Hypothetical Game Case Study: Boston Physicist

In this game, we meet the character you play in a brief cinematic set in the present day. You're a scientist with top-secret clearance, researching advanced physics. Your projects, which you pursue in your expansive Boston lab, include work in lucid dreaming, anti-gravity, teleportation, and other cutting-edge research.[1]

[1] Lucid dreaming means staying awake, or conscious, in a dream and in control of it.

Gameplay begins at a futurist convention: You walk through various exhibits about life-extension methodologies, hyper-conductive super-cooled metals, nanotechnologies, and other breakthrough research. You amble up to one exhibit that shows the city pictured in the color-section illustration. Suddenly, a sort of vacuum wind starts pulling you in….

The next thing you know, you're actually in this city (still in gameplay). It's the year 2075. Impossibly, you discover that you have a weapon in your hand. (That's you in the picture.)

In this futuristic city, you quickly learn that you're being hunted by the police. They know you came from the past and want to kill you, for they know why you're here or at least they claim to know even though you have no idea how or why this time travel took place.

You'll learn that you've been brought here by a small resistance movement trying to overthrow the oppressive government. They wanted you, because your expertise your anti-gravity work could help them develop weapons that could make you the critical cornerstone of their resistance activities and turn the tide of their clandestine war.

Of course you the player don't know anything about anti-gravity, and even the character you play had just begun work in the field back in the time period when the game began. So, your character (i.e., you) tells the members of the resistance you can't help them. Nonetheless, they claim that you're an expert, but the time jump buried that knowledge in your unconscious, so they're working on a way to extract it.

The First Group of Missions

Because the government shock-troops are gunning for you, you have no choice but to fight alongside the resistance fighters to survive. Plus, there's a very attractive woman among the resistance fighters, Katrina, who is falling in love with you. She's unique and special; you develop feelings for her as well.

The Next Group of Missions

Later in the game, you'll be captured by those government troops, but they don't kill you as the resistance fighters had warned. Instead, they desperately plead for your help. They explain, and give you somewhat credible evidence, that the resistance yanked you from the past because they want to make an anti-gravity doomsday weapon and use it to blackmail the world.

All anti-gravity work was banned way back in 2018 because of a horrible disaster that occurred in your lab that killed you, and took out a quarter of the city of Boston.

As strange as this sounds, things are about to become more intriguing and strange.

You'll also meet some people who visit you in secret and who claim that they're friends of yours and they insist that neither they, nor you, are actually here! Instead, they tell you that you have a brain tumor, and that you fell into a coma at the futurist convention. The ensuing operation was successful but you're still in a coma and dreaming up this world.

Using a method that you yourself helped pioneer in your lucid dreaming research, they've entered your mind in your coma state to try and wake you. They lure you into a high-tech building where they want you to sit in a very scary-looking contraption. They claim it will wake you up from your coma.

All three of these groups the government troops, the resistance fighters, and those claiming to be your friends try to kill each other on sight. So you know there's no collusion going on here.

A number of Emotioneering techniques are at work here. Let's take a look at them.

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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