Emotional Connections in Games aka Another Persona 4 Blog

Well here goes my attempt to start being not only a better writer but also a better blogger and video game reviewer. So for a start I figure I'd start talking about emotional connections in video games. I recently finished off the bad ending of Persona 4 and I was struck by how emotional and the ending was and how much they could make me care. So the real question here is how could they have achieved this? Video games are a difficult medium to establish emotional ties between the player and the character. As a game it constantly reminds you that the characters aren't real and in some cases removes any possibility sense of tension by making them invulnerable. All these obstacles have to be overcome before one can even consider whether or not the character is well written, voiced, or designed. Certainly Persona 4's characters are all these things but it goes deeper than that. The most effective tool in Atlus's arsenal here is the massive scope and length of their RPG. By spending so much non-game/non-combat time with the character it eventually establishes an emotional connection with them beyond their use within the game itself. It also goes further by rewarding you for getting to know these other characters with new and more powerful personas encouraging you to spend more time and maybe move beyond an initial dislike of the character. Persona also allows for your journey to end on a bad note giving real weight and value to the time you spend with your friends and the decisions you make in trying to avoid this ending. Many other games do this too such like Mass Effect, Fable, and Dragon Age, but none do as good a job of conveying the time and work it takes to cultivate a friendship. This simulation of actual bonding does a great job of making you feel emotionally attached to the characters. Any other games you guys played that really made you care about the characters?