There are various, many, many causes individuals play video video games. Typically it’s for the problem; different occasions it’s for the story. It may be for consolation, for nostalgia, for brand spanking new experiences, for leisure, for distraction, even to be taught a factor or two. Me? I play for the buddies I make alongside the way in which.
That could be a meme, however it’s not a joke. Nicely, probably not. Positive, gaming supplies all these different advantages, however generally, oftentimes, it’s falling for the characters that retains me booting up for extra. Nowhere is that this extra prevalent than within the Mass Impact trilogy. By having a important character (play FemShep, all the time) that walked round and interacted with the crew between missions, the sport inspired gamers to type relationships with them. There’s a purpose Garrus Vakarian nonetheless reigns because the web’s bird-dinosaur boyfriend (inform me extra about these calibrations, Garrus), and it has the whole lot to do with writers at BioWare understanding the connections gamers made with their characters—and with the Citadel DLC.
The Citadel DLC emerged from a fraught time. Following outcry over the ending of Mass Impact 3 (it was dangerous), BioWare not solely rewrote the conclusion, it additionally launched further downloadable content material to appease followers. Not all of this DLC was ultimate ( you, From Ashes), however Citadel was a factor of magnificence. It’s mainly hours and hours of character-driven gameplay that’s simply you hanging out with your folks. It’s so chock-full of in-jokes and squishy earnestness it would as effectively be an entire mission dedicated to the characters braiding one another’s hair. (I’m now unhappy that there aren’t any hair-braiding scenes.)
Citadel was additionally an outlier. I didn’t admire it on the time (I used to be nonetheless therapeutic the Massive gap the trilogy left in my coronary heart), however the DLC was really distinctive. It was a breather between extremely intense missions, and it additionally supplied one thing only a few AAA titles give players: socializing. Understandably, recreation builders—already clocking lengthy hours to churn out video games—could not need to spend extra time making a bunch of touchy-feely moments, however it’s time they understand that’s what lots of gamers do need. They need extra friendships, extra romance choices, extra private content material inside a recreation. Or at the least I do. Video video games, in contrast to different types of storytelling like TV or movie, are a spot the place followers can work together with characters they’ve shaped parasocial relationships with. The truth that extra video games don’t have content material to capitalize on that could be a little ludicrous.
Frankly, it’s shocking that at this level within the evolution of gaming, friendship- and romance-option DLC hasn’t grow to be a factor. Exploiting intense fandom has been huge enterprise because the starting of media, and this looks like an enormous untapped market. Granted, the Citadel DLC was a free obtain from BioWare, however truthfully I’d pay cash for this type of content material. Certainly, lots of different individuals would too. I do know I’ve mentioned that I was accomplished with DLC, however that was completely different. That was about gameplay. That is about giving me—and others like me—one thing completely different: a brand new type of recreation to play.
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