The Issue With the Term ‘Emotional Experiences’ (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Journey)

The Issue With the Term ‘Emotional Experiences’ (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Journey)


Hi, I’m Hamish Black and this is Writing
On Games. The term ‘emotional experience’, used when referring to games, is something
that I have trouble with. Whenever I hear it (whether it be from reviewers who lack
the critical capacity to explain what emotions the game is attempting to extract from the
player, or publishers and developers who are trying to market their game to a specific
audience), I think back to those ridiculous times around the late 2000’s where every
game was referred to as a ‘cinematic’ experience, and I cringe just as hard as I
did back then. It’s a shorthand that at best explains nothing, and at worst signifies
that a game is going to be incredibly heavy handed in its attempts to elicit that coveted
single tear from the person playing it. I should say that I am far from one of these
people that thinks that games should eschew narrative altogether and just focus on being
all fun all the time. Quite the opposite, I love games that exude effective narrative
delivery, or more generally, I enjoy worthwhile artistic works of any medium. Therein lies
my point – as stated in other videos on this channel, games, due to their relative
youth as a medium, have consistently and desperately trying to equate themselves to other media,
saying ‘LOOK AT ME I’M JUST LIKE A MOVIE!’ or ‘MY NARRATIVE IS BASED ON A BOOK THEREFORE
IT’S AUTOMATICALLY HOT SHIT!’ My point is that games, whilst we still require a critical
language to be developed that is truly our own, shorthand like ‘emotional experience’
really brings nothing to the table, and only serves to perpetuate the idea that games are
still trying to catch up to other media. In what world would a book or film be referred
to as an ‘emotional experience’? What emotion is it you’re trying to elicit from
me as a player? THERE ARE LOTS OF EMOTIONS, YOU GUYS. WHEN YOU USE THE TERM EMOTIONAL
EXPERIENCE, THE ONLY EMOTION I FEEL IS INDIFFERENCE. Let’s examine this idea further – when
games are referred to as ‘emotional experiences’, to what games are people referring, and what
emotions, in all seriousness, are these people talking about? Usually, as previously stated,
this term is used to describe smaller indie games, or bigger triple A games that are trying
to cash in on that sweet indie dev cash pit. David Cage constantly speaks of his games
(which, for the most part, are considered to be interesting, if majorly flawed experiments
with storytelling in games) as ‘emotional experiences’, to the point where it has
become a phrase he doesn’t even think about anymore. In an interview with EuroGamer in
2013, he spoke of his game Beyond Two Souls and stated that ‘We want to use the camera
to say something. If we’re talking about emotional experience through storytelling, you need
cameras to have a sense of emotion. What’s interesting is this is something cinema did
a century ago or less with Citizen Kane – he used the camera to tell the story, and not
just to show the story. That was hugely inspiring to filmmakers, and that’s where we are with
games now.” WHAT THE FUCK DOES ANY OF THAT MEAN? THAT MEANS QUITE LITERALLY FUCK ALL.
It’s either cases like that, where developers spout meaningless, pretentious (and I actually
mean pretentious in its truest sense) nonsense about their own games, or it’s reviewers speaking
of games like Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons or Journey (Journey, I should say, is one
of my favourite games, but we’ll get onto Brothers right now). Reviews from outlets like
Gamezone, Polygon and Gamespot all referred to Brothers as this nebulous ‘emotional
experience’ and heaped praise upon praise on it as a result.
Now, I’m probably going to get lynched for this, but I was severely disappointed by Brothers,
and whilst I generally don’t give a shit about how highly other people rate games (people
can like what they like), but seeing the praise heaped upon this game when I found there to
be severe issues with pacing, mechanics and the heavy-handedness of the narrative in general
for some reason made me feel a way. You could say I had an ‘emotional experience’. What
were my problems with this game exactly? My first and probably most prominent of my problems
with the game came with the way it handled mechanics as narrative – the idea that the
narrative of the game is delivered through the way in which you interact with and control
the experience. This is not to say that games cannot do this effectively – quite the opposite,
there are many examples of this done well (some that I will come onto later), and experiments
with this have been prevalent since gaming began (for a breakdown of this, I implore
you to check out Extra Credits’ episode on Narrative Mechanics and Missile Command
– that game is unbelievable in its narrative depth and delivery). What happens when you
fundamentally break this, however? Well, as I would argue, a game like Brothers happens.
