Originally Posted by Bilgewater
I wonder though, did those games affect your perspective on the world or just on other video games? Based on your response, it sounds like UFO could have had an impact on your perception of war. I often feel like most RTS' dehumanize your units way more than the FPS genre.
I don't even know what it was that made me feel for my soldiers in UFO. They had no elaborate story behind them and were just a bunch of randomly generated numbers. But with some of those random pixel-people I had more of a connection than with pretty much every given NPC, fully voiced with all kind of background information in a full-blown rpg.
Interesting observation that RTS dehumanize more than FPS. In both soldiers are not much more than cannon fodder, but RTS are indeed the most detached one can get from the toll a war takes. RTS are also worse than large scale strategy games. A unit in Civilization is much more valuable than any given unit in e.g. Starcraft 2. Funny enough, Civilization never changed anything I knew or thought I'd know about history or civilizations. I enjoy playing it, still give Civ 4 a spin occasionally, but it never had any lasting impact.
There are few games that make me think or reconsider anything outside the virtual world. Books that I read are more important in terms of impact on my views. But coming back to my examples above, Demon's Souls and later Dark Souls managed to dominate my life for about 2 months each and had impact beyond the game world. They changed the way I look at other games. It's a standard by which I judge games. Before Demon's Souls it also didn't occur to me how much more interesting a story can be when it's not told, but shown. The Souls' games have not much dialogue to speak of of cutscenes. But I understood the world and what had happened just by how everything looked and sounded, small fragments in item descriptions painted a wonderful picture of a world in ruins. I should stop gushing about Demon's Souls now.
Interestingly, games like Deus Ex that supposedly have a message, didn't really change anything for me. I find it funny how the advertising campaign for Deus Ex Human Revolution had more to say about transhumanism in less than 4 minutes, than the entire game in about 30 hours.