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Messages In Video Games

Updated on April 30, 2020

Now what Am I on about

Sometime ago I was playing a game called Dark Souls Remastered with a friend and he stated that the writers behind the game basically written the game as a message to never give up and always keep pushing forward. I responded stating "That's a good message," to which he replied explaining that it seemed like it was almost the only message ever seen in Japanese fiction and that is a bit over used.

This got me thinking, why was this and is really that common of a message?

How Common is it?

Dark Souls originally released Sep 22, 2011 then released as Dark Souls Remastered in May 2018
Dark Souls originally released Sep 22, 2011 then released as Dark Souls Remastered in May 2018

As far as commonality it is pretty much everywhere but not limited to just Japan. Captain America from marvel comics never stopped trying to get into the army in order to protect the country he loved despite that every time he tried the would basically tell him that he was to unhealthy to serve, if he had given up there would have been no story. In a sense every story about a hero rising up to a other dark and scary occasion could be seen as a powerful message about believing in ones self and not giving up whether it be Ichigo Kurosaki, Superman, Twilight Sparkle or Homer Simpson.

This kind of goes double for video games because you are the character in those games even if they give a named player character, for example, in Star Fox 64 you play as Fox McCloud hear to stop the evil Andross from taking over the Lylat System, now you can take whatever course you want and you can choose to save your teammates or ignore them it's up to you, going a step further if you decide to stop trying to win and shut off the game for good then hope is lost for that little world, same goes for even the most simple of games like the Donkey Kong.

Could it have something to do with region?

A Shinto gate
A Shinto gate

Absolutely not. Oh, you need more then that. Well as I am writing this the most depressed country on earth is India with the U.S. in second and the country with the highest suicide rate is Guyana, so it's not a Japanese thing if anything they are trying to tell us to keep fighting live a life worth enjoying.

Every country on the planet has massive depression rates even if they are not listed in the top 10 list so the very notion that anyone would single out the rest of the world is a bit absurd, and if they did then they would not bother releasing it across multiple platforms worldwide, they would make it a region locked game..

So why then?

I just thought this was a cool image
I just thought this was a cool image

Because it's a good idea, everyone needs a little shove and reminder to keep fighting and move on, and there is a saying "If it's a good idea then chances are somebody else thought of it too." all games have writers and many writers thought of including this simple message to the readers to never let a little fall get you down. Sometimes they may not be thinking of us when doing these games and in fact they are straight up just trying to wright a good compelling story but hey if that story helped a few individuals get through a tough time then great.

Also a message in a video game might resonate with us more then a movie. Sure in a movie you may grow very close to the characters and even relate to them but in a game as I have stated before you are the character in the game in a since living the very story you are playing, meaning that it was you who saved the princess or stopped the alien invaders even if the game was bad you remember it much more thoroughly because you experiencing it first hand.

The final verdect

The message to never give up is everywhere but it is hardly the only one, perhaps that is best left for another article but in the meantime stand tall and be proud, don't let the world get you down even when times are tough.

I for one welcome this message in any media but what about you? what messages do you like to see in games? Please leave a comment in the section below, I'm Wanderin Jim and I hope you have a super happy day.


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