Now, this is all down to personal opinion and feel free to disagree with me and discuss
this idea with me, but the key component of the game, and the source of every puzzle and
enemy encounter in the game, is that one player controls both characters simultaneously with
one controller (both sticks and shoulder buttons correspond to both Brothers). The thought
that pervaded my entire experience with this game as a result was as follows – are these
brothers fucking morons? The idea was clearly that the player had to view these brothers
as one in the same, and the clumsiness that came as a result of controlling both of these
brothers at the same time, like I say, is the key component of every puzzle in the game.
That said, they don’t LITERALLY share the same brain, do they?! As I was having to co-ordinate
moving the brothers away from danger and I’d accidentally run into a wall with one of them
as I moved my focus to one brother in particular, only for the other brother to either keep
running into a wall or stand still and await death, the only real emotion it elicited from
me was hysteria, as I laughed at the idea of this wee prick just standing there as a
monster approached him and the brother shouting ‘GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY’ before remembering
that they were both morons, and that this was probably natural selection at work.
This was my main problem with the game – the idea that if it were a two-player game then
that would counteract any dissonance created by the fundamental mechanics, but it would
also remove any of the challenge from the game. This idea, to me anyway, fundamentally
broke the experience – I obviously get what they were going for, the idea that the brothers
have a figuratively symbiotic relationship, but the mechanics make it out as if their
relationship is LITERALLY symbiotic, which is a BIG problem. The heavy-handedness of
the symbolism of the narrative (‘LOOK THEY’RE ESSENTIALLY ONE IN THE SAME PERSON’) also
correlated, in my mind anyway, with the hokey narrative itself – if you went into this
experience at any point thinking that both brothers were going to make it out alive after
the game smacking you in the face with the idea that this story is sad time and time
again, then your IQ is probably within the single digits. It should have come as a surprise
to no one, and therefore it elicited none of the tears from this particular player that
it clearly wanted to drain from my eyes with vampiric enthusiasm.
My point? Just because a game is ‘emotional’, does not automatically make that game effective.
And when people refer to games as ‘emotional experiences’, what they typically mean is
that a game is sad, and this usually involves a close relative or friend of the player character
kicking the bucket at some point in the story. What I’ve been trying to get at through
this entire piece is that ‘emotion’ is SO much more than that. Look at a game like
Journey, for instance – as previously stated, this is another game people constantly refer
to as an ‘emotional experience’, but this is totally meaningless as the wealth of emotions
that game elicits from the player is not done justice by this phrase. My most memorable
experience with that game was welling up at the famous ‘sliding scene’ – this is
not a sad scene, in fact it is quite triumphant. The fluid movement makes the player feel empowered,
and the idea that you can be experiencing this with another player whom you do not know,
combined with the side-on angle as you pass the mountain, and the absolutely gorgeous
lighting… urgh. It’s an experience that I will probably never forget, and to boil
that down to simply an ‘emotional experience’ feels unbelievably reductive to me. Visceral
excitement from the movement, anxiety and curiosity as to what will come next in this
world, courage as you and your companion feel like you can take on the world, mixed with
a subtle remorse and sadness as you remember that you and your companion are alone in what
is hinted to be a former bustling metropolis. This is just one example of many set-pieces
that permeate the experience, and all deliver equally conflicting emotions – to simply
describe this game as ‘emotional’, then, is to do the game a grand disservice. Developers,
publishers and reviewers alike – eschew this reductive language. Begin to develop
a critical language that allows us to examine these emotions in depth, and why and how they
are elicited from the player, rather than just stopping at the word ‘emotions’.
Don’t think that ‘emotional’ just means sad. Don’t believe that the shortcut to
‘emotions’ in games is killing off characters. Think about the mechanics of the games you
play and create, and the ways in which the fundamentals of these mechanics can potentially
interrupt and cause dissonance with the ideas you are trying to present with them. Critical
thought, at every part of the process, is key. And last, but not least, get tae fuck
David Cage, ya mad weirdo. Fahrenheit? More like Fahrenshite.
On that bombshell, I’m Hamish Black and this has been Writing On Games. I’ll see
you next time.

