Therapy by Immersion

I write a monthly “editor’s blog” over at It’s a news/reviews/features site, and we’re doing our best to only publish stuff that matters, and to keep things this side of the joystick/1up/kotaku line. I hope that my little articles can be a part of keeping it there. As always, I appreciate the founder of Games Are Evil, Jason Evangelho, for allowing me to do my thing there.

Here’s a short pull quote, and the blog roll I placed at the end of the post, for further reading, and to continue the tradition:

Immersion Therapy: Fable II and The Tough Choices

One man’s attempt to immerse himself in the world of big name video-games, and come out the other side saner and, hopefully, wiser. This month: Fable II affects Rob in ways he didn’t expect.

generic-oakfield-03-800.jpgI just finished the main story-line of Fable II, not including the Knothole Island DLC. I don’t have a real long post planned, here, but I’m feeling…unsettled. The ending that, I assume, I had a hand in creating through my choice in the Tattered Spire, has left me feeling spent, and a little unhappy. I think that may be the most ambiguous feeling I’ve had at the end of a video game.

Since Bioshock, I’ve heard game developers say that they offer gamers a choice, nuanced and subtle, about what kind of person they want their in-game persona/avatar to be. I’m not so sure they’ve done it, yet.

In Bioshock, it was a non-choice. I’m not going to kill little girls. Period. I don’t even care if you say, “it’s just a game.” Not gonna happen. In Mass Effect, there may be several options, but it’s fairly easy to discern the good, bad, middle responses in the conversation trees (and I’m not so sure they really had much of an impact, either way). It felt like a forced choice between an alternative LEAST like me, and one MOST like me. It wasn’t’ a real choice; it didn’t involve my emotions.

See the whole post:


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