Multiple and Sometimes Even Conflicting Viewpoints (Learning from Mr. Bill)

First-Person Deepening also comes when a game player experiences multiple and sometimes even conflicting viewpoints of a subject, event, situation, person, group, plan, object, or aspect of life that the player cares about or that matters to at least one NPC whom the player cares about or identifies with because of the character's Rooting Interest.

"Multiple Viewpoints" vs. "Idea Mapping"

Earlier I mentioned that some techniques fall into more than one category. Taking responsibility is a prime example, and Multiple Viewpoints is another. The technique results in not only depth in the player, but also in the plot. That's why it's also a Plot Deepening Technique (see Chapter 2.17). It was discussed in that chapter, but from the point of view of the plot, not the player. There I referred to it as Idea Mapping.

There can be some slight differences, though. For instance, you could see a revolution as good at one point in a game, and see the same revolution as bad at another point in the game. Used that way, Idea Mapping would be the same as Multiple Viewpoints and would be not just a Plot Deepening Technique but a First-Person Deepening Technique as well. You're moved through different viewpoints on a subject.

However, Idea Mapping can also mean that we simply look at a subject's facets like facets of a diamond. If the subject is heroes, we can see an unlikely hero, a stupid hero, a fallen hero, a person who becomes heroic to seek redemption for a past sin, and so on.

In such a case, the player doesn't change viewpoints and become a deeper person, but the plot certainly is deepened through the exploration of a topic. Thus, this form of Idea Mapping would be a Plot Deepening Technique but not a First-Person Deepening Technique.

In a nutshell, different viewpoints generate First-Person Deepening when they force us to wrestle with the complexities of life or of a subject that matters to us or that matters to at least one NPC whom we care about and with whom we identify because of that character's Rooting Interest.

If you simply look at different aspects of a subject (such as "friendship") but don't wrestle with any moral or emotional complexities regarding the subject, then it's Idea Mapping, which is a Plot Deepening Technique (but not a First-Person Deepening Technique).


In Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream, we witness many forms of love by watching the adventures and misadventures of many matched and mismatched couples. We see:

  • The formal and stately love between two people from noble roots, Theseus and Hippolyta.

  • Love used as a weapon, as Titania, the queen of the fairies, feigns love for a young boy to make Oberan, the king of the fairies, jealous.

  • The arranged marriage (which never comes to be) between Hermia and Demetrius.

  • The passionate eloping young couple, Hermia and Lysander.

  • The unrequited love of Hermia for Demetrius.

  • The foolish crush of Titania, queen of the fairies, on Bottom, a workman who's been transformed into possessing the head of an ass.

    note

    This note picks up where the previous note left off. Is Shakespeare's showing us different ways people can love a form of Idea Mapping that actually moves us through multiple viewpoints and, thus, is also a First-Person Deepening Technique? Or is it merely looking at love's different facets, but it doesn't leave us deeper (and thus would be a form of Idea Mapping that creates Plot Deepening but not First-Person Deepening)?

    This Shakespeare example shows it might take some reflection to distinguish these two related techniques. However, remember that First-Person Deepening results when we're forced to wrestle with the complexities of life or of a subject that matters to us or that matters to at least one NPC whom we care about and with whom we identify because of that character's Rooting Interest. Based on this, I think it's clear that the Idea Mapping in A Midsummer's Night Dream also generates First-Person Deepening.

    By contrast, let's say that, in the play, we looked only at:

    • The love of a mother for her child

    • Love between two teenagers

    • The love of a shepherd for his flock

    Then we'd be looking at different facets of love without looking at multiple and sometimes even conflicting viewpoints of love. This example of Idea Mapping would result in Plot Deepening but not in First-Person Deepening, for we'd see different facets of love, but we wouldn't be forced to wrestle with love's complexities.


  • At the end of the play, we experience the seasoned love between Oberan and Titania. What it lacks in newness and raw passion, it makes up for in familiarity and comfort.

    That's love seen from a lot of angles. It takes a very wise (deep) person to write such a play, and we become deeper from experiencing his own rich vision.

    Seeing a subject such as love from different points of view makes us deeper. This technique can work in a game just as well.



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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