35 thoughts on “The Issue With the Term ‘Emotional Experiences’ (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Journey)”

  1. Great video, definitely agree.
    I feel like the term has been used to the point that developers who simply try to obtain the meaningless tag "emotional experience", the ones who only insert the tropes of the "emotional experience", will be praised for it, because "emotional experience" has come to signify "good" in some circles, even when it really doesn't mean anything and as you basically said, at worst could only be referring to a very cheap and forced attempt at being sad.

  2. Alright now. So one of the big problems that videogame reviews have is that they sit on the fence between a product feature list and art criticism – much of it degenerated to a cry for better journalism in videogames last year. I agree that is is reductive to say that the game is an emotional experience in a review, but although it is a bit of a cop out, it's as involved as you can get in a review about a game that attempts to hit the sensitive nerve, without spoiling much of the content. You see, if somebody starts talking about a very emotionally shocking part, like you just did towards the end, in a game that I haven't played, let's say Journey or Brothers, I get that part properly spoiled. If not only narratively, but also in terms of the what I will see, hear and control, and perhaps even about the emotions it'll elicit.

    That is not to say that your argument isn't right. Yes, of course: that term is reductive. But you assume that reviewers are not as critical as you are, and that's why they use it. And that's just not true.

  3. Ooooooooo, ain't nobody shitting on Brothers to ma face!

    So yeah, I'm of the opposite opinion. Not in thinking that "emotional experience" is a good term, you're spot on with that, but in my appraisal of Brothers and Journey. I disagree that it was clear from the start that the brother was going to die, but that it only became clear once the "Literal Maneater" http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LiteralManeater turned up. I'm saying this as someone who came into the game blind and thought that it was going to be an altogether PG/disney-esque experience, due to it only introducing its darker elements later on. I should say specifically that by dark I mean moments such as happen in the battle ground of the giants, not the mother dying which was just a sad moment.

    Anyway, I don't want to say that the narrative in and of itself was incredible, and I don't want to actually say it was an unpredictable storyline. What I want to praise it for is how it conveyed its narrative through its mechanics in a way that neither of your other two examples, missile commander and journey, did. This was in the swimming scene when you had to hold the older brothers action button, which had previously been used to make the older brother hold him up in water and rescue him.

    What this did, that the other two didn't do, was re-interpret the mechanic in a different narrative setting. I thought it was great that the final hurdles in the game were things that previously could only have been done with the older brother, and that his strength now lives on through the younger brother. This scene wasn't just a sad scene, but a scene of character development. It is only in this final level that the brothers actually become one, which your interpretation of the mechanics fails to appreciate or recognise, and it is only with the mechanics that this point is driven home. Without the mechanics it would have been the less deep message that the younger brother just grew up a little and can now manage these tasks on his own.

    Journey on the other hand? I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would, especially liking the multiplayer aspect with its simple communication system. But whenever I think about it it bugs me. You say that the brother dying in Brothers was predictable? The literal entirety of Journey was predictable! I appreciated that it conveyed its narrative through its mechanics. You say that games have experimented with this idea from the beginning, and sure missile commander did this, but that's about it. Even taking the present into account, this is a really really under-explored idea for games, despite how seemingly important it should be for the medium. What other games do this? Its done a bit in Braid, antichamber, a couple free browser games, papers please, darkest dungeon… I've run out of examples!

