rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2016-10-13 02:43 pm

For Pete's Sake, Go Away.

I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)

I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.

I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
pete_thomas: (Default)

[personal profile] pete_thomas 2016-10-13 02:40 pm (UTC)(link)
For MY sake?! Why me!? :P

I have a really funny jumpscare from when I played Until Dawn that I'm going to share with you because lulz. Our playthrough was blind, so all of our reactions through it were 100% legitimate.

I always thought about situations like that. "If I were trapped in a scenario that was likely going to kill me and another person (be it a stranger, friend, or SO), would sex be something that is possible? One last "thrill" before the end? Or would it just not be in the cards? I don't know about you, but in theory, I'd like to go out with at least some sort of satisfaction, but I don't know if it's actually possible.

The concept of I vs He/She in video games is one that I explore quite frequently. I think the majority of us say "I" speaking of us as controlling a character, not necessarily "I" as in "I'm Nathan Drake" (to use your example). A buddy of mine who streams, CharlieYS, plays all of his games as if he IS in the game. He assumes the role of any characters he plays, and enacts more than just what's happening on the screen. For example, if he dodges a tight situation, he'll stop and say "Whoa, I need a breather after that one!" and will stop moving his character to "catch his breath."

Since streaming, my "I" has become "we" as I attempt to include the rest of the chat in our adventures. So in your Silent Hill example, I'd say "we're looking for the main character's wife... and I'm failing miserably because the game terrifies me to death."

As for specific studies, I don't think there are any, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for you if I see anything!
pete_thomas: (Default)

[personal profile] pete_thomas 2016-10-20 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
You're most welcome.

I thought the whole thing was up on YouTube, but I guess it's not? I wonder why? Twitch must have been a little silly during that time. Sorry!
thenicochan: {...} from Hanna is Not a Boy's Name (Sans)

[personal profile] thenicochan 2016-12-09 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)
The idea of how players think of themselves when in control is a very interesting topic. I tend to alternate, a lot of the time I'll refer to the character by name, but other times I'll say "I".

I play games with my roommate fairly often and we do the same thing, though more often than not she'll refer to the player character as "us" and "we", even though she prefers to watch me play single-player games while she assists with puzzles and the like. (She loves horror games but doesn't have the nerves to play them herself)

It makes sense that we would see the player character, our avatar in the game world, as an extension of ourselves. But, at the same time, I usually play the character the way I imagine they would behave in any given situation, which sometimes goes against my natural inclinations in terms of socialized behavior. So, I guess it's similar to you. If I'm playing FFVIII and using Rinoa to Draw then I am Drawing magic, but when Rinoa is climbing the boxes to try and meet with Edea at the end of the first disc then Rinoa is climbing the boxes. I junctioned 100 Death spells to Quistis' strength, but she has 100 Death spells junctioned. A Malboro used Bad Breath to confuse Squall and Squall killed the party, then Squall killed himself and now the party is wiped out and I am dead.

It's weird how my mind jumps between how it sees the characters and how it sees myself, but it's extremely fluid.
thenicochan: (junpei kick its ass)

[personal profile] thenicochan 2016-12-09 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that's right. She'll be like "It's behind us!" or "We can't get away!" but if she's discussing the character on their own she might say something like "Have Rei examine that shiny thing." It's weird!

I see what you mean about XV. I'll do that too haha. But I'll also talk to the characters out loud too, like "Iggy Iggy Iggy HEAL US" but then when Noctis/I am in "danger" I'll be like "Would someone kindly heal Noct!?"

...Now that I think about it...I'm not sure I understand myself why I do what I do. Huh.

I don't know why, but I started laughing aloud at this.

Happy to be of service. But, seriously, I have nightmares of trying to Mug Marlboro Tentacles near the end game and getting my ass handed to me because I was like thirteen and didn't understand the junction system my first time through the game (nor did I get that Triple Triad would pretty much get me everything I needed to make the ultimate weapons) and so I was basically watching a confused, blinded Squall still get a perfect hit rate on my confused team.

I can only imagine the horror Quistis and Rinoa felt each time Squall brought them closer to the abyss.