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timber maniac

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Which video game has challenged your perspective on the way you live your life and how?

The video game I credit is a role playing game called Final Fantasy 7.

The conflict of the game begins immediately. As you play the story unfolds and you learn of a corporation that is extracting 'Mako Energy' from the planet by means of giant reactors. This 'Mako Energy' is then converted into electricity that is used in the city surrounding the reactors. It is a lucrative business. As a player, you begin the game with your character being directly involved in a vigilante terrorist group; a group whose goal is to destroy these 'Mako Reactors'.
Though the character you play cares little for the goals of his group (your character's main interest is making money), you continue to be involved in these vigilante missions. As time progresses in the game (meaning you complete more story-line) your character learns that 'Mako Energy' is found in all of the creatures and plants that inhabit the game's world. When a life ends this 'Mako Energy' flows back into the planet. It is then recycled by the planet and used to create new life. You understand that the extraction of 'Mako Energy' will result in the disabling of the planet's ability to support new life, and it also means that the planet is itself a living thing (as a player you can visit a place in the game and hear the planet itself making painful noises). You learn that the corporation's president is aware of these facts and is yet still planning to progress with the extraction of 'Mako Energy'.

How did this challenge my perspective?

Growing up I had been exposed to many different ideas of accountability but only at the age of 12, with the help of this compelling story, did I seriously contemplate my role in society. I wondered what kind of character I was, and what kind of character I would like to be. The story made it clear that those who act from a source of greed were ostracized from a moral society. I decided that indifference towards suffering cannot be hidden and that greed will never be satisfied.

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  • Jan 24 2012: Similar to you I really got a lot out of the Final Fantasy series. For me it was Final Fantasy III although VII is up there as well. In 3 its a similar game concept but the world was under threat by the Empire and its leader (the Emperor of course!). But about halfway through the game you actually find its the Emperor's right hand man Kefka who is the mastermind behind the evil of the world and your quest turns to working with your friends to defeat him. At the halfway point I mentioned Kefka kills the Emperor himself and causes an apocalyptic disaster that reshapes the face if the world, killing people and scattering your party across the "globe". You spend the last half of the game reuniting your group of characters, solving problems caused by Kekfa's apocalypse and ultimately trying to destroy him.

    Out of all this it made me think about the notions of good and evil, and how the root causes of a lot of problem might not be what it initially appears to be (eg Kefka being the true evil behind the Emperor). It also makes you think about the people around you (your "party") and how important it is to appreciate their diverse abilities, styles, personalities, etc. without the combination of different character skills in the game you wouldn't be able to defeat Kefka in the end. Finally it reminds you about perseverance no matter how bad things get. Sounds very profound and clearly "it's just a game" but you're right that there are lessons that people take away from them.

    Great topic. Looking forward to reading other people's comments.

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