    Tangent aside, I appreciate that Journey explored this idea, but why on God's green earth did they express the hero's journey mechanically? I'm going to come out and say it, the hero's journey in and of itself has zero artistic merit. It is a structure solely and ubiquitously used for shallow entertainment, used to put the mass audience into a thoughtless, comfy trance so that they can escape from their miserable lives into a vapid state for 90 minutes, scientifically demonstrated to homogenise the audience's minds into a set emotional carousel they've all experienced a litany of times. It is a false expression, a pretence to its true intention, a mitigation of risk, a safe financial investment, a meaningless core of a thousand outfits. Fuck the hero's journey!

    So yeah, Journey's another great demonstration of how mechanics can have meaning, I just have too large a chip on my shoulder about the hero's journey to see it as anything more than that. I enjoyed your video (as always) regardless 🙂

  4. Ohmygod thank you so much. I literally agreed with everything said in this video. You are finally the person I've been searching for who understands that emotional does not always equal good or well done. Subscribed.

  5. Thank you for making this one. You make a good point. "Emotional Experience" includes way more that sadness. I pretty much had a "emotional experience" with Life is Strange, Master Reboot, Bioshock, Shadowrun :Hong Kong, Metro 2033, Metro Last: Light, Valiant Hearts and Spec Ops: The Line. Even though most of the aforementioned games contain some sad moments, but I felt glad, triumphant, happy, pleased, loved, confused and relief. Maybe sadness and (crocodile) tears make a good selling point ?

  6. Is Dark Souls called an emotional experience? Not from what I know. But seeing what happened to Solaire made me feel so, wrong. It didn't feel right, and it made me quite sad. Gwyn made me cry, (yes I'm a manly man), and seeing that kiln be set alight and rekindled made me cry. So much pain and effort went into my experience of that game, and rekindling that flame just made me feel sad. Because yes, I've just saved the world, but fully realising that it doesn't even matter makes my efforts feel redundant. But they still hold meaning. God I love Dark Souls 1.

  7. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons just reminds me of how Brad Shoemaker only speaks in hyperbolic nonsense. His comments about that game on The Giant Bombcast made me never want to play that game.

  8. omg, I feel you so much about brothers and Journey. brother is very disappointing, the control is terrible and pull me out of the experience. Journey is one of my top five games of all time

  9. Wow… he was disappointed by the masterpiece Brothers, but fucking trash JOURNEY is one of his favorite games.
    HAH. you just lost a subscriber and so much respect..

  10. I understand your points, but firmly disagree with how you trash Brothers. The story and the way the mechanics connect the character development with the gameplay in the end is what made this game for me. I get sad and emotional when playing lots of games and Brothers was one of those, but in the end I loved it not because it made me feel emotional, but because of how it handled video games as an interactive medium.

  11. Honestly after I got more indepht into the world of videogames, I started seeing more and more of the pretentious, backwards thinking jackass that is David Cage, nonetheless I'll always love Farenheit <3 (at least the the first 2/3)

  12. So I'm not the only one who thought Brothers was mechanically messy and overly heavy handed? Thank god, I thought I was crazy.

  13. I can't help but almost entirely disagree. I barely died and got a friend who'd never completed a game to play and we both had an amazing time. You're right, I'd say, about "emotional experiences" not being a useful phrase however.

    As someone who went into Brothers with absolutely no idea what critics really said aside from it being good. No reviews were read. It seems you were triggered by the reviewers prior to playing your experience? Because actually, not knowing the game was supposed to be sad, it was a surprising twist and how the game continually got darker in tone was a surprise.

    Perhaps another episode could be how games journalism can change our mind on a product?

    Not saying you're wrong to dislike it however there seem to be external factors of the game that made it difficult for you to take it seriously.

    Also I'm not quite sure what you're criticising when people talk about the camera itself telling a story… Perhaps the way David Cage said it? We know camera angle, what's in the shot, what is framed in the shot and almost every single aspect of the way the camera takes in a scene can change mood, emotional reaction, intensity and the interpretation.

    You even pointed out how the camera in Journey during that sliding segment (P.S I have yet to play it) made an impact on how you felt due to a sense of momentum and scale.

    One of the greatest problem in games is having players control the camera, hence why cutscenes were often used to save hassle and design.

