David Cage Is Wrong About Emotional Video Games

David Cage is wrong about the reliance on better hardware to create more emotional video games

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UnRated3630d ago

Another great example. I have heard many good things about it but never had the chance to check it out so I didn't put it in the list.

Looks like I'll be playing it over the weekend!

MrDead3628d ago

The tech helps convay emotion without music or dialogue, which is what he was getting at.

But one of the most emotion filled moments in gaming was the relationship between Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley in The Secret of Monkey Island, it was freaking beautiful man.

saladthieves3629d ago

I would also suggest Heavy Rain, but that's just an opinion.

Heck while I'm at it why not throw in thatgamecompany's flOw and Flower games.

HarryMasonHerpderp3628d ago (Edited 3628d ago )

I agree, a completely different kind of game though that I found to be very emotional was Silent Hill 2. That game had a huge impact on my when I was younger. It had a lot of different emotions in it, it wasn't just a horror game it went much deeper.

Godmars2903629d ago

Hardware limitations are responsible for some of the best emotional moments in gaming, because they forced developers to be creative and allowed players to become involved. Let them use their minds and imaginations.

What Squaresoft was and what Square Enix has become is perfect example.

RememberThe3573629d ago

In the opposite vein of what your saying, hardware imitation also held back potentially emotional moments and no doubt have eliminated some all together. And the ideas you mention don't require crap hardware to achieve. With more power developers can touch on more emotions, they can play with subtleties to evoke more passive emotions, and add depth to their characters that previously had to be projected by the gamer.

I'm excited to see what they're going to do. I think we'll see even more games like Journey and Heavy Rain, at least in the way they explored emotion not necessarily they're gameplay types. Better stories in our shooters? Please God!

Godmars2903628d ago

I'm not talking about crap hardware, but rather a dev being familiar with whatever hardware on hand as opposed to getting the best and trying to figure out how it works to the sacrifice of telling a story.

RememberThe3573628d ago

I get that, that's why I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. Developers having to adapt to hardware does make them better developers. It pushes them to come up with creative solutions, I get that. But I also think the new leg room will open up new experiences for us and also present new problems for these guys to overcome. I'm optimistic that we'll get the best of both worlds, so to speak.

Godmars2903628d ago

But again, my point is that devs aren't becoming familiar with the hardware. At this time most - if any - are barely coming to an understanding to one graphics engine before they're generally being forced to move on to another. The leg room you're being so positive about is actually another level of complexity devs have to get their heads around before the publishing side decides they want the devs to do something different.

That's exactly what happened to FF13. It became the town-less, characters disconnected from the world they were supposedly saving corridor march it was while its teams hid behind "artistic integrity" because they weren't familiar with the hardware and HD coding. FF13-2 proved what they could do once they understood the hardware more, but because Square didn't or could spare the extra time/money to develop a different story, let the teams start from semi-scratch, that game did poorly because of its direct ties to the one prior.

Bioware and the Mass Effect series are another example. The first game being more than decent enough, but because of publisher demands and not being all to use with UE3, the buggy and general world exploration were replace with probing in ME2. Then side-quest management and even story pacing took hits in ME3 despite being well done in ME2. Publishers wanted things done at a certain time and games and gamers suffered because the devs couldn't properly use their tools. Weren't allowed to use them.

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BkaY3629d ago

i think ppl are dragging him to the wrong side.. i can diss his whole emotional crap with one game this gen which is LA Noire..

to me its like we will be getting more facial expression than ever before. he should have said that...

most important thing is story.. remember MGS or FFIV.


ABizzel13629d ago

I agree completely with Cage's philosophies on evolving games, but I think he "spoke about it wrong". I say spoke, because he's proven he know what path to take with work, but he just misspoke that day.

I feel games need to provide gamers with more choice. Have their action have consequences good / bad, that affect the game world, and outcome of the story. Produce characters we care about. Give the player more control of their story, and then take control away, and see how the gamer deals with a new set of circumstances.

