Any long-term gamer has a list of games that they feel were important to them. The one game that shaped my early childhood and future perspective on games was The Legend Of Zelda: Link to the Past. The expansive world and sense of control coupled with great puzzles and a heroic narrative blew my young mind to pieces. LttP remains a fond endearing memory.
But was it really formative? Did I change my worldview after having played it? That's kind of hard to say, because I don't really remember if I had a worldview before that. It is safe to say that I don't go around breaking pots or trying to save princesses, metaphorically or otherwise, in my daily life.
Fallout: New Vegas did have a huge impact on me. That game asks some tough questions about what it means to survive and thrive in any conditions. How brutal must one be? Where is the line between looking out for me and mine and sheer cruelty? Is righteousness really just about perspective? Where are the just people? Do they deserve justice? What is just?
All important questions that have shaped my opinions about many things. My view of social movements, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street have been affected solely by playing this game (which in this context sounds like a dirty word, but we'll leave the vocabulary of "game" alone for now).
Red Dead Redemption asked hard questions about loyalty. Over the past year, I've had a lot of problems with some friends of mine. People I had been friends with for about ten years. People I trusted and loved deeply. Yet they abandoned me. RDR has definitely influenced my choices in dealing with them and reconciling what happened. I have no doubt that it will influence my relationships in the future. It made me question why I wanted to be friends with people who seemingly had little interest in me.
Link to the Past, Sim City, Super Mario World, the Metroid series, all of them great games that left a huge impact on my perspective of the medium. But not games that changed the way I thought about myself, others, and my place in the world.
FO:NV, RDR, Bioshock too. Games that made me question my own beliefs, my own actions.
Which games changed the way you interacted with others? Which games changed your worldview?