I have to admit, I didn’t’ realize that video games could be “sad.”
Maybe it’s because I haven’t played any in many, many years, but apparently people out there think that video games do fall into this category.
Are you a big gamer? If so, I think these answers will speak directly to you.
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
1. Sounds depressing.
“There was a flash game called Cold Case. You are a ghost trying to solve your and other nearby ghosts’ murders.
In the end you help your grieving girlfriend find her next relationship. It got me to thinking about much it must suck to be a ghost and be forced to watch your loved ones move on without you.”
2. Very touching.
“Probably “That Dragon, Cancer”
I don’t usually play video games but I read about this one in a tech magazine and I was intrigued by the concept.
The game was designed by Ryan Green whose five-year-old son Joel died of cancer. TD,C is intended to help people understand what his family went through when their son got diagnosed (12 months old) and what they experienced while raising him.
The game explores what you do in life when the level is broken, when you can’t get to the goal no matter what you do. The goal of the game is not to win or get to the next level, but to find the moments of grace in the darkest of times.
It is an exploration game where the player is able to interact with the characters and make certain choices, similar to those that the Green family had to face while their son was growing up.
Alongside the interactivity, the game includes narration from both Ryan Green and his wife Amy, as well as recordings such as voicemails that they had made during their time with their son.
Some of the scenes also include cards, letters, and other mementos of support for the Greens, sent in by people that had experienced similar losses in their life. It was touching to see these elements included.”
3. Sounds intense.
If you play it, I warned you.
The game is about being a prisoner during an unknown catastrophe. I won’t spoil it.”
4. Do you remember this one?
“The Beginner’s Guide.
It’s not a traditional game per se. It’s more a story of an indie game developer sinking into depression as narrated by his friend.
You play the games and levels that he made before he stopped making games.”
5. Messed me up.
“Among the Sleep
You’re a toddler trying to survive all these “scary” scenarios….spoiler alert….at the end you realize the whole game was about you as a child trying to escape trauma and then finding out your mother in the game was an abusive alcoholic and that’s who you were running from the whole time and at the end you’re getting taken away on your birthday……
That game messed me up for a minute.”
6. This person actually cried.
The only piece of entertainment I’ve cried at that I can recall recently. I even knew the ending and it still got me.”
7. “I had no idea games were so artistic.”
“Not me, my son, played an indie game wherein two brothers go on a quest to find water from the tree of life to save their dad from dying. The game can only be played by working together, as in each controller is half controlled by the other player.
The quest takes them through dangers and phobias and the brothers bond. They then meet and are befriended by a young woman whom the older brother is attracted to and turns out to be a spider who bites him. They are able to vanquish the spider but the older brother is mortally wounded. Still they press on and make it to the tree.
Too weak to climb it, the older brother stays behind whilst the younger one climbs the tree and retrieves the precious water. When he gets back, the older brother has passed away! He cries and pours the water from the tree onto him and at first, as he hugs his brother, it seems to have worked, but it is only an illusion and the younger brother, realizing that he’s really on his own, lays his brother to rest and makes his way home.
He has to face his fear of water alone, without the brother there to support and cheer him on. He eventually makes it back in time to save his dad but it is soooo sad…. when my son was describing the game to me I was crying like a baby. I told him I had no idea games were so artistic. Such a beautiful way to convey art.”
8. It’s about life.
It is a game on loss, depression, recovery, and understanding what happened. And I started playing it not too long after losing a good friend a couple years ago.”
9. Living through war.
“This War of Mine.
That’s how it is and was for most of the people that lived through it and some still do unfortunately.”
10. Might want to check this one out.
“To the Moon.
A 4 hr indy game about an old man on his deathbed trying to fulfill a childhood promise. It’s a story about trauma and love and memories and it uses the video game medium so well to tell it… with just the occasional joke to keep you from immediately killing yourself.
Part of its power probably comes from the music, some really hard-wrenching piano songs in there.
Just came out on Switch iirc, or Steam.”
“Lisa: The Painful.
I didn’t play it but watched my now-husband play it like 4 years ago. The game is about a broken man in search of his adopted daughter thru a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Drugs, sacrifice, losing limbs, and seemingly pointless but very much intended quests. The whole thing is dark but with a few chuckles.”
12. The black pearl.
“Not the whole game, but a sidequest in the Witcher 3 got me to cry for the first (and only time so far) to a game.
In the quest Black Pearl, you find a black pearl for this guy’s wife. You ask him if she liked it, and he says he isn’t sure. You press him, and it turns out his wife has some sort of Alzheimer’s/Dementia and doesn’t act the same or remember things.
The black pearl was something they always joked about, and he hoped giving her one would sort of bring her back. It doesn’t, and I’ve had family members succumb to the same type of afflictions, and it’s heart-wrenching to see.”
13. Wept like a baby.
“Wept like a baby on To the moon.
I have never cried before from a video game. I played the entirety of To the Moon in one seven hour sitting and by the end I was crying uncontrollably.
My roommate at the time, who had shown me the game, was with me the whole time and was also crying his eyes out. So there we are, two twenty one year old college guys sobbing at three in the morning over a video game.”
14. A great story.
“Last of Us.
The story just sticks, the characters are so fun and interesting, or badass, or ruthless and you wanna murder them. It’s a video game filled with emotional thrills and deep pauses where the music really shines. God, the music.”
15. The beautiful game.
Something about that game is just very unsettling and yet melencoly at the same time. From sitting in a bar with some people you looked up to at the last few minutes before the world ends to Link’s pain of being alone.
Just listening to the music gives those vibes, as well as just most of the story and atmosphere, and if you guy into the 5 stages of grief theroy it becomes even more so.
It’s a beautiful game. It’s beautifully hopeless and heart crushing, not in the way a good story that makes people die can, but in just a beautiful eerie way. You are the hero, but there will always be people beyond saving, including yourself.”
Well, that was pretty interesting. I had no idea…
Now we want to hear from all the readers out there who are big video game fans.
What’s the saddest video game YOU’VE ever played and why?
Tell us in the comments.