Must be hot in here, my eyes are sweating

MattG at Press the Buttons talks about the emotional responses that video games can evoke. In particular, can a game make you cry? It’s a great piece that is a great read. Check it out.

Myself, I’ve never experienced such a response. I’ve been caught up before in the beauty of games (Wind Waker and Metroid Prime come to mind) but never had the cry response.

Maybe I’m too calloused.

Update: Troy also referred to this question. His story reminded me a game of Age of Kings I was playing back in the day. I was playing as The Turks and was playing against a host of computer enemies. I had fortified my position with a host of bombard towers supported by a bunch of Janissary. One of the remaining enemies was The Vikings. He sent a steady stream of Berserkers into my “Gauntlet of Bombard Tower Death.” I laughed as unit after unit was trashed by 8 inch iron cannon balls. My wife came in to see what was so funny and I explained it to her. She said I was “mean” and that she “felt sorry” for the poor, helpless Vikings. I felt nothing and she felt bad that berserker after berserker lost his life. “Maybe that one had a wife and kids. You’re a heartless killer,” she told me.

Yeah, but I’m racking up the kills, babe!

So again, I guess I’m too calloused to have those reactins.


  1. In college, we were all gathered around a computer playing Red Alert. The obect was to see who could last the longest against 4 or 5 AI enemies in a skirmish. I was the last to play. Some of the guys had lasted a long time but none succeded.

    Anyway, I’m playing and everyone is just kind of catching glances. I wipe out two or three of the enemy AI and there is two left. In the process my base gets obliterated but I’m left with one soldier and one grenader. The AI both have bases, one has a HQ and the other doesn’t.

    I basically hide my two men in the trees and take potshots jumping back into the woods. Most of the other guys just told me to quit because there was just no way. I was able to eliminate one of the AI armies using potshots. He had no money so his bases could just sit there. He was essentially dead.

    I wandered the map with my two men wondering how to take on this fully grown AI. In the lower right-hand corner of ther map there was a crate. In, it was a new base HQ. The rest shall we say is history.

    Dinner was free for me that week. It was my only “cry” moment. I was exhausted.

    I was a hero.

  2. You weren’t being mean or heartless. They attacked you. You were just being a patriot in the war against Viking terror.

    Your post does raise an interesting corrolary, since I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed at a game – even the ones that are supposed to be funny. Maybe I’m just a humorless grognard.

  3. I was in the middle of a game of war craft II with my cousin. We had been playing for hours and had almost been wiped out by the computer players several times.

    After several hard fought battles we were finally in charge and were preparing to do a map clearing. Then the power went out at my house. As I was hosting the game, that ended it for both of us.

    This is the closest a game has come to making me cry. I did scream and curse!

  4. PlanetSide almost brought me to tears, but that was really a very different emotion (anguish, frustration) and not at the game, but rather their tech support.

    Would MMO’s count? I’ve never had this, but I know people who have had online relationships that have crumbled, causing the occasional need for beer and bad 80’s songs.

  5. So video games can cause emotions of all kinds to effect as in different ways. Interesting.

    On the MMOG note that Josh raised, I think we’d find most of the “cry moments” could be found there. My EQ experience could be considered a cry moment. I don’t remember at what level I had reached but I was EQ-clueless and had wandered somewhere that I was woefully underpowered and unprepared for. I was subsequently killed and was past the point that I could recover my equipment after death. I hadn’t accumulated much but I had enough to make it worth going back and getting. I recruited a higher-level player to help me and we made it to my corpse, where my companion and I were killed rather quickly. I felt horrible, as this player was pretty high level and I was way out in th middle of nowhere. He cursed me out and went about his way. I could imagine having a good bit of equipment and then losing it all would definitely cause someone to cry. I didn’t cry but I never went back to EQ after that.


  1. Videogames Make Me Cry

    Tony over at buttonmashing made a post that prompted me to leave a comment in regards to some people’s emotional attachment to games. I’d figured I’d post that comment here:

    In college, we were all gathered around a computer playing Red Alert. T…

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