I guess there are a million way to interpret “amazing” but I think the one that had the deepest impact on me in recent years was from the Life is Strange sequel and I think it is because it really gave me some insight into an experience I never had to have before and also worked tremendously well as an empathy simulator. Spoilers:
[spoiler]The section after the play, where you’re walking outside with Rachel and trying to decide what this relationship actually IS. There has been innuendo, possible flirting-- all the hallmarks of clumsy teenage courtship. But of course this is different-- at least for, straight white dude that I am. I really LIKE Rachel, or at least I’m very taken with her as a character. But there is a bit of something in there that I don’t trust-- something that seems to be able to manipulate others.
Finally it happens, and the game asks me if I’m going to try to kiss her.
I want to be clear and make sure no one thinks I’m saying, “Oh, hey! Now I know just what it must feel like to be discovering you’re gay in a world that often will make you feel awful about that!”. But the effectiveness of this moment in terms of working on me as a kind of empathy/stand in someone else’s shoes simulator really hit me between the eys.
I’m sitting there on my couch, hands shaking and the one thought in my head was (In character): “I want to kiss her, but I am so afraid she’s going to get angry and call me a freak. If she denies me and then screams at me for being ‘gross’ or screams ‘[insert lesbian slur here]’ I am going to be so crushed.”
We’ve all have had the fear of rejection, but I suppose I never really thought about how compounded that is when the stakes aren’t just being rejected, but being viewed as something “unnatural” or “disgusting” by the object of your affection. It wasn’t her turning away from the kiss that I feared at that moment, it was a judgement on the very core of who the character I was playing is, and I wondered if Rachel would be that cruel. COULD she be that cruel?
Again, I want to make it clear that I don’t think I understand what it’s like to be a marginalized person because I played a VIDEO GAME, but I do think that choice did a really great job of making my guts churn and simultaneously making me think of how scary an experience like this-- one I’ve never had to deal with in my real life-- could be. I know some people think the game is a bit queer baiting and I’m not here to argue that, but that choice really did have a positive impact on me and it was my favorite moment of that year in any game.[/spoiler]