#1 Posted by bluenag (5 posts) -

I am doing my thesis project on reciprocity and video games, and cant seem to find a certain type of game. The person playing the game needs to be helped by the npc, preferably not just given a suggestion or tip, but a generous amount of help. It needs to be a strong feeling, not just "oh he gave me a sword, how nice!". You need to think "Wow.... that was really nice".The participant would only be playing for 10 minutes, so it can be one event inside a game. Thanks for the help!!!

#2 Edited by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

I'm drawing a blank, too. Sounds like there could be something out there, but I dunno. Maybe the hobo from The Walking Dead? The one who's kind of an asshole at first?

#3 Edited by cthomer5000 (1025 posts) -

Beyond: Two Souls

The chapter entitled 'Homeless' specifically. That chapter was also the high point of the game for me.

#4 Posted by MormonWarrior (2825 posts) -

I felt personally grateful to Super Mario Galaxy for existing, but otherwise I can't really help you.

#5 Edited by JasonR86 (10031 posts) -

I'm an alcoholic and have been clean for one year now. Games that tap into addiction really get to me and think about my past. Dear Esther and Max Payne III really come to mind right away. They had that effect of both making me feels shame, pride, and happiness all at once even when they were trying for very different emotional reactions simply because I saw myself in those stories.

Dear Esther especially. There are certain lines in that game that have stuck with me which, considering that I last beat it like a year ago, is pretty impressive. One in particular was when he mentions a book that he was trying to write (I believe that's how this metaphor went anyway) was weighing on him and so he tossed it from the highest cliff but he felt the futility of the action as he had the feeling he had done it hundreds of times before. Whether they writer meant it or not, throughout that game that book, among other pieces of imagery, were linked to the narrator's alcoholism. And the book was his addiction and no matter what he tried he couldn't get rid of it. That really got to me.


Heh, I uh...didn't really answer the question. Oh well, I still like my response. So...enjoy?

#6 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6352 posts) -

Maybe it was just all of the hype and fervor around the game's release, but I felt a strong connection and appreciation to Elizabeth while playing Bioshock Infinite. I realize mechanically she only gave me items and unlocked doors, but they did such a great job building her as a character I didn't seem notice.

#7 Posted by jasbir (108 posts) -

far cry 3 and tomb raider

#8 Posted by Rafaelfc (1818 posts) -

Resident Evil 5. Herbs were Sheva's department and she kept me going for the entire duration of the campaign. (minor AI issues notwithstanding)

#9 Posted by believer258 (12979 posts) -

Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite is occasionally helpful, though not particularly dependable.

I think your best bet is to talk about Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2 Episode 1. The friendly AI there was usually very good.

#11 Posted by CaLe (4319 posts) -

Not grateful, but any time I was fighting alongside Cpt. Price I felt safe. I trust that man with my life.

#12 Posted by Immortal_Guy (159 posts) -

Dark Souls. When I see a message left by another player saying saying "illusory wall", and behind it is a much-needed bonfire, I'm super greatful to whichever random stranger took the time to give me a hand. Another especially good one was a message that just read "Here!" - placed in the only safe spot in a corridor full of timed traps, to show other players where they had to stand to not get hit. Maybe it's because the game is so hard, but I got a really nice sense of camradarie from the online system in Dark Souls - it felt like most other players were out to be nice and help each other. The first time I booted up that game after a long break and thought to myself "I am so going to die", I saw someone had placed a message saying "Good Luck" just next to the first bonfire you spawn at.

I don't know if any of that counts, since it's other players rather than NPCs, but it's the only time I can think of when I've really felt "gratitude" while playing a game.

#13 Edited by jayjonesjunior (1106 posts) -
#14 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5296 posts) -

Your best bet is talking about the Souls series, but the problem there lies in the "gratefulness" being dynamic to the messaging and invasion system.

A lot of Souls players will, upon invading a low-level (gear or SL) player will drop helpful items and give a respectful bow before warping back to their world. It's definitely left me with warm fuzzy feelings.

#15 Posted by Canteu (2891 posts) -

League of Legends.

