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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The art game canon: Persona 4

Game theory by Matt S.

In my last art game canon piece I wrote about Nier, which is the game that I would argue has the most valuable, expressive, successful narrative that has been presented in such a way that only games, as non-linear experiences, could achieve.

This time around I’m going to look at Persona 4. This is a game that doesn’t take advantage of the video game medium to experiment with how story is told. It is, for all intents and purposes, a mostly linear narrative that would be, experientially, the same if it was told through a novel or film. But that’s not a criticism of the game either. Persona 4 is a rare game; if it was a novel or a film, I would continue to sing its praises just as loudly, because at the most basic of levels, it really is an incredible work of literature.

I’ve already written about some of the philosophy underpinning the thinking behind the game, but putting aside that relatively dry, academic stuff, Persona 4 also works as a story and it does so because it taps so completely into the warmest and most sentimental sense of nostalgia; both on a cultural as well as social basis.

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The art game canon: Persona 4
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