    I agree on what you say about emotional experiences being too subjective and due to the fact that almost every game gives an emotional response it's a waste of time to say it. Yet personally I can't help but feel you beat too much around the bush in this one. Not only that but criticising a game based on, mostly, the journalism it recieved, your interpretation of that journalism and how you interpreted the game through having read that journalism.

    This is a genuine fault in Games Journalism and marketing, don't get me wrong, because it's job is to get people to buy the game based on factors however I'm not sure criticising the game based on its criticism is necessarily right.

    Apologies for the ramble, train of consciousness written down rather. I hope perhaps I make sense here or maybe I've entirely misinterpreted your video and interpreted it based on the reception you gave Brothers 😉

  14. I found Brothers to be a charming little game that plays like an old-fashioned fairy tale. I wasn't exactly surprised at the death of the older brother, but I actually expected the father to be the one to die to get the requisite "sad ending". I'm not insecure enough to be angry at your cheap shot, but I do think it's a little childish to say that you must be stupid if you didn't see the ending coming. I actually called the ending of Jurassic World from the moment I saw the first trailer (the giant fish dinosaur eats the big bad T-Rex), but that's just the result of me seeing the trailer, thinking "This looks like garbage, why does anyone want to see this?" and then stopping to think "What cliches will this movie employ?" People who didn't see the ending coming aren't stupid; they just weren't thinking about it because they were excited, which you clearly were not.

    Brothers is still one of my favorite indie games, and it is to me an example of how indie games can effectively tell a story. I had no issues with the controls like you did, however. For me, the part with the owl creature was absolutely breathtaking and difficult to watch at the same time. It's one of the moments in gaming I will always remember.

    On the other hand, I am one of the few people that absolutely hated Journey. I loved it for the first few minutes, but as soon as the other player showed up, literally the only emotion I felt while playing Journey was "God fucking dammit, will this other player PLEASE leave me alone while I'm trying to explore?" The problem with Journey, for me, is that people go through games at different paces, and I felt really rushed by the presence of another player. I also felt like the ending was unnecessarily hammy when compared to the rest of the game, but obviously that is a minority opinion.

  15. Is the "emotional experience" worse just because it's predictable?
    Yes, good writing tries to be unpredictable, but imo it's more important to successfully evoke emotions.

  16. hey. So Brothers, A Tale of Two Sons is my favorite game of all time and I had to stop watching the video because of the way you talked about it. I have no problem with people disliking a game that I like, or even love in the case of Brothers. But where I do have a problem is when you try to classify everyone who does enjoy the game as being mentally retarded (in the literal sense) and act like because you didn't have a good experience with the game personally, that inherently makes it a stupid game for stupid people about stupid characters. From a critical sense as well, the themes you discussed (the figuratively symbiotic relationship of the brothers, etc) were only the minor elements that I took away from the game, and I didn't think they were done well same as you. But the thing that struck me about it and made me fall in love was something that you never touched on at all, which (like a video of yours I previous loved about Abzu says) shows the different experiences different people can have with the same game.

    I don't have a problem with you disliking Brothers. I don't have a problem with you criticizing it. I do have a problem with you spewing vitriolic comments about it to try and make yourself seem superior to all the people who do love it. If you want me to break down why I love the game I can, but I don't think that's necessary as that's not the point I'm trying to make.

    Anyways, usually love your videos.

  17. Calling someone stupid (for not realizing Brothers) was unnecessary. It's alienating (and I got it). Not everyone's "genre-savvy".

    Totally agree about Brothers in general, though. Hated it, much like how I don't particularly care for Ico/SotC. The ambience and presentation are top-notch in both the latter games, but the infuriating gameplay pulls me out of it, each and every single time. Gameplay is the essence of what separates games from other art, in its duality. It can both enhance and detract from the experience to an insane degree.