That's one reason why I enjoyed The Walking Dead Game so much. I wanted to try and save as many people as I could in every situation. One instance that really got to me was:

**********************SPOILER S************************

When Carly died. I actually liked Carly as a character, because she was honest, had Lee's back in every situation, and she was able to hold her own. SO when she was killed I restarted the game and tried every situation so I could save her, but once I realized I couldn't I moved on.

Now that's the kind of thing games need more of. Bashing zombie heads in will always be fun, but when a game makes you want to save the characters, and challenges your actions and choices then it becomes an EXPERIENCE rather than a game.

That's how games surpass movie IMO.

sobekflakmonkey3629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

it's the emotional connection's that you make with the characters that's important, and no matter what the graphics look like, the connections are still plausible, take novels for example, you don't see anything, its all words, all you do is read, but at the same time the writer is still able to convey emotion and make you feel scared for the characters or sad for the characters, writing trumps all, you have nothing without good writing, I do however think there is some merit to his claims, but I think he went about it the wrong way.

To see a person cry evokes a sadness in people, and for it to look realistic helps, and that's also important when we're talking about film and video games, sometimes a physical representation can drive the point across, the better the representation the more the point is driven across, so I do see both sides of the coin, but, I think he took it a bit far, mainly because a game like Machinarium can really get to you, and theres almost no dialogue but it was still designed and written in a way that's engaging.

KiRBY30003629d ago

a game is an experience, you shouldnt separate both terms.

interactivity is what makes video games different than movies.

ABizzel13628d ago


You know what I meant. I want more games with meaningful events that make me think about my actions and how they'll affect the outcome of situations.

Right now I'd say the ratio is 99 : 1 right now, and hopefully with the next generation of consoles that ratio will change, as we see more Heavy Rain's, Beyond's, Indigo Prophecy's, Walking Dead's, Journey's, etc...

Y_51503628d ago

My favorite series from this generation is inFAAMOUS, simply cause it had pretty much everything I want in a game. It had a great story, engaging characters, very fun gameplay, free roam/open world, choices to choose a different outcome. It was cool being good or evil and you get rewarded differently for choosing a side. inFamous 2 was a experience like no other and it's one of my favorite games of all time cause of that.

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3-4-53629d ago

Everyone Remember Wind Waker and how Link in that game was the most emotive out of all the characters, and the one you could actually tell what he was thinking or feeling.

And those weren't great graphics, but a Great Art Style.

Art Style trumps High end graphics every time.

3628d ago
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M2-3630d ago ShowReplies(3)
ShugaCane3630d ago

Even though he is one very arrogant person, I think he just wanted to sell his engine. There's no denial the guy knows how to get the player involved in his games. I nearly cried watching the 5 min Kara demo, and it wasn't because of the graphics.

Kalowest3630d ago

"Even though he is one very arrogant person"

WTF... David Cage isn't a arrogent person, he's very passionate about what does and wants to bring games with depth to the industry. I can't name another game that is mature and emotional like Heavy Rain.

Chaostar3629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

While I won't call him arrogant, as I have never met the guy, he can come across a little condescending and pretentious. That said I'm going to defend his position here.

I believe what Cage was trying to put across in his PS4 presentation is that technology has come to the point in which reading emotions on game characters has become easier and next to life-like. I don't think he was trying to say that older games can't elicit emotion from players or that emotion couldn't be read in game characters before this point, just that now it is about on par with cinema and even the most subtle gestures can be conveyed more convincingly.

As gamers, hell, as human beings, we can become attached to things that do not resemble anything in reality and can empathise when they face emotional distress or joy. Take Final Fansy 7 and Aeris' death scene, it was never lifelike or even animated all that greatly (although fantastic at the time) but gamers still felt saddened by her untimely demise.

In short, I don't think Cage put his point across clearly enough and some people have misunderstood.

