All I Asked From Video Games in 2021 Was to Make Me Feel Something

Numb. That was one of my most common feelings in 2021. Cancelled vacation with the family because some people we’d be around are anti-vax? Numb. COVID-19 outbreak at my kid's school? Numb. Inability for Democrats to do anything in the face of an increasingly facsism-adjacent Republican party, let alone deliver upon its electoral promises? Numb.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bvnjn5/all-i-asked-from-video-games-in-2021-was-to-make-me-feel-something
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The intro to this is very upsetting to me, it’s what I’ve been feeling all week since Omicron reversed all the progress we’ve made in a single swipe. Just total fatalistic defeat, nothing left to do but march onward, callused, with no direction, no plan, and choose to feel nothing over despair. Been playing a lot of Death’s Door this week since that makes me feel pretty concentrated and driven, but man, what a mess.

Lately I’ve been feeling like even my moments of anger are a performance. When I’m furious about Joe Manchin or the Broncos or traffic, I hit a dissociated nothing at a point. It’s a really not good place to be right now.

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Had a good run about six weeks ago where things almost felt…normal-ish, but it’s definitely that March 2020 feeling all over again and my nerve endings have been sanded away now. What I was really hoping for this year was something like the feeling I got from swinging in Insomniac’s Spider-Man game (or flying in Journey etc.): a low-stakes joyful experience (Boomerang X was a little bit too chaotic to elicit that feeling from me). Ratchet and Clank got closest for me.