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The Walking Dead (game), episode 5
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
I finished The Walking Dead last night. I *meant* to only play for an hour, but found myself quite unable to stop playing when my timer went off. Luckily, the final episode was a bit on the short side, so I only stayed up late by about another half hour.

I had an idea of where I thought the game would go. I wasn't completely wrong, but the writers turned out to be much cleverer than I had given them credit for. The ending was brilliant, shocking, and simultaneously life-affirming and tragic. They paid off a lot more of the long-term consequences of player choice than I thought they would, and they *nailed* their themes perfectly. I cried. Admittedly, I'm a well-known sentimental softy, but still: actual tears.

A few final observations:
This game should forever put to rest the notion that "moral choice" systems in games should be tied to gameplay rewards. They are *so* much more rewarding taken on their own terms, without game-mechanical rewards like gear that is only usable if you are sufficiently "good" or "evil".

This game has earned a really high mark of respect that I don't recall encountering before. *No one* wants this experience spoiled. I am immersed in videogame culture both on-line and physically at work, and even though lots of people discuss this game, they are always very... elliptical, as if the specific details are actually sacred.

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This game has earned a really high mark of respect that I don't recall encountering before. *No one* wants this experience spoiled. I am immersed in videogame culture both on-line and physically at work, and even though lots of people discuss this game, they are always very... elliptical, as if the specific details are actually sacred.

Interesting. Reminds me of the way I think of Masonry, and the fact that I'm actually *more* willing to talk about the ritual with women than with men. (Since they can't legally experience it first-hand, at least in the organizational tree I'm in.)

Folks make a big deal about Masonic Secrets, without realizing what a tiny fraction of the ritual is *actually* secret. (And by and large, the secrets aren't actually the important part.) The reason I don't talk about it isn't because it would break my oaths -- rather, it's because the experience would be significantly lessened if you went into it knowing what to expect.

The world has gotten very flippant about "spoilers", and folks sometimes think all spoilers are created alike. But for serious, immersive, emotional experiences, spoilers really do matter...

Edited at 2013-03-23 04:52 pm (UTC)
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