#16 Posted by RonGalaxy (3690 posts) -

Spoilers for Papers Please

Even after I continuously denied him entry and got him arrested/possibly beaten on multiple occasisions, Jorji still warned me for the shitstorm that was about to come in Arstotzka and gave me advice on how to get out (even giving me a passport).

#17 Edited by Choi (612 posts) -

@believer258: Even more so, Dog, dude! That robot was so helpful and charming.

Dog from Half Life 2. His actions make you feel even more grateful because he is a robot that cannot communicate with you and doesn't understand you. But he always does the right thing in his own, charming way.I think the chapter where you're infiltrating the Citadel or leading the resistance wave is a pretty good part of the game to showcase the Dog.

Fallout: New Vegas - When you find that kick-ass NPC companion that fits your play style and you and your crew start to F shit up. ED-E and Craig Boone were so gratifying characters for me.

Definitely Dark Souls as mentioned before.Maybe you can showcase it on Gargoyles bosses by summoning the Sun Knight NPC. That can help show the way player-to-player summoning works too ;)

Shadow of the Colossus. Near the end when Agro dies, it's devastating. And you can help but feeling only gratitude and love towards him for being with you through everything and always being by your side.

#18 Edited by BoOzak (1047 posts) -

This is kind of a weird one, but I just started playing Soul Sacrifice and I felt grateful that my ally revives me when i'm down instead of stealing my soul, which considering the nature of the game wouldnt be considered that heinous of an act.

I was also pretty grateful to The Darkness for about an hour or so.

#19 Posted by MaGoG (4 posts) -

I think Elika from PoP 2008 is something I was grateful for as she was there to catch The Prince or save him from whatever befell him.Also her overall connection to the plot was something that inspired gratitude .

#20 Edited by Animasta (14824 posts) -

Spoilers for Papers Please

Even after I continuously denied him entry and got him arrested/possibly beaten on multiple occasisions, Jorji still warned me for the shitstorm that was about to come in Arstotzka and gave me advice on how to get out (even giving me a passport).

I was trying to think of one but really this is the best I could come up with.

#21 Posted by SunBroZak (1838 posts) -

There was that buddy system in Far Cry 2 in which they'd help you up if you were "killed", giving you a gun and back-up. Otherwise I can't think of anything that hasn't already been mentioned.

#22 Posted by ch3burashka (5605 posts) -

If I can be so bold as to recommend a way to express this desire to inspire emotion, make sure this event/NPC relates to the core mechanic and offers help... but not in a completely transparent way. It's disappointing when you see the intention of the creator, especially when it relates to emotion. Suggestion: take away the mechanic halfway through, let the player stumble around for a while, then have the NPC give it back (or something equally useful). It's hard to make a player emotionally invested in a short game or in something they don't have an attachment to - the mechanic is very important (duh) and the lack of it will cause frustration, which can be used to your advantage to make its reintroduction a tangible relief.

#23 Posted by bluenag (5 posts) -

@ch3burashka: This is a fantastic answer. Thank you very much, I will consider this while looking for a game.

#24 Posted by bluenag (5 posts) -

@cthomer5000: After watching a video of this chapter, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I cant thank you enough for this suggestion.

#25 Posted by Juzie (182 posts) -

@rafaelfc said:

Resident Evil 5. Herbs were Sheva's department and she kept me going for the entire duration of the campaign. (minor AI issues notwithstanding)

I think he's joking....

But most recently Outlast comes to mind, when you are running from that big dude and the Walrider comes and finally kills that MFer. Such a good moment. Everything after that felt safe-ish.

#26 Edited by audioBusting (1781 posts) -

I don't know if this counts since it's not an NPC, but I sure was grateful for the guy who played Journey together with me. It felt pretty amazing to have someone by my side along the journey, and pinging to give each other scarf power feels like giving each other some sort of moral support. The limited method of communication also makes us try to communicate more enthusiastically, which makes the "conversation" feel more spirited. At the end of the game, he drew me a <3 on the sand and it filled me with so much glee =D

I then found out that I was playing with three separate people throughout the game, so they might as well be robots and I wouldn't have known, to be honest.