What Persona 5 teaches us about injustice (and how it applies to today’s reality)

Ryuji on injustice

So, I need to preface this post with two things. Firstly, I am so sorry for not uploading the update on the weekend. I have been very sick, but I am going to upload it on Tuesday instead! Secondly, I might come across as a little angry in this post. That’s because I am. Not at my lovely readers, of course, but at society in general.

I have seen way too many Persona 5 fan pages saying that they do not agree with ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards, ‘bastards’ coming from the word ‘bastardise’ which means corrupt) or BLM (Black Lives Matter) because all lives should matter. They don’t agree with the protests because that never goes anywhere, and they don’t agree with the riots because “they’re taking it too far”. I find it difficult to express my anger with words, but I’m going to try to explain why I am so angry.

Persona 5 is a game that constantly mentions how the characters have been a victim of injustice. It’s like, basically the entire game. Even in Royal (which I won’t mention too much so don’t worry about spoilers), the whole point of the last palace is to do with injustice. So, please can someone explain to me how people can not support the Black Lives Matter movement after playing this game? How people who have played this game are saying “I don’t see why they can’t just follow the law”?

I’m expressing this through Persona 5 because this is my language, if you get what I mean. This game is how I understand a society that is difficult to understand. If I don’t understand what someone is saying, I ask them to put it in Persona 5 terms. That’s how I’ve lived my life for the past… over a year. And I get that not everyone is like that. Heck, I get that I’m probably the only person like this. But regardless of that, if you have played Persona 5 and still decide that you should just comply with society and the laws, even when they’re wrong, then you clearly have learnt nothing from the game and I recommend that you give it another go because you have clearly missed something.

Makoto is almost as angry as I am when I hear that people who have played this game are supporting the corrupt and unjust system and society that we live in.

The dictionary definition of ‘injustice’ is “lack of fairness or justice”. You see injustice happen throughout the entirety of Persona 5. Firstly, the treatment of the protagonist. The whole point of that is that he didn’t commit the crime that he was accused of and was therefore punished unfairly. It was unjust. Therefore, the game starts pointing out the unjust society that we live in. You go through the game and each Phantom Thief has been treated with a “lack of fairness or justice”. Every single one of them.

But for this post, I want to be more general, mainly because pin-pointing parts of the game will only lead to people saying that I’ve interpreted it wrong and I am not down for that. So, let’s look in a bit more detail at the Phantom Thieves.

It’s easy to be supportive of the Phantom Thieves as a player, because you’re playing as their leader. But one thing is made clear throughout most of the game and that is that the Phantom Thieves are going against the law. Now, does that make the player not want to continue doing Phantom Thieves stuff? Of course not! And why, you may ask? Because the player knows that the Phantom Thieves are heroic. The player knows that the Phantom Thieves are trying to help people. The player knows that the Phantom Thieves are morally right.

Now, what does it mean to be morally right? The definition of morality is “normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons”. This implies that, if the Phantom Thieves were morally right, most of society would agree with what they were doing. And do they? Heck no. Society spends the majority of the game disliking the Phantom Thieves or questioning their existence.

Martin Luther King Jr said “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress”. And we see this in Persona 5. Society is almost stood at a holt because the corrupt police officers and judiciary system. We see it through the system itself, through the head of the special investigations unit being in ties with Shido (a corrupt right-wing official), him basically threatening Principal Kobayakawa and even the fact that Principal Kobayakawa being murdered before he was going to tell the police what was going on. We see it at the start with Kamoshida, we see it with Madarame. We see it over, and over, and over again. This is what happens it real life. If people just comply and go along with injustice, it continues to happen and we cannot move past it. People will forever get unfair treatment for reasons that just aren’t worth the unfair treatment.

I should not be here, writing this, telling you all that injustice is bad. I shouldn’t have to do this, especially if you’ve played Persona 5 and especially if you have a fan account. How can you like something so much and not understand that injustice is bad? Like, it literally makes no sense when it was a key part of the game.

