Final Thoughts

This chapter has covered four of the many distinct techniques for evoking emotional depth by using symbols. Each use of symbols is quite different from the other. They can, by the way, be used in combination. When you integrate symbols such as these into your games, if no one notices your skillfully imaginative work, that's just fine in general, they're not supposed to notice.

It's always good to avoid cliché symbols that is, ones we've seen many times before. Clichés don't involve us emotionally because they stand out like a sore thumb. For example, I don't recommend that a scary, mysterious man in a black robe, his face hidden by a black hood, have a seemingly chance meeting with one of your characters in order to foreshadow the fact that the character is about to die. The man in the black robe and hood is a cliché symbol of death.

When using symbols, you're not creating intellectual puzzles (having people try to figure out what a symbol means). Using a symbol for that kind of mind-game would detract from the emotion. Instead, when you use one or more of the techniques presented here, you're trying to deepen the player's emotional experience in the game, by letting the symbol evoke emotions in the player.

In short, when you create a symbol artfully, players will be emotionally affected by it, even though they probably won't consciously notice the symbol.

As we saw, quite often these different types of symbols can serve double-duty, also having a function in gameplay by being Usable Symbols.



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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