Abyssal Pixels: Persona 4 And My Gaming Shadow
Since I got my Vita, the most played game on my little handheld has been Persona 4 Golden. I got it after playing Persona 3 Portable and while it’s a sufficient port, it was a PSP game and a lot of features stripped from it to accommodate the lacking power of the original PSP. Persona 4, however, is more of an “up-port” with improvements made to the game that originally released on the PS2. And man is this game amazing. I’ve been playing it for over 60 hours already and I’ve been enjoying every second of it. I’m quite regretful that I’ve only just discovered the franchise after it has been available for quite some time now.
Persona 4 is now one of my favourite games of all time and I say that without a hint of hesitation. The story is intriguing and filled with amazing moments, the characters are so awesome with all of them having unique personalities and character arcs, the combat is fun and challenging even just on normal, the way in which you shape your character’s personality and establish social connections is fantastic and the Persona designs are insanely creative. This game is one gem that I regret only discovering now, but I’m eternally grateful that I have. Especially considering that I’ve played all of my current games to oblivion and needed something robust to occupy my time.
Now, in Persona 4 there’s something called a Shadow. When people get thrown into the TV world, a place where evil roams around freely, they get confronted by their own Shadow. Their Shadow is an exact copy of them physically, but instead of sharing the same thoughts, it rather says stuff that the person is repressing and don’t want other people to know. It’s a representation of someone’s true feelings that they are not proud of. The person then flips out, calling the Shadow a liar because it says stuff that the person doesn’t want to hear. When they deny that the Shadow is them, it gains its own form and tries to murder them and anything around them.
When the Shadow has been defeated, the person must face themselves and accept that this Shadow is them, even if they don’t like admitting it. I find this insanely interesting and more so when I try and think what my Shadow would be like. In a personal sense, my Shadow would be rather messed up because I have some jacked up thoughts and true feelings, but that’s besides the point. What I’ve been thinking about, rather, is what my gaming Shadow would say. I love gaming, but I do think things and feel things that I’m not quite proud of.
For instance, I like the games that I play to be easy. It’s uncharacteristic of me because I’ve played so many games on high difficulties and constantly state that I love a challenge, but honestly I would just prefer something to be a cakewalk. Not Fable 3 level cakewalk, but an easy time. I find myself replaying some games on the easiest difficulty setting because I would just like a nice, easy experience. I’m ashamed to admit that I played Skyrim on the easiest difficulty for quite a while because I didn’t feel like struggling even if it’s rather easy on medium settings to begin with.
Some of my favourite games I wished were better. Even though I love games such as BioShock Infinite, Infamous Second Son, Witcher 2 and The Last of Us to death, I still would have liked them to be better. That’s an insane sounding notion because they are quite amazing, but there’s always this nagging feeling in the back in my head that wished they were just a little bit better.
Also, while I have opinions of the gaming industry and have written quite a lot of articles already highlighting my opinions, I don’t really care for other people’s opinions. That makes me sound like some douche N4G member, but it’s unfortunately true. If someone says an opinion that I disagree with, I don’t give their opinion a lot of thought or attention. Same with people that dislike games that I love. It’s their opinion and it’s completely valid, but more often than not, I think they’re just wrong. It all sounds unfair and kind of dick, but that’s my true feelings. However that’s certainly not what I think all of the time, every time. It’s not even how I truly feel, it’s rather this nagging thought in my mind and not my true personality.
I attempt to care about the social injustices that plague gaming such as female representation, tropes, the lack of diversity and so on, but honestly, I don’t really let that get in the way of my gaming experience. I would still happily play a game with a white, short brown-haired dudeman and not feel guilty for playing that way. Of course, I still care about the social issues within gaming and would still passionately debate them or provide my voice to the battle. It’s just that it doesn’t hinder my enjoyment of games that do have those issues even if it should.
So yeah, that’s the things that I don’t like admitting, but are my true feelings. They’re kind of messed up, but they are not exclusively how I feel, of course. Like with the whole Shadow thing in Persona, the characters constantly say that the Shadow is not you. You are much more than just your hidden feelings and true thoughts. You can’t help but think this way even if it’s completely different from your true intentions and feelings. But what I would like to know is what your gaming Shadow would look like. What are the things that you are not proud for thinking, but are part of you?