Yes, some of the protests are turning into riots. I wholeheartedly believe that this is going to turn into a worldwide revolution. Because that is what the world needs to be able to make room for equality. The peaceful protests are great, but in some places, they’re just not working. It’s as simple as that. Because people do not listen until it gets violent. Take the Suffragettes, for example. No one paid attention to them until things got violent. They needed to get violent to be noticed, and that is what is happening here.

I was not going to write this post. I mean, I was always going to write this post, but not like this. I do not want this to come across as me hopping on a trend, or using the Black Lives Matter Movement to get views. Quite frankly, I don’t care about views at this point. What I do care about, however, is that people are dying. Children are getting tear gassed. And people are still not understanding that injustice is bad after playing a game that lasts over 100 hours about how injustice is bad.

Arguably the most shocking parts of Persona 5 are when people die. No one can argue that. However, people are dying in real life. There are Okumuras and Kobayakawas and Akechis in the real world but no one cares because of their skin colour. I’ve heard so many excuses and I’m not down for it because we all know if these people were fictional characters, everyone would be heartbroken. If these protests and riots and the whole movement in general happened in a video game, everyone would be loving it. People are dying and there’s people not getting involved because they don’t realise how important this movement is. Why should people not riot? Is the destruction of property more important than the loss of a life? Of many lives?

Let’s look back to Persona 5, to the part where Mementos merges with the real world. So many people didn’t even notice. They just go along with their lives when the world is changing around them, getting destroyed, essentially. To them, nothing is wrong. It’s like they have special glasses that take away all the bad in the world (think ‘We Happy Few’). That is exactly what is happening now, and if you’re not supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, you’re one of those people. Those people were too privileged to see the bad around them. That doesn’t mean that it is not going on; it just means that they are lucky enough not to be the Phantom Thieves, essentially. It is in the same way that white privilege does not mean that your life isn’t bad, it just means that you are lucky enough for it not to be made worse by the colour of the skin you were born with.

Persona 5 teaches so many amazing lessons about society, and honestly, if you’ve played it and haven’t gotten these lessons, you need to play it again.

Akechi being as awkward as I feel ending this post because I know most people don’t need it explained in Persona 5 terms but clearly they need something and this is all I’m good at.

P.S: Don’t forget to donate, sign petitions (they do work when it’s this important), go to protests if you can (wear goggles in case you get tear gassed and try to social distance), email the person in charge of your area and hold people in charge responsible. All lives don’t matter until Black Lives Matter.

No post today

Hi guys

Just wanted to come on here and quickly to say that there is no post today as I have an exam.

I will post yesterday’s Royal update on either Thursday or Friday this week, and then there will be a post on Sunday so things should be back to normal from then!

I would rather not post than give you guys something that wasn’t thought about and something I wasn’t able to put effort into.

Thank you,

-El

An insight into the question ‘do video games cause violence?’

As I have an assignment due in tomorrow, I almost did not post this week. However, there will be no post on Wednesday as I have a 24-hour exam that day, so I felt like you guys deserved at least one post. Plus, you know, I’m all for putting off doing actual work in favour of talking about gaming.

That being said, this will be rather short and not too detailed as I do have very little time, but I do still want to give you guys something to think about. I am determined to do a much longer post about this in the future, so think of this as a little insight rather than an actual post.

So, for those who do not know me personally – which is actually a lot of you at this point – I live in the UK, and for my GCSE’s, I took sociology. That subject was actually my favourite and it partly led me to be as passionate about needing to change society as I am currently (but let’s be real for a second, that was mainly Persona 5). But it was in this lesson that the idea that video games could potentially cause violence came into my field of vision. To be honest, I have the same views as I did back then… only now, I have a few real life case studies in the form of my partner and myself. When I get round to doing the much, much larger post, I will include a bunch of case studies but for now, let’s get personal.