  18. I think our expectations going into a game have a much bigger effect than you'd think. I approached Brothers with the mindset: "Oh cool, a puzzle game where you control two players at once. I bet I'd be good at that". I had no idea it was trying to be an "emotional experience", I just wanted to master the controls and conquer the game. Because of that, when I accidentally made one of the brothers run into a wall, I thought of it as my fault, not the fault of the game's design, and it definitely didn't have any impact on how I experienced the narrative. Which hit me right in the feels, by the way.

    Ironically, if I'd known it was trying to be this tear-jerking "emotional experience", I probably wouldn't have felt any emotions, much like Hamish.

  19. One of the only games to make me cry had nobody close to me die, it had hardly any story, and what was there was all text.
    The game is called Rodina. If you want to avoid spoilers it's $2 on the developer's site for the current version. If you don't mind spoilers then here goes.

    You're the only surviving person from a spaceship that was meant to prepare a solar system for your mothership, the titular Rodina, and as the last crewmember you are going to prepare this sytem. Later it is revealed you're the only one who could really pull this off, because you are a robot. That wasn't the moment though. Many on the Rodina worshipped you as a god, you are going to save them, and fight off the xeno threat. At one point the head of this new church worshipping "Stroj" (That's you) sends you prayers from his congregation; a mother praying her son will be alright after being beaten for worshipping you; a child asking for a new toy, and thanking you for his dad's new job; a father who has had his family torn to pieces asking he'll have the patience to connect with his alienated daughter. Seeing all these people, opening themselves, and asking for me to help. That made me cry.

    The game does other things, the ship building is fun, and the combat is great, but the story was better than all of that.

  20. While I have my apprehension about the term "emotional experience." It falls into the realm of the underdeveloped language many people use to talk about games.

    After much thought, I think many of the points you bring up about Brothers aren't without merit, but I firmly disagree. It's worth mentioning that I haven't played the game through and through however.

    In the case of this game, the predictability doesn't tarnish the experience, at least in my eyes. And the mechanical-thematic dissonance doesn't either, because the slow conditioning of the player to understand how important both halves of their controller are, is immensely important to convey the feeling of loss. Having lost a sibling, losing half your controller feels very much like an accurate metaphor. Furthermore, siblings take time to understand and appreciate one another. There's bumbling, fighting, and frustrations to start with. Which give way to understanding.

    Fundamentally, Brothers feels like a game about 'loss' and it does its best to use its mechanics to convey that. Whether it was successful in communicating that message to 'everyone' is another story, and I can't speak for the effectiveness of the moment to moment gameplay, but I think disregarding the effort that went into creating that feeling is more diminutive than the effort deserves.

    This is trying to be conscious of the fact that this video is 2 years old and I'm sure your opinions have shifted, if not changed in the time since you made this video. I love your content btw.

  21. I think you're missing the part of the game that is meant to be emotional. Brothers is my favorite game so I might be a bit biased but the emotion of the older brother dying did not come from the narrative, but from the mechanics of the game. As the player you spend the entire game with two characters, one with each side of the controller, so much so that it is muscle memory. So at the very end of the game when you only have the little brother left you are face with a section where you must swim to get across to your home. Up to this point every swimming section in the game the younger brother would rely on the older brother to carry him across. I personally found myself stuck on this section for a goo 45-60 seconds as I just could not figure out how to progress. I'm literally getting goosebumps as I type this. The realization that I had to use the trigger normally reserved for the older brother conveyed something to me that could simply not be performed in any other story telling medium, and that moment is what brought me to tears, not the actual death of the brother. That single button press conveyed so much that I can't imagine anyone not being moved by it. This is the only video that I have watched that I was disappointed in, but not because Hamish(hope I spelled that correctly) disagrees but because it seems he has missed the point entirely. Hamish is so intelligent and the points he makes in his videos are so well thought out and well- worded that I feel like I may even be wrong but I just can't fathom not having a moving experience with this game. Perhaps the struggles with the controls disconnected him from getting attached or ingrained in the characters enough to have a strong reaction like I had but I hope that I have made a point that he views as valid(if he were to read it). Keep up the good work, Hamish!

  22. Really liked your point about games lacking a commonly understood set of narrative techniques. Any thoughts on how this has changed in the last two years?

