in with depression I transferred to the local university, and started learning Japanese again. Unfortunately for me I shouldn’t have chosen said university as the program there for Japanese was 35 years out of date, our text books talked about the USSR for god’s sake, and that their way of teaching was completely different from the way I had learned in High School. A few years pass and I decide to leave that university, then after taking another year to deal with yet another bout of severe depression, I started writing a blog about something I had a true passion for, Stories. Six months of uninterrupted daily posts later while I’m on vacation with my family I get an email about posting my blog posts onto a site called The rest is history.

So yes, I seriously enjoyed and appreciate what this simple quest did for me. I did all this reflection because of a single rather simple side-quest in an MMO. I even wrote a blog post on my thoughts about it.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any games that have made you have some serious self-reflection? Leave a comment below with the game and, if you feel like it, your own reflections.

2 thoughts on “Video Game Tuesday: Games That Make You Reflect”

  1. Cool story. Sometimes you have to struggle a lot before you find what you want to do in life. Glad you found a good path that works for you. In terms of games, normally the big open-world RPGs make me think about life the most. Given the open nature of the world, I tend to make my character choose options and paths that I would myself. So however they end up, its kind of like how I would end up. This sometimes leads to reflection (and even corrections) for me in real life! Thanks for your thoughts.

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