Moments in Gaming That Makes You Emotional

Whether it’s fear, joy, or sadness, gaming really is an emotional medium of entertainment if it’s done well.

I just had one of those moments. I was playing Days Gone on the PS4, of all things. There’s this moment in the game when you are taking your best friend for medical help in post-apocalypse America. He’s dying, you know it, he’s too sick to know it.

As you’re riding the highway on your motorcycle, the soundtrack starts playing this song: “Soldier’s Eyes” by Jack Savoretti. It talks about all the horrible things we see in life and having what it takes to try to stay the course and see a clear path. As the two of you ride, your character is trying to reassure his friend that the two of them will survive, somehow.

I couldn’t help but think of a couple of people that were close to me, one we lost in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. I can’t imagine the hell they saw and what they experienced. I can’t imagine trying to wrap my head around the horror of what that was for them and everyone in the same place.

The scene just kind of punched me in the gut. We lost my best friend in high school in Iraq. It’ll be fifteen years ago tomorrow. It’s been just over a year that my brother was killed in Afghanistan. I’d have probably said the same thing to them if I could; we’ll survive, we’ll make it somehow.

Don’t mean to be so maudlin. This time of year always bothers me.


Damn @PFunk, I’m so sorry both for your friend, and your brother. There really are no words.

I lost my brother Neil back in 03 to a flying accident at Duxford, UK. I’m not sure I can say I get emotional but whenever I fire up DCS and take the Harrier for a spin, in VR I just know he would have loved it. He worked on Sea Harriers back in the 90’s with the RN. 17 years after the accident and I still miss him. I’m looking forward to getting the Razbam Sea Harrier. That one might be more difficult though.


The game Firewatch had some moments that were very poignant. The styling of the game…and the well voiced story speak a lot to loneliness and getting through life. Loss. It is a relaxing game…often made me sleepy since I was playing it in VR…but also was enjoyably paced.

There is another game in my library that I’ve heard is very compelling…I’ll let you know when I’ve sat through it. It is a bit more of an experience than a game I think.

1 Like

I’m not a religious man. But I am…I guess…spiritual in a way. Damn I hope there is a “Rainbow Bridge” for us humans too. I tear up anytime I read that damn poem about our pets…so I know when I look at my kids and think about it (hopefully me preceding them)…I just can’t hardly take it… Thanks for the reminder to cherish even the miserable parts. It isn’t thought about enough.


Sounds like a hell of a guy. Sorry to hear of your loss as well.

I get piqued whenever I hear people criticize video gaming as not being a real “art form”. Please tell me again that developers don’t understand the human experience or how to fit it into an interactive story that is just as effective at transmitting or eliciting an emotional response as any movie, music piece, poem, etc.

Or, take Paul’s example as one of the purest forms of emotional response. His brother worked on the Harriers he loves to fly virtually. Talk about relating on a spiritual level to something that was meant to entertain.


@PFunk ,
Thank You for sharing your emotions with us. I am sorry about your loss and see nothing wrong with you still missing them. I lost a friend in 2015. He was a kind loving guy. He gave me so much good advice. I often wondered when will I ever stop missing him. But that is life.
So to translate this to gaming. Two things happened recently that made me sad then I had to remind myself that I was in a game. I had a hell of a fight against a MiG-21. The Ai was really switched on and took my F-16 for the ride of my life. He made me use up all my missiles then I finally got a guns hit. He was having a hard time maneuvering so I shot him again. He was in flames. I followed him down saying get out Get Out GET OUT! I got emotional when he exploded against the ground.
The other was a furball against 21s again. I got 3 and my wingman (Ai) got the other. I then called my wingman to return to base but realized he had been lost in the fight. I had to remind myself. Its just a game.
Sadly we dont have reset buttons and I just have to deal with the fact that James Sutherland is gone forever. RIP my friend.


Today is the 31st anniversary of my dads death… I was 17 at the time and dad had been suffering from cancer the last 6 years.
He’s the one I sometimes think about, when flightsimming.
Back then, I owned a Commodore Amiga 500, having previously owned a C=64. Flightsims was my main interest and dad was really supportive of it and showed great interest himself. He was really interested in aircraft and thought that the Spitfire was the most beautiful aircraft ever. Hard to disagree with that, btw.
So over the years, whenever there’s a new sim with a Spitfire in it, I always think of dad and how he would marvel at the graphical beauty of his favourite aircraft, on the screen. Not to mention having him don a VR headset and put him inside the aircraft of his dreams…

As you say, @PFunk, video games is an artform. They are the stories that carry the history to future generations. If writing is art and if photography and movie making is art, then certainly video games is art.


Wow, this is a wonderful topic. Some lovely memories here.
I lost my dad when I was 16. He was a semi famous Speedway rider back in the 70s and 80s. I inherited my love of motorcycles from him. He always wanted me to be a racer. But after a few attempts and a bit of club racing on supersports in my youth I realised I don’t have the aggressive nature you need to win. But when I play “ride 2” or moto gp games when I cross that line in 1st place I always imagine how proud my dad would of been if it had of been in the real world. Funny isn’t it how the slightest thing can set you off.

Slightly darker and more depressing. Is my friend Chris. We weren’t friends for long. He worked for me briefly and was a pain in the ass. But was a great bloke and I really got on with him. He split up with his girlfriend. Went a bit nuts and a I talked him down a few times over the phone.
He called me on a Tuesday afternoon one day and he sounded a bit edgy and weirdly had an echo and a bit of feedback on the line. I was busy (asshole) at the time. I was a bit short with him and said “mate I really gotta get this done, ill call you back ASAP when I’m done” I then forgot to call him back.
Got a call from his brother who I didn’t know a few days later. He gassed himself in a car in a shipping container. My number was the last call he made. He was in the container when he called but hadn’t quite committed himself yet
I’ve never forgiven myself. I know in my heart of hearts I could never of known. But it still sucks. Always think about it.
He had a mitsubishi Evo 6 tommi makinen edition. So every rally game, every game with that car
in. Brings up a horrible feeling for me.
Always have time for your friends. They are finite


That’s rough man. But he wouldn’t have made it as far as he had without his friends to that point. And who knows, maybe fate had it such that it was supposed to play out that way to avoid something even darker. You may have just saved others just as innocently as you feel you might not have saved him.


Its a weird feeling. You feel responsible even though I couldn’t possibly of known. You try to rationalise it but in truth its one of those things that just happens in life.
I didn’t kill him. I was over 100 miles away. But that one phonecall was a bridge. Same as catching someone walking out in front of a bus. I could of done something but I was not looking in the right direction. Every time I talk about it I always ALWAYS feel like I have to justify my actions. Its like a guilt I carry around that was placed upon me rather than caused by me.
Its not the end of the world and life goes on. But seriously, look after the people in your lives. Be there for people and try to be a nice person. It costs nothing and is a wise investment


Nicely worded. To get a pretty good idea of what it is like, watch ‘KAJAKI’ (‘Kilo 2 Bravo’ in USA). Very little shooting. Most who watch resort to tears. All politicians should have to watch it.

I have a bad habit of "“doing something”. Once I ran across the street and gave CPR to an elderly guy knocked over by a truck. He died. Helping more often as not doesn’t work, so don’t beat yourself up about it. But do a first aid course as one day it might.