Gamers who are used to the blood, gore, guns, and action in certain video games may want to play the video game RiME in which players take the role of an ordinary little boy wearing tattered clothes, stranded on an island that is not what it seems and instead of that feeling of glory that players feel after completing game, players have been known to weep during the ending of the game. The game was released in May, and while players wander through the island, the developers have stated that it will also cause them to question their own place on heaven and earth.

Thomas Sharpe, 24, a 2016 graduate of Drexel University, a gamer who has played the game remarked that the game was very emotional and powerful and the work that it took him to get to the end of the game only added to the experience. RiME is part of a recent trend in video games where the games focus more on exploring moral, ethical, and spiritual values, something usually not found in video games like Call of Duty, Street Fighter, or Resident Evil. Some other games that the new genre has produced games such as Little Nightmare, where players play as a young yellow raincoat girl named Six living in a big dystopian world where survival is an everyday struggle, especially when you’re on the menu, Journey, in which a caped, armless figure makes his way through the desert looking for enlightenment, Papers Please, where players become a border patrol officer and decide who can and cannot enter the fictional communist state of Artstotzka, and That Dragon, Cancer, which tells the tale of a young child’s battle with a deadly disease.

Some gaming experts state that the games are the result of the democratization of the industry. The tools to create these games cost thousands of dollars, and he development is left up to larger companies such as Nintendo and Electronic Arts as well as handling the distribution of the games. Luckily cost of design tools has gone way down and most of the games are free to play leaving them to be distributed much easier. Frank J. Lee, a professor of digital media at Drexel University and co-founder of the school’s prestigious game-design program and startup lab for designers, had this to say, “They have stories to tell, and they have the freedom to explore those issues without having to worry about how to recoup millions of dollars.”

Experts believe that by plunging gamers into an immersive story such as RiME makes the gamer a part of the game and allows them to experience all of the emotions that main character experiences, which triggers and emotional connection with the player. “Lots of these subjects are taboo — death, loss, illness – but the games allow us to talk about them,” said Wood, a senior editor at Playstationlifestyle.net, a website dedicated to the gaming platform. “They make us nervous, but they help people open up and bring the subjects to the forefront.” A lot of these games may revolve around difficult concepts for people to talk about but these are also concepts that can affect anyone so they will have to be confronted at some point in life, so why not in video game. RiME is available on PS4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch and will feature a unique storyline that will tackle real world issues. Happy gaming!

Featured Image via Flickr/RodrixAP