  23. Journey's main selling point IS it's emotional string-pulling though. The term "emotional experience" is kinda warranted on a game whose selling point is eliciting emotion, but then aren't all games meant to evoke SOMETHING from the player? How bland have games become that we label games that make us feel emotion as experiences dedicated to just that?

  24. Yeah I dont agree with your assessment of David Cage's work. If its not your cup of tea, thats your opinion to have, but concidering that he is still making games i don't believe most other people agree.
    Indigo Prophecy, as known in the US, was the first game that I'd played that gave me consequences that I didnt think would happen, like when I took aspirin after I had been drinking and the game gave me a game over for mixing the two. I loved that game over and still think of it fondly because it was totally unexpected!

  25. LMFAO you were so much cruder in the past while somehow sounding even more sophisticated XD

  26. "Gravity" and "Infinity War" spoilers ahead (if you read between the lines).
    Like some others, I'm a bit taken aback at your insult of games who didn't see the end of Brothers coming. I'll admit up front that I was surprised, but defend that I am far from stupid.
    There are a couple reasons I was surprised. First, even though it may have been an overly depressing game where that ending makes sense, I seldom expect writers to carry through with what feels like the ending the rest of an experience deserves. Take "Gravity", where I expected a much different payoff given the themes I thought the movie was trying to show. "Avengers: Infinity War" also got me, because I honestly didn't expect the writers to have the stones to do what they did. Granted, this is kind of cheating; writers shouldn't be trying to surprise their audience just by writing what's shockingly correct. But it still justifies my surprise.
    Secondly, I also viewed the rest of the game as framing for a triumphant ending. "Look, in this shit world, the love these brothers share was enough to make them prevail." That's the much more typical story to tell, and why the end feels like such a turn to me.
    So like others said, I get your criticisms. I get that you don't like the game (it's a shame that you don't, since I'm typically in line with your analysis, and can usually use it as a guideline to if I should play games). But I don't think the insults were warranted.

  27. yeah, because you know, book and movie reviews never contain reductive meaningless phrases. That's the state of modern criticism: pretentious, reductive and meaningless. Many buzzwords, no substance. Just don't pay any attention to reviews for anything, and keep being critical yourself.
    Why call someone who didn't realize one of the kids was going to die stupid? not everyone has such a finely honed sense of narrative. Sure, the game was hinting something bad would happen, but it was hardly clear that thing was going to be the death of a player character: something so rare in video games it's no wonder no one would expect it. It's fine to be biased as a critic, you're only human, but you really can't attack your fellows like that.

  28. I dunno how you played the game but i played it with a friend, on a keyboard. Wasd and the arrow keys.
    Spoiler zone if anyone cares,
    It fucking broke me when all of a sudden i was the only one playing after the older brother died.
    I always thought this game was a mutlyplayer, just like this new game A Way Out that i think has some of the people that made BATOTS
    I do however agree with all you said about describing games as "emotional experiences". Ain't every damn game an emotional experience?

    Anyway what i wanna say is i love this game and i am biased thank you for coming to my ted talk

  29. I finished 'Journey' just last week when it finally got released on PC and absolutely loved it and I was interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    Because even though lot of people already love it there were also a lot of people who I saw online. Who just dismisses it as just another 'Walking Simulator' (I hate that term as much as you hate ther term 'emotional experience' btw.)

    So how I was interested to see that what is your take on it. So I am glad that I found this video. 😃

    And I am also glad to know that you like 'Journey'. But coming to these videos main subject and what I saw in the comment section.

    I haven't played 'Brothers' so I can't really comment on that.

    But Yes! I still do totally agree with you that the term 'emotional experience' is shallow, vague and meaningless.

    And also about people complaining that you were too harsh on this game. I didn't felt that except for that one line when you said that "Your IQ is in single digit number"

    I think it could've been avoided so that people don't feel like that you are attacking both themselves and a game that they really like.

    Other than that this was a solid video. And I'm surprised to see that even your older videos were quality content. So thanks a lot for this and keep up the good work!

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