The Agony and Ecstasy of Playing Out Your School Years in Games

George Pigula can’t do that Get a prom date. With about 24 hours until the dance, the Sims 4: High School Years The lead producer goes through one of the most humiliating experiences a teenager can have: rejection, rejection, rejection.

Pigula’s plight is self-inflicted as both an architect and a player, but as an adult he’s rarely alone and cries out to be a kid again. “Teenage years are very important,” Pigula said during a press demo for the new expansion pack. “They are formative. It’s a time to make friends and find relationships. You have the ability to navigate those challenges, the joys of young love, whether it’s blissful crushing, proposal or the travails of a breakup.”

School environments are a staple of video games, whether they’re telling stories about the teenage experience, opting for murder and mayhem, or balancing vigilance with getting your homework done. Adolescence is a pivotal time in people learning who they are, but it’s also fraught with heartbreak, embarrassment, loneliness, and countless other triumphs and traumas. And the genre that has sprung up around it is thriving. In addition to high school yearswhich falls on July 28th, there is Persona 5 Royal‘s upcoming Nintendo Switch release and brand new titles like Necrosoft Games’ recently announced demon school.

However, Necrosoft’s approach has a much more mature tone than that in The Sims. demon school draws influences from Italian horror cinema and Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei and persona Series. The game takes place on an island with two crucial locations: a university and a prison. This special school is a last chance for the students who will either graduate or end up in prison. Faye, the game’s heroine, is the latest in a long line of demon hunters. A small caveat: no one has seen demons for hundreds of years. They’re myths until suddenly they’re not.

A school environment is interesting for many people, demon school Director Brandon Sheffield told WIRED because “for a lot of people, it represents a time of freedom — intellectual freedom where you’re not constrained by certain social ideas, you’re not yet stuck in a career path. There is a lot of hope and opportunity ahead of you.”

demon school”s more mature setting also placed the characters in scenarios other than their high school days sims counterparts. “We chose college primarily because there are characters who can become friends or have romantic relationships,” says Sheffield. Sometimes games like persona get involved with adults despite being a minor. “That always made me a little weird when it came to all the high school stuff you can fall in love with,” he says. With demon schoolSheffield says it’s important that everyone is “of the agreed age”.

Not that these recreations of adolescence are all about relationships or becoming kings for the prom. in the demon schoolthe panic of growing up is compared with actual horror scenarios. Faye and some friends investigate the appearance of demons while her classmates write essays and do math homework. The game works on a calendar in which events are determined by a weekly structure and specific events on each day. It’s a more limited version of games like persona or yakuza, which Sheffield notes as influences. He liked series like persona or Shin Megami Tenseifrom which the persona Series spun off, use negotiation to convince demons to join your party. “There’s a pushing and pulling, not just a faceless mass of evil that needs to be destroyed,” he says. The Agony and Ecstasy of Playing Out Your School Years in Games

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