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.