So, on an even more personal note and purely because I know she is okay with me talking about it, me and my mother went through domestic abuse a while ago. I bring this up because after that relationship ended, my mother (got ill but then…) got a lot of support in terms of being put into support groups and so on. My mother is also the type of person to believe anything that she reads on Facebook, bless her. So, when GTA V came out, there was a lot of stuff going around about it ‘promoting’ domestic violence. Now, both my sister and my partner have played this game. My partner in particular – who is very aware of all forms of abuse because I am traumatised (also please don’t worry, I use humour as a coping mechanism, I’m aware it comes off as strange, but I’m just trying to get certain points across and therefore have to talk like this), and he’s used to having to look after me, recognise what is triggering me and so on. So what I am trying to say is that he knows his stuff. He can recognise abuse from a mile off. And he states that there is no domestic violence in the game. As for myself… I’m ridiculously bad at driving cars (not just in video games, it is a talent I possess in real life too!) so I haven’t actually got past the opening. But regardless, there is another point I want to add about this and it’s sort of about GTA V in general.

Usually, GTA games are there to prevent people from doing violent acts in real life. There’s actually a torture scene in the game, where afterwards, the person who did the torture goes on a rant about how you should not do torture. The point of this is that this guy is a clear bad guy. If he does not agree with torture, you know it’s seriously messed up (even more than he is, which is real bad).

As for myself, I don’t tend to play a lot of “violent” video games. I think the closest I really get is like, The Witcher 3. But if I did not have video games, things would be a whole lot different. As you guys know if you’ve been following me for a while, I have a lot of mental health issues. Video games and narrative help me focus my attention on something positive rather than negative things going on. I used to not have the best coping mechanisms, and video games are a way of distracting me from that. Although I would never be violent against other people because, y’know, abuse, I would often be violent against myself. I really don’t want to make this post about my mental health or anything. Still, it is important to bring up because my mental health as a whole has significantly improved since I’ve been invested in gaming, and I have developed much more healthy coping mechanisms… if you count playing Persona 5 instead of sleeping as healthy, which I do! Video games allow me to remove myself from my own situation and calm me down so that I do not become violent with myself.

Similarly, my partner primarily plays games as an attempt to control his anger. He’s not an angry person, but he’s the type of person who doesn’t particularly like many people at all and has trouble understanding people. As a result, he gets frustrated. That frustration could easily turn into anger and aggression, but over the years he has taught himself to direct that negativity into video games. For him (from my perspective), video games are something positive that helps him handle a negative situation by providing him with an outlet where he can be angry if he wants but where no one gets hurt. Video games are a way for people to let out the anger that they are feeling towards the world in a safe environment in which no one gets hurt by them doing so.

I wonder if people who think video games cause violence have any idea as to what would happen if these people did not have video games? If they had no outlet for their negative emotions? It’s just a thought because surely any outlet is better than no outlet- especially when that outlet means that no one is getting hurt.

And that’s all for this post guys! Like I said, it’s just a little insight for a future post because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I feel like it is such an important, highly debated topic in our community.

What does Red Dead Redemption 2 teach us about love?

This one is an odd one because I haven’t exactly finished Red Dead Redemption 2 (I’ll get round to it, don’t worry!) but I have seen it been played through twice. Before I actually played it – back when I thought I would not like it – I just started to read about the characters. So, today we are going to talk about how Red Dead Redemption 2 teaches us that love is hard.

So, I know Arthur Morgan is great an’ all, but we’re going to be talking about John for a while so… sorry. Stick around, though. Arthur will be here eventually.

John is the first Red Dead Redemption protagonist and one of the first things you do as Arthur is go to rescue him. Dutch is all inspiring and gives a speech about how we stick together. The player would obviously be very excited to rescue the last protagonist of the game. John is very well thought of, in general. However, Arthur seems to have some kind of dislike for John. The player soon learns that John had left the gang previously, and Arthur thought he was going to do that again. Arthur is someone who believes that loyalty is one of the most important traits someone could have, going as far as to say that it is the only thing that mattered to him. Arthur and John both came into the gang when they were young, so they basically grew up together. They have a brotherly relationship. They love each other the same way that brothers do. This is why Arthur is so hurt by John leaving the gang after getting Abigail pregnant. Throughout the game, their relationship improves, and you see Arthur encouraging John to spend more time with his family, especially Jack. This could be because Arthur had a son, Issac, who died during a robbery. Arthur knows how important that bond is, and he does not want John to miss out on seeing his son growing up. Arthur recuses John plenty of times throughout the game and helps John get Jack back when he is kidnapped by the Braithwaite family. I think the most obvious sign of the brotherly love between Arthur and John comes when Micah Bell speculates that John will betray them; he points out Arthur’s own doubts about John. Arthur, however, states that he knows that John will not betray them. This shows that despite the lack of loyalty from John running away, over the course of the game, John had gained Arthur’s trust back. Arthur writes in his journal that he had always liked John and that he had become less of a fool lately, which could refer to their relationship being improved and them becoming more mature. Brothers do not always get along. They bicker and fight, but usually, they make up after a while. This is what happened here.

