Emotions in games (and why David Cage is wrong)
February 21, 2013, written by Maxim Game Industry

In light of yesterday’s announcements of the PS4 by Sony, I wanted to react to what Davig Cage said while he was showing off the PS4′s amazing polygon count. David Cage is the guy behind Heavy Rain and in the AAA world he’s seen as the guy who brings emotion to games. This is the quote that, to me, summarizes the talk he gave yesterday: “In a medium like ours technology is very important. It is what we rely on to get the player emotionally involved”. I find that this is a stupid statement.

I must confess I haven’t played Heavy Rain, but I did see this short movie he made called Kara. Everyone seemed to agree it was an impressive trailer that was moving. But I can assure you, that was not because of the 20.000 polygons David Cage boasts about. It was because of the situation the characters were in. People don’t get moved by seeing another person being emotional. People feel these goosebumbs because they can relate to the character, because they understand the situation and the tragedy that is going on. The actual emotion comes from the narrative not the presentation. Graphics and so forth only help to highlight what is going on and what moments are deemed important. They are a way of conveying information. The emotional impact is derived from understading this information.

At the end of David’s pressentation he boldly stated: “We are now only limited by our imagination”. Which is another stupid thing to say. Thinking that polygons are the only way to achieve emotion is limiting yourself a fair bunch, not?