Hello all, long time user of the site and listener to the Bombcast here.. First time poster...
So..... I have been asked to write an article (not for this site) on the subject of video games. The angle I am looking at specifically is the emotions invoked by fictional locations to the game player. As an example, I played LOZ: Ocarina of Time when it first came out on the N64 (that gold cartridge was damn cool.) By the time I had completed that game I knew every inch of that incarnation of Hyrule and the feeling of jumping Epona over that broken bridge towards Gerudo Valley was so tangible it felt like jumping a real horse.
I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences with other games. Goldeneye 007, (the N64 one) also had a similar effect. Chasing Alec across the bridged expanse of the Cradle - or riding that Tank through the Streets of St Petersburg. Granted, the locations in this game were inspired by real world (or at least cinematic) locations, but did that stop any of these places becoming real mapped locations within our minds, complete with a full sense of physical geography.
I have recently been replaying the excellent Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, which I last played 20 years ago in the early 90's and was one of my first truly great gaming experiences. Replaying it, it amazes me how familiar I am with each location as it appears - places which unlike Hyrule field did not remain in my memory but as soon as I see them again - it all comes flooding back - with all the associated good feelings.
So all I am asking really is: Do any Bomb users or the illustrious founders of the site themselves have any experience with these kind of situations? What are peoples most viscerally experienced video game locations? What are peoples favourites? Is it better when it is a place based on the real world like GTA San Andreas or something entirely insane like Dark Souls? Have people had similiar experiences in genres that you might not expect (my friend once had a dream he was a Tetrimino) - or maybe in a Simcity or Civ game? Is this sense of being rooted in an unreal place something that tends to emerge from your earliest gaming experiences?
I would like to be able to quote any users who provide good anecdotes if this is ok. Once the article is complete I will post it here so all can take a look.
I hope this post is ok with the rules of the site. The publication this is for not a video games magazine so please don't think I am trying to poach any users or anything like that. Giantbomb is awesome and I will always be a fan. Keep up the great work, both those behind the scenes and the community too!