Multiple Personalities in Videogames

It’s no surprise that insanity and bizarre characters are stuff gamers enjoy. Gamers, people who play electronic games on a video device, and people who believe they truly have multiple personalities share similarities in switching to and from other persona’s. Stay with me here.

Of course mental illness, or a perceived one like multiple personalities or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), isn’t like a video game but is it so different? Perhaps not.

Both gamers and those who believe they have multiple personalities, live in a world they design. For gamers, it can be a castle with warriors, then again many people who claim to have multiple personalities design a fantasy place where their tribe of personalities live in safety. As I write, I am finding fewer differences.

Andy Hughes of The Escapist, an online magazine for gamers, says that “When it comes to mental illness, commercial videogames generally stick to the same generic myths common in other forms of media, particularly film.” Recurring themes of madness and dual personalities that appear and disappear is common like that depicted in the films Sybil and The Three Faces of Eve . The fact that personalities likely do not know each other, dress differently, act differently, and live separate lives is a likely scenario for gamers who enjoy plotting and switching between persona’s they create online. This behavior isn’t so different from that which patients display in therapists offices where treatment for multiple personalities/alter selves/parts/or inner children is in motion. One goal in psychotherapy is to identity and learn about alternate selves just as it is for gamers.

Call out a personality, listen to her, embody her. Am I referring to a dissociated person in treatment discussing the life experiences of an alter personality, or am I referring to a gamer who switched personalities to win points in an Internet competition? Can’t tell, can you?

The next likely question is – Does that mean that people who believe they have multiple personalities are making them up or lying? Perhaps to a degree, but these individuals truly believe they harbor other persona’s inside them and I think most people are genuine in their beliefs. On the other hand, gamers embody their alternate personalities too.

But some games are more ambitious. A prime example is the infamous Deadly Premonition, the bizarre cult horror/Twin Peaks-inspired thing that features an FBI agent with an alternate personality as its protagonist. Throughout the game, Agent Francis York Morgan refers to someone he calls “Zach” for help. The player assumes this role, acting as the benevolent voice in York’s head. When York asks Zach for guidance or tells Zach to look at something, it is the player he’s talking to and the player who responds. But later, as York confronts the game’s grotesque final villain, he realizes that he, York, really is Zach, and that witnessing the death of his parents at an early age caused him to split in order to cope. With this realization, the player loses their own identity, which is no more secure than York’s. Yet, even though we are no longer really Zach or York, we must be someone, as we can still control the character onscreen. The game forces us to consider the implications of dissociation firsthand in a way no other medium could.
Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/features/9991-Mind-Games-Multiple-Personalities-in-Videogames#DOZzpHV1ca2675eK.99? Can’t tell the difference, can you.
But some games are more ambitious. A prime example is the infamous Deadly Premonition, the bizarre cult horror/Twin Peaks-inspired thing that features an FBI agent with an alternate personality as its protagonist. Throughout the game, Agent Francis York Morgan refers to someone he calls “Zach” for help. The player assumes this role, acting as the benevolent voice in York’s head. When York asks Zach for guidance or tells Zach to look at something, it is the player he’s talking to and the player who responds. But later, as York confronts the game’s grotesque final villain, he realizes that he, York, really is Zach, and that witnessing the death of his parents at an early age caused him to split in order to cope. With this realization, the player loses their own identity, which is no more secure than York’s. Yet, even though we are no longer really Zach or York, we must be someone, as we can still control the character onscreen. The game forces us to consider the implications of dissociation firsthand in a way no other medium could.
Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/features/9991-Mind-Games-Multiple-Personalities-in-Videogames#DOZzpHV1ca2675e disor gamers?

“But some games are more ambitious,” says Hughes. “A prime example is the infamous Deadly Premonition , the bizarre cult horror/Twin Peaks-inspired thing that features an FBI agent with an alternate personality as its protagonist. Throughout the game, Agent Francis York Morgan refers to someone he calls “Zach” for help. The player assumes this role, acting as the benevolent voice in York’s head. When York asks Zach for guidance or tells Zach to look at something, it is the player he’s talking to and the player who responds. But later, as York confronts the game’s grotesque final villain, he realizes that he, York, really is Zach, and that witnessing the death of his parents at an early age caused him to split in order to cope. … The game forces us to consider the implications of dissociation firsthand in a way no other medium could.”

Art really does mimic the reality of people in psychological treatment for Dissociative Identity or multiple personalities.

retrieved 01-14-14.
Advertisements
Leave a comment

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s