The Sorcerer Among Us Is You

Luckily, the witch trials of Salem are behind us, because I suspect you're a sorcerer.


Because this chapter focuses on ways to help make the player identify with one or more of the NPCs, you might well ask the question, "How do we get the player to identify with the character he or she is playing?" That topic is tackled in Chapter 2.19, "Role Induction Techniques."

In the Lord of the Rings, we're introduced to Palantiri, or "Stones of Seeing." They're enchanted rocks used to see what's happening in the vicinity of other Palantiri, no matter where the stones are placed in the land. Sauron ends up controlling one, much to Gandolf's dismay, for it gives him visual access to the vicinities of the other stones, wherever they're scattered.

You don't need to be the evil overlord of a planet, however, to have access to the same sorcery. You too can cast your eyes far out into the oceans of human experience. In fact, I suspected that you daily adopt the viewpoints of complete strangers and see the world through their eyes.

It's called empathy.

The two biggest reasons artfully written films or television shows move us are:

  • We identify or empathize with one or more characters.

  • What happens to them then feels just like it's happening to us. If the character or characters undergo an emotional experience, so do we.

If you can get the player to identify with one or more of the NPCs, then he or she isn't just experiencing his or her own emotions, but the emotions of the NPCs as well.

Thus you can actually experience viewpoints of several characters simultaneously. It's certainly one way to create emotional immersion.

This happens in Star Wars Episode IV. We simultaneously feel what's going on inside the hearts of Luke, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, and Leia, among others. Is it any wonder people became very attached to those characters?

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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