Relationships in Games: The Loner, The Rebel

Over on United We Game, I recently completed a trilogy of posts on relationships in games. Having played some varied titles of late, I considered the importance of the company we keep in game and how those relationships, virtual though they may be, affect the way we play. In this, the third installment, I explore the notion that in some games, the path alone may be the best one taken. If you’d like to check out the previous posts in the series, click below.
Relationships in Games: The Teammates
Relationships in Games: The Romance(s)

VIRTUAL BASTION

Image by Flickr user emalordImage by Flickr user emalord

Sometimes the best relationships we have in games don’t involve other characters. Sometimes the road traveled alone is the best path, the most fulfilling path, the most sensible path.  For every game that offers plenty of opportunities for teamwork and romance, there are dozens of others where these choices don’t exist. Your character — the John Marstons, Nathan Drakes, Batmans, and Altaïrs – are alone in the world with nothing at their disposals except their wits and the person at the other end of the controller. Sure, you (the character) will interact with other characters during the game to various ends, but you (the player) don’t have a stake in those relationships. No matter what saintly or nefarious paths you follow, John Marston will always save his wife and son; Nathan Drake will always choose Elena; Batman will always save the city from the Joker…

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