The end is just a new beginning, the stories that change us

The end is just a new beginning, the stories that change us

The end is just a new beginning

Sometimes we don't realize what we have in front of our eyes. It is from this thought that I thought I had to say a few words about something that literally changes thousands of gamers, but not only. In fact, everything can be extended to any form of media, which allows us to experience stories, whether they are narrated through video games, music, a film or a book. In short, the way it is used does not change its value. Of course, certainly a visual and interactive media like the video game certainly increases the immersion within the experience we are living, but this is another discourse that also includes very personal factors.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004) Each of us experiences the video game in a different way, there are those looking for pure fun, there are those looking for the challenge and finally those like me, looking for adventures to live. The storytelling in the world of video games has changed a lot over the years. Not only thanks to the growth that the media has had over the past two decades, but the means available to developers have also changed. They have become more “permissive”, also allowing us to tell almost perfectly the emotions that the characters we play experience. Think for example of the motion capture that has helped dozens of teams to give expressions and movements almost equal to those we see in real life. In short, technology helps the developer to tell a story, but what is it that accompanies and always remains in our mind in addition to experience? They are the emotions we experience along the way.

They can be multiple, furious, simple and sometimes quite unpleasant if you are very empathetic. The culmination of a story for me represents the point of arrival but also the beginning of a new path. There are stories that have accompanied us for a whole generation. There are titles that have grown with us. We have seen entire sagas have a beginning and an end. Try to think with me what was the latest video game that made you so excited that you almost didn't want to finish it, for fear it would leave a void inside you. Surely each of us has one, I'm sure, on the other hand, even those who sometimes try to hide their empathy, or their emotions, know that deep down they are lying and I know that among you there are many like that. The end for many is considered to be just that, the part where you put a stop to a story. For me, however, it represents only the beginning of a journey. The discovery of new stories and their conclusions.

I have always been a fairly analytical type of gamer, either for my studies, or for my passions, yet up to a certain point in my life I would never have thought to speak in these terms of the video game. But if I'm here, surely something has changed. The changes do not happen by chance, but they certainly have underlying reasons and for me these reasons are precisely the stories I lived, but above all a particular ending. As I said before, there are many adventures that have left us something, we always talk about the journey that takes place, but let's stop for a moment to think about the conclusion of the stories we have lived.

Stop for a second and think about yours experience of gamers, more or less experienced, this does not matter. Now think about what the endings of those experiences left you, what you thought the moment after seeing the final word, while the screen went black. What did you think the moment after the console was turned off? These are not difficult questions, and maybe each of us has different answers even for similar titles. And this is precisely the power of video games and stories, to make players live an experience. I would like to share with you instead, what has changed me definitively as a gamer, a particular ending, played perhaps at the right time.

As I said before, "I was", but I am still a very gamer analytic, one of those who, before having his say, is there to think millions of things and take into consideration a thousand aspects. Yet there was still a title that touched my strings. Then came a totally unexpected game, in fact I still remember like yesterday the first time I saw a trailer and read about The Last of Us. Yes, it's him, it will sound trivial, or perhaps for many a title that is too recent. Yet the story of Ellie and Joel was perhaps fundamental for my growth, not only as a person, but also as a gamer. For many, I'm sure it meant the same thing. Still today, reviewing the final moments, I relive the past moments exploring a world made of lead and dust. An experience that leaves you astonished by the crudeness of the moments and by how much sweetness there is instead in the eyes of those characters who fight for their survival, not only against a world that is no longer as they remember it, but also against the people who they totally change just for sheer survival.

The Last of Us ending didn't just leave me with the question "what happens now?" , but once the screen went black I perfectly remember my amazement, and the fact that I couldn't quite understand what I had played. It was a feeling that I had not yet experienced with a video game, I was faced with a sense of emptiness, but at the same time also of peace. I was thinking about the fact that within that story I had experienced dozens of moments so different from each other, yet what I was most impressed with were the final scenes. An end that did not want to come but then surprises you for the quality with which the last minutes are staged. A perfect orchestra of looks, music and words to form an ode to life.

In those moments I had finally understood what it really meant to empathize, not with a friend, but with people whose story we have experienced firsthand. From that moment on, many things have changed for me, I have finally defined which stories I want to experience within a title, I have perfectly understood the visual power of a title that is as majestic as it is suffered. The first The Last of Us I will carry with me perhaps for my whole life, it is also thanks to him that now I am writing here. Titles like this one from Naughty Dog impose on you the need or perhaps even an urgency, to have your say, to express a feeling or to tell someone about the power of the video game not only as an entertainment medium but also as a vehicle for stories and emotions.

In short, perhaps in addition to the blanket of mathematics and polygons that a video game is, let's try to imagine that some of them have a soul of their own, and that they are ready to make us travel and make us live moments that we will carry with us forever.

And so we have reached the end of this stream of consciousness, I hope it has left you something, not only to those who already experience the game in this way but above all to the new generations of gamers who are still virgins of great experiences or indelible moments. Try to explore, always be hungry for stories and live the video game intensely. As I always say, the journey is important, but what will distinguish our memory will be the end of that journey.

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