所读专业：游戏开发专业（Entertainment and Art Engineering: Master Game Studio，简称EAE: MGS）
课题：游戏叙述《Video Game and storytelling》
Inhabiting an avatar and performing actions from that avatar's perspective greatly engage the player's emotion to the protagonist through characters, interactions with other characters, and the game world as a whole. In the game Shelter, the player inhabits as a mother badger to escort her five cubs to a new shelter. Naturally, it is the mother badger responsibility to feed cubs with food and protect them from dangers. Whenever the player playing the avatar mother badger finds new food, the player has the choice of deciding which cub get the food. As a result, cubs with enough food move faster while the cubs with not enough food could be too slow to escape dangers such as rapid streams and preying bird. Also, the mother is accountable for deciding the safest path when the threat is presented such as hiding under the grass when the preying bird is approaching. The mother badger's interaction of nursing the cubs with food and guide them to safety presents the player an emotional response not just for the protagonist mother badger, but for the cubs.
Similar to Shelter, Papers, Please also evokes the player emotional response by making the player role play as an immigration officer in a highly interactive environment. Specifically, the player as the officer has the power to decide which border passenger is allowed to pass, to detain, and to reject. The game environment would respond accordingly. For instance, the police would come in and arrest the passenger who is decided by the player to be detained with falsified information. In both the games, the supported actions of either the cub got eaten, or the passenger became arrested due to the interactive role of the player created a personal responsibility for me. I feel I am accountable for the destinies of the cubs and passengers for better or worse.
For the first playthrough of Shelter, I did not understand the mechanics that each cub would need food to become and healthy and move swiftly, so I gave food to the nearest cub. But since the nearest cub would always be the most robust and fed one, the player as the mother badger created an unequal distribution of the food to the cubs. At the end of the first section of the game, there was a patroling bird eagerly hunting for food. When I as the mother badger and my cubs were crossing from one section of the bush to another, the least fed cub was too slow and the cub got captured by the bird. I felt personally guilty as the mother to not take care of my child because of the previous actions of ignoring the cub.
Unlike Shelter, where I felt personally liable for losing the cubs; in Papers, Please, I felt powerful in deciding the fate of the passenger. When the mechanic in which the immigration officer can search all Koechians, people from a hostile neighboring country, is implemented, I requested all Koechians to be scanned. I felt the emotion of ressentiment of an immigration officer who could not support his family and vent the hate to others by abusing power. Even though Papers, Please is not a serious game with an educational purpose, I experienced what it felt to be oppressed from the state and how I would turn that resentment to a weaker group of people. For instance, when I found a Koechians woman who had a hidden gun on her, I immediately pushed the search button. I felt the impact of my action to reshape her destiny from a lawful citizen of Kolechia to potentially a criminal in Arstotzka as the bordering policemen escorted her out. It is ironic that I have such a power as an immigrant officer yet I could not feed my family.
In Shelter, the third person perspective helps me as the player take more attention to the surroundings, which are the cubs. In Papers, Please, the first person perspective immerses the player more at the task at hands. The minimalistic interface of Shelter allows the player to pay more attention to the game world and the cubs without overwhelming features. On the contrary for the Papers, Please, the intricate interface of checkpoint workstation, the numerous paperwork, the rotating clock, and a bird view third person perspective of a long line of passengers on the top build up a sense of anxiety for the overwhelming task. Similar to the distinctive shape and abilities of quadrilaterals in Thomas Was Alone, the distinctively patterned badger babies personified themselves as recognizable characters. Contrastly, the spreadsheet style of abstractly representing the families members and their states alienate my empathy with them. Combining with the different perspectives of the two games and their effects, I sense more emotional connections with the badger babies in Shelter over the families in Papers, Please.