KiRBY30003629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

Cage is arrogant because he is convinced he knows better than everyone else. he makes a lot of assomptions about what gamers need or even the industry as a whole.

i dont mind the guy being obsessed with graphics (im obsessed too) but he cares too much about mimicking reality when his games lack compelling gameplay.

i had much more emotions from MGS3. wont spoil the story but i would say it was more mature too, the game really made me think about what loyalty is. Heavy Rain didnt make me think at all, the game is automatic and basically plays itself.

Shadow of the Colossus told me a better story than Heavy Rain without 10 000 polygons face models or even voice acting.

Walking Dead had a good story and an interesting narrative that makes you involved in the game because many times you will have to make choices. i remember before Heavy Rain came out, Cage kept saying the game is all about "making choices" but now that i've completed it, all i can remember is me pushing the buttons that appear on screen. i never felt making a choice in my HR playthrough.

BkaY3629d ago


spot on bro...


KiRBY30003629d ago

so basically, im trying to say the same thing Chaostar said but he's getting agrees and im getting disagrees... i dont get it.

arrogant/pretentious, whatever you call it. he makes me think of Molyneux sometimes. he could be more humble.

some people see Cage as the one who brings focus on emotions but focus on emotions started with PS2, before Heavy Rain. they called the PS2 chip "Emotion Engine" for a reason.

his tech demo at PS4 event with the old man's face is similar in concept to this one from the PS2 tech demo. skip to 1:30

SAE3628d ago (Edited 3628d ago )

I would give you an agree but i love number 14. Bubble for you ^^...

you to Kalowest

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CGI-Quality3629d ago

How is he arrogant, exactly?

Irishguy953629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

He's not arrogant, he's just ignorant. He's not a gamer. It's like he thinks his games are the only Mature games out there. He mentions Cod and other shooters like they are the only games out there. He doesn't realize that Majority of Cod players(you know the ones I mean) would NEVER play his games. And that hardcore gamers that have actually played his games and read his interviews.. seemingly have more knowledge on the industry and it's games than Cage does.

arbitor...that's no all he said, he said alot more than just emphasizing what you say he did.

Honestly he is simply not a gamer, some of the things he stated are downright ignorant. There is no room for interpretation in "Who wants to mash buttons? I want them to challenge my mind" or whatever it was(was even more direct than that), he unknowingly dissed the entire hack and slash genre which many people love. And then heavy rain was heavily reliant on 'reflexes' Which he dissed too.

And then about Emotion...really? MGS is my favorite series because of the Emotion AND the gameplay. Heavy Rain...while I did like it neither my favorite story, doesn't invoke the emotions other series have..nor is it's gameplay about my favorite games series. Ask anyone what the saddest scene is in gaming, I doubt people will choose Heavy rain scenes. How about Aerith? The boss? Agro(SotC). I could go on and on about it. Even back as far as the Snes games have been able to invoke emotion well.

Allsystemgamer3629d ago

He doesn't like games. He is a failed film industry man. His games are good but he's not a gamer.

arbitor3653630d ago

Cage wasn't saying that no games had emotion up until this point. he was simply emphasizing how new steps in tech could allow us to better convey these characters and emotions.

its good that we still have devs who are interested in storytelling and emotion, and not just blowing things up

Qrphe3629d ago

Exactly, Lee Everett and Martin Walker only had more emotion according to the author for the obvious reason that he played through said games (emotion was given from the plot).

If someone who has never played any of those two games, were to be shown Everett's, Walker's, and Cage's demo face they'd probably say the tech demo has more potential more emotion.

NewsForSnowflakes3629d ago (Edited 3629d ago )

I have to agree too. I love what Cage is doing and I'm glad he's so passionate about giving us emotional and involving experiences.

Yes, great graphics and story-lines aren't essential for evoking emotion (Journey comes to mind) but I'm just glad that there are people out there that are trying to hit us right in the feels. Like you say, it's not just about explosions and body counts.

But this article seems largely irrelevant anyway. It's not like we have to choose one or the other. There's plenty of room both.

JackAndJizz3629d ago

Thats not true, not so great hardware can also cause an emtional response. Anything RING a bell?

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