Façade, Cyber-drama, Emotion

Once I got past the initial control awkwardness of Façade I was fascinated by the game. In the game the player controls a friend of a couple who has been invited over for an evening. The couple starts to argue, and the player is able to interact with the characters and change the development of the story. Façade was the first game to cause me to feel awkward. Because the game lets you say anything to the couple I felt more attached to the characters, and watching them argue was weird.

Façade had another interesting element. There was a story being played out, one that could be altered depending on what actions you take. There was no possibility for failure. The story may be different if you agree with one of the characters over another, and there are puzzles to be solved if you are going for a specific story, but there is no death and no failure.

Playing Cyber-drama is a truly novel experience. Prior to this I have played many games that have branching stories. The difference here is that the story was the focus of the game. Other games usually focus on game play and puzzles, with an interesting story laid on top, but that was not the case here. The story of this couple’s relationship was the most important part of the experience.

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1 Response to Façade, Cyber-drama, Emotion

  1. ckingsle says:

    I would agree that it was extremely awkward to play Facade. The first time through, I attempted to be impartial, however, I had difficulty getting the game to recognize my questions and statements. When I suggested a marriage councilor, they both said that they weren’t depressed, then launched into a tirade of how lonely (and clearly depressed) they felt. The fact that much of what I said wasn’t understood broke the reality for me. That said, I still was very engaged in the game. It’s hard and upsetting to watch a relationship fall apart, but to a degree, it’s a lot like a train wreck. It’s horrible, but you can’t look away.
    On that end, I did feel more connected to the characters, and more invested in the outcome of their relationship, when they said things to pull my own avatar in. When the man said that “I” had introduced them ten years ago, that both took me aback as well as make me want to try to help repair the relationship. I felt appropriately unforgettable when the woman said something down the lines of, “Oh, I had forgotten how well you two get along.”
    All and all, Facade was an interesting game. It was interesting to mess with the characters on occasion. One ending results in “you” getting thrown out. For me this happened because I asked if they were having sexual problems. Guess the game recognizes some things…

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