Sticking with John for a little bit, let’s talk about Abigail. Now, if you have played the first Red Dead Redemption game, you were probably a little shocked by John’s behaviour in Red Dead Redemption 2. John is disinterested in his family in the second game, which is a prequel. He is not the family man that he will become. John and Abigail are seen arguing throughout a lot of the game; however, as Dutch goes more and more insane, John picks his family over the gang. Arthur encourages John to spend more time with his family throughout the game, which likely would have encouraged him to rethink what was important to him. After leaving the Van Der Linde gang, John struggles to live an honest life until Abigail leaves with Jack. This metaphorically opens his eyes so that he realises that his family means more to him than anything. When Jack is kidnapped by the Braithwaite family, John is angry, which shows that he cares for his son. Abigail and John’s relationship shows us that sometimes, relationships are rocky. However, that does not mean that they cannot work out well in the end. At the end of the first Red Dead Redemption game, John sacrifices himself for his family, showing that he does truly love them and he is willing to give up his life for them to have an advantage.   

Next, we are going to be talking about three people- John, Arthur and Dutch. Dutch is the leader of the Van Der Linde gang, as he started it after meeting Hosea Matthews. As mentioned previously, John and Arthur joined the gang when they were very young. They both saw Dutch as a father figure. He even taught them how to read. They definitely both have a father-son relationship with Dutch. The problem with that is that Dutch is manipulative. So many people keep relationships with their toxic family because “they’re family” and this is sort of what happens during Red Dead Redemption 2. However, John and Arthur notice Dutch’s deteriorating mental state and start to disagree with his ideology. Dutch claims that them questioning him is them being disloyal – something that Arthur in particular hates – which is a form of manipulation. This relationship shows how hard it can be to maintain a relationship with someone who is toxic for you; it also shows how easy it is for manipulative people to use the bond they have developed with you to make you do what they want you to do. Lastly, it shows that love comes in all different forms, but it is not always good.

Lastly, we are going to be talking about romantic relationships. I kind of touched on this with John and Abigail, but a big part of their relationship is Jack, so it is more to do with family than romance. In particular, I am going to be talking about Mary and Eliza. The latter was a waitress who Arthur had sexual relations with, which resulted in them having a son named Issac. While Arthur did not harbour any feelings towards Eliza, he still supported her and their son. He went to visit them every few months and would stay for a few days. This shows that he had respect for Eliza. While the love was not there, the respect was, and that is something that is important yet absent in many relationships. Arthur and Mary fell in love when they were fairly young, but due to a few things (mainly Arthur’s way of life) they broke up. After years of not seeing each other, Mary sends a letter to Arthur, asking him for help. After helping her out, Mary states that she still has feelings for Arthur. She asks him to run away with her so that they can be together. Although Arthur admits that he still has feelings for her, he turns down her offer of running away as he still has people in the gang that he needs to protect as they are like family to him. Mary then cuts off all ties with Arthur, sending him a letter with the ring that he gave her. This relationship teaches us that relationships have to be more than just loving each other. You need to have the respect for each other, and you need to give each other the room to grow as well. It shows that love is not enough for a healthy relationship.

In conclusion, Red Dead Redemption 2 shows that love is hard as it covers several different relationships, and several different types of relationships. They show some relationships working out for the better over time; they show some relationships not working out. Red Dead Redemption 2 also shows that relationships are not just a straight line; they are a roller-coaster. They have highs and lows, and this game shows it very well.  

