i dont want to kick anyone off my island tho
like i am so emotionally attached
– A friend talking about Animal Crossing
When you search “Final Fantasy VII Remake” on YouTube, you will see plenty of videos of emotional reactions from players seeing the new game for the first time. Is the nostalgia of having an old classic game being recreated the reason for this emotional reaction? Even if it is so, one would need a very strong bond to this game to have such a reaction.
A couple months ago, one of the video games I played released a new character. One that I had been highly anticipating. I had saved a lot of in-game currency and materials in preparation for this character’s arrival. However, the game works on a luck system, which means no specific character is guaranteed – and with my luck, I didn’t get the one I had wanted. I was instantly hit with this immense feeling of sadness and disappointment. I sat in my room silently sulking. At one point I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. “It’s just a game. Why am I so sad?”
When I think back to that moment today, I am slowly confronted with the reality of why it held so much emotional control over me. At the time, there was a lot going on in my life. I was constantly stressed about different things, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was the happiest. A lot of changes were heading my way and the unknown caused me more anxiety than I would like to admit. These weren’t really problems that I couldn’t overcome, but I just simply didn’t want to think about them. I needed a distraction from my own thoughts, and I guess in a way, the release of this new character was the only thing that I could actually look forward to.
Some might say that it’s “stupid” to hold value to something that supposedly only grants you temporary happiness. Yet, this artificial being provided the only form of happiness that I could hold onto at the time – I guess this is why the trivial event of not obtaining this character caused so much sadness and disappointment for me. Unconsciously I had allowed myself to project my own emotions onto this inanimate thing – in ways that only I could fully understand.