Mind Games: Multiple Personalities in Videogames

Mind Games: Multiple Personalities in Videogames

Games can do more than just perpetuate the same old myths about mental illness.

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Quite nice. I've always wondered about this subject myself in video-games, though I haven't had that many people to discuss it with.

Also, I love you for mentioning Shade. It's probably one of the best text adventure games I've played, and also one of the most surreal ones.

That was quite a neat article. Mental disorders are usually gimmicks and plot devices, and it's good to see them used in a more accurate manner (even if it is still being exploited for entertainment.

P.S. I'm still waiting for the COD game where you play with PTSD.

Thunderous Cacophony:
That was quite a neat article. Mental disorders are usually gimmicks and plot devices, and it's good to see them used in a more accurate manner (even if it is still being exploited for entertainment.

P.S. I'm still waiting for the COD game where you play with PTSD.

Didn't Spec Ops: The Line cover PTSD?

Alice tends to veer off into rather blatant symbolism, but I still find it an interesting take, going into a hopelessly damaged mind, to try to find some type of functional equilibrium. The end of Alice: Madness Returns is quite reminiscent of this. After the whole plot and the symbolism of the dolls comes together (in a plot device that still creeps me out when I think of it), I never got the feeling Alice was cured. She just found a way to make things work a little more stably but still quite far away of what you would call a "normal" mind.

I never got far enough into killer seven to realize how great of a plot that game actually has. What a great ending. I would have guessed harman was the "host" but having garcian be the one (and having all the weapons of his "teammates" in that ominous suitcase) really is a neat twist. Great article, thoughtful without being preachy.

I'd go with symbolism here. The presented ideas were quite a stretch.

Fallout New Vegas had a good split personality character. Dog/God.

This is a very interesting article, with very prominent examples of the subject matter. Unfortunately, I got Deadly Premonition spoiled for me before I got a chance to finally play it, so that was kinda sad face.

I thought Killer 7 was this premise taken to its logical extreme, where the different complete personalities could actually manifest physically. Obviously little effort was spent trying to capture the "scientific" spirit of the disorder, but I don't really see this as offensive or off-color. I don't think anyone should approach any Suda51 game easily offended, now that I mention it.

As mentioned, Psychonauts played with level design in relating to the states of people's mentality, but I thought the play-style could do an interesting job reflecting it as well.

One character has anger management issues where his rage and regret is essentially personified by a bull running in repetitive destructive circles throughout a city. Unless you can avoid and overcome it, it will always force you back to the starting point.

Funny that this thread should come up now, as I'm at the end of a game I've been playing on my more recent survival horror binge, which actually featured the main character's personality swapping as a gameplay feature... and failed miserably at it.
The game in question is Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within. The game is centered around a girl named Alyssa, who has an alternate personality named Bates. However, while Alyssa is a schoolgirl with typical 90's horror game voice acting, Bates is a flaming, raspy, male voiced serial killer. No, he's literally on fire. All the time.
So the idea is that when Alyssa is faced with something stressful (enviornmental hazards, enemies, etc.), if she's not wearing her father's amulet (which can be set down virtually anywhere), then she will be taken over by Bates, and the player continues as him until the amulet is retrieved. Aside from the obvious differences, each plays a little different in encounters. While Alyssa must hide from her aggressors, Bates just shoots people.
Here's the problem; certain sections of the game can only respectively be completed as Bates or Alyssa. It's impossible to determine when you need to switch aside from walkthroughs or sheer luck. The same guy that instantly kills you as Alyssa will recieve a brutal kick in the testicles from Bates. Useful information can only be extracted from a suicidal nurse as Bates, rather than Alyssa for some reason. The fact that it's not up to the player who they spend the most time as is a missed opportunity.
The game's enjoyable, more in a B-Movie cheesy sense than anything else, but they had a bunch of cool things that they could have done with the multiple personalities mechanic that they missed out on.
Although, I will mention that Bates' voice acting is surprisingly good. His lines are the cheesiest in the entire game, but the voice actor manages to mask this very well.

You talk about Dissociative Identity Disorder and don't mention Xenogears?

Stephen Thurmond:

Thunderous Cacophony:
That was quite a neat article. Mental disorders are usually gimmicks and plot devices, and it's good to see them used in a more accurate manner (even if it is still being exploited for entertainment.

P.S. I'm still waiting for the COD game where you play with PTSD.

Didn't Spec Ops: The Line cover PTSD?

No, Spec Ops: the Line gives you PTSD :P

 

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