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    Hugo_Alvarez's Little Nightmares (PS4)

    [September 27, 2018 04:12:33 PM]
    In my final play session of Little Nightmares, in which I completed the game. Several interesting things came up. For one, I confronted the character with the long arms that I described in my last entry for the last time. In the final encounter, it was my objective as the player to remove a cage from a door that was closing in order cut off his arms, all while avoiding being caught. This brings up an interesting question of whether or not cutting his arms off was ethical. Sure, as the player, most people will think, ďof course it was ok to do so, thatís the bad guy that kills you if youíre caught.Ē While I would have to agree, the game never explicitly shows what happens the the other children present in the game, or the events that occur when the player is caught. What is known is that these children are put into cages, and that, alongside many other pieces of evidence, the player can infer that whatís happening is bad, but there is a layer of uncertainty.

    Later in the game, throughout ĎThe Kitchení portion, I ran into a few chef characters. In one particular instance where I was caught, the character brought me to a chopping table. The game cut to black just before he was about to attack my character with a butcherís knife which, counter to my points above, was proof that getting caught is bad and results in death.

    After progressing to the next section, I came across a rather interesting set piece in the game. One of several unnaturally large people boarding an incredibly large ship. A short while later I found that these people were doing nothing but eating uncontrollably, as if this is their sole purpose on this ship. Which caused me to think several questions; why are these people boarding the ship? Why are the children in the ship being treated this poorly? Who is in charge?

    During this portion of the game, I was also with a friend who was watching me play through the game. It only happened one time, but at one point she suggested something to do in a room, before I even had the time to process and try everything I could think of. Her idea was also one that likely would have taken much longer try, yet it was the correct solution to the puzzle. This begs the question of backseating and developer intentions. On the developer end, if I had to guess, they are likely okay with, and might even encourage players thinking to puzzles together. What they probably wouldnít want, and may be considered unethical as a result, is for players to simply look up the solutions to puzzles online without even trying, as that defeats some of the purpose of the puzzle. On my end of things, I generally wouldnít want someone to backseat while I play, especially in a puzzle based game, as I feel as though that defeats the purpose of the puzzle being a puzzle. It only happened once so I didnít mind, but it brings up the question of the ethics behind backseating, and when it would and wouldnít be okay.

    As I progressed further into the game, a segment occurred where my character became hungry, I believe this was the fourth time this happened in the game. One of the child like creatures came up to me holding a sausage. By this point I had grown a sort of affinity for them, as they didnít seem to want to hurt me and they were just as scared of the big creatures as I was. So naturally I was quite upset when my player character chose to eat it instead of the sausage. From a developer perspective, is it ethical to build up this kind of relationship with a race, so set them up almost as equals to player, only to betray the possible relationship by the end? In a way it seems similar to a supporting character in any media betraying the main character, but in this case it feels as if itís the player character doing the betraying. Itís an interesting turn thatís for sure.

    The last point Iíd like to bring up revolves around the ending. After killing the final, and only, boss(in the traditional sense) the player character gets some kind of dark power and uses it to kill several of the passengers of the ship. I should also note that this boss is likely in charge of the whole ship using these powers, and they tried to kill the player, killing in self defense is a whole other topic here. Regardless, yes these passengers are incredibly disturbing and carnivorous, but is it right for the character kill them all? Itís essentially revenge killing. Itís also hard to say how much control the character has over the power, so the ending as a whole is hard to judge. What if they could use that power to help these people? Itís hard to say.
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    [September 25, 2018 12:18:25 AM]
    In today's play session of Little Nightmares, I thought about what's happening in the while looking at it from a matter of perspective. I think to most people who play this game, the player character, as well as the other similarly sized NPCs found in the game, are innocent creatures who are being treated horribly in context to the game. The larger life forms seen in the game, who have also been shown to have disproportionately long arms, big heads, and generally small and stock body structure, would likely be considered to be grotesque and monstrously evil creatures. This makes sense when considering this is a horror game, and the developers most likely did this intentionally to strengthen the unsettling tone in the game. However let's say, hypothetically, the developers intended the player character to be part of a species that proves to be a danger to every other form of life present in this games world. Would it be right for players to demonize the 'antagonists' like this while helping a creature that could potentially cause problems for the rest of this games world? It's interesting to think about, as a similar mindset could be applied to other games. Most of the time, the developers likely don't expect players to think about their games ethically quite like this, but it brings about interesting questions in relation to the current philosophy's of game design.
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    [September 23, 2018 12:30:04 AM]
    In my playtime of Little Nightmares, a horror game that strives upon being making the player uncomfortable, I found that various real world ethical boundaries were broken for the sake of brilliantly capturing the unsettling feeling it is aiming. Among these unsettling images are someone he seems to have been hung, strange parasite like creatures falling from the ceiling, an environment that overall seems cold, dangerous, and unhealthy to be living, blood on the walls, to name a few things. The environment in the game seems to present itself as manipulative of children to the point of harming them. There are several unnamed child like NPCs who seem lost or scared. In my playtime I came across a room with what looked to children in uncomfortable beds. A large shadowy and ominous figure walked in to scope the area. In my first attempt of the room, a failed to get by unnoticed and was immediately killed. It gets the player thinking about what is really going on in this fictional space, while also doing a good job of being unsettling.

    When comparing situations such as these in a video game as opposed to say, a movie or a book, I personally find it to be further on the unsettling as the player themselves has control over what happens in the game. Seeing someone being hung in a movie is one thing, but actively controlling my character to walk underneath someone, whose presumably been hung, while pushing a chair felt ever more uncomfortable. While the game is called "Little Nightmares" and these scenarios do an excellent job at selling the horror, it begs the question of how much is too much? Technically speaking, this game could be argued to be much tamer than many others, particular those that have the player gunning down countless of NPCs, yet the presentation here is something else entirely. I look forward to what the game will continue to throw at me.
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    Hugo_Alvarez's Little Nightmares (PS4)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 22 September, 2018

    Hugo_Alvarez's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Little Nightmares

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