Persona 5 Royal- Week 8 Play Update

What a week! I’ve had a few depressive episodes so have been playing through a lot of Persona 5 Royal. We are unfortunately at the point in the game where I can no longer screenshot, so what you see from now on is either taken on my phone, from before the cut-off date or in the Thieves Den. This post will contain major spoilers for the third semester, so don’t read it unless you’re that far… or want it spoiled.

Okay, so last week I said I would be in new territory this week. I said that because – for some reason – I assumed that I wouldn’t have to do Mementos. Probably because I knew there was a new palace and that the end of Mementos means no more Metaverse and therefore no more palace. So, I worked through Mementos, collecting stamps (I was down like 20). I levelled up so much by using Ryuji’s Insta-kill ability. It is so much better now that it gives you experience. For those who don’t know (because my partner didn’t know this so I thought I would share it with you guys), in Persona 5 Royal, you activate this by holding L2 to dash and then just run into a shadow. It only works with the green shadows though, so keep that in mind.

Whilst I was doing this, I decided that now was the time to get the trophy I have been dreading. The Reaper. I died three times before I was told to come off of the PlayStation because apparently my behaviour was appalling. I went back on the next day with the mind set of “today is the today”, and let me tell you friends, today was the day. I fought him once and made a little mistake. No biggie, I learnt something from it. Fought him again and he one shotted me which made me a little angry because I was so close. Then, I did it. I defeated The Reaper. I think this is the biggest gaming accomplishment I have ever even tried.

But with the combination of the two above mentioned things, when it actually came to Yaldabaoth, I was a little over-levelled. It did not last very long at all. However, I have noticed that since my defeats with The Reaper, I am thinking over my moves a lot more.

Now, let’s talk about the one and only Mr Goro Akechi. First of all, great re-entrance. I literally said two minutes before that I didn’t think Sae was going to ask us to turn ourselves in. I didn’t have time to question what was going on when she did, because Akechi came in to save the day. It made me realise that I had missed Akechi.

Now, whether or not he was redeemed is another thing. Sure, he’s helping us out, but that’s not really enough in my eyes. Like, he literally murdered two people who were literally the parents of two members of the Phantom Thieves. On one hand, I like his character. He deserves to be himself. However, I just feel a little off by the fact that he’s behaving like a murderous maniac and Futaba and Haru are right there. Like, Futaba actively protects him at times too. I am at a weird in the middle standpoint where I can understand why his behaviour is like he is and why he didn’t have like a huge redemption arc or whatever, but at the same time I think he deserves better. No, scrap that, I think Haru and Futaba deserve better. He has committed murder and he’s just getting to walk away free. That is not fair. But his new All Out Attack is pretty cool.  

Haru being reasonable- he murdered her father

The Christmas scenes were heart-warming. I don’t have a romantic partner yet (holding out for a certain little red head) so it might have gone a little different if I had dated someone before Christmas, but because I hadn’t, Sojiro just told me to come home and me, him and Futaba had turkey and cake. I have no idea where she got a turkey from on Christmas Eve but I take my hat off to her.

The fact that the Phantom Thieves actually spend Christmas Day together reinstates that they are more than just a group of people. They are a family. I really liked that little scene. It was sweet and heart-warming. Same kinda thing for the New Years one, only obviously they invited Kasumi, which was really nice of them. I think that goes to show that they always wanted to be friends with her, but they were afraid that things were too dangerous for her.

Little did she know, she would be one of them soon enough

Moving on to 1st January – I cannot stress this enough about spoilers at this point.

I got serious Life Is Strange vibes from Joker’s dream. It felt like Max’s nightmare all over again. It was so weird and almost out of place, but a nice way of letting the player know that something is going to happen soon.

And that something was the false reality brought to us by no other than Dr Maruki. I realised something was really wrong when Futaba started talking about her mother like she was alive. By the time we saw all the Phantom Thieves again, I worked out that they had gotten their greatest wish granted. The main issue with this reality is something that ‘Kasumi’ herself brought up when we went to the café with her and Akechi, but she said it about the Phantom Thieves. She said something along the lines of “people need to work through their own problems so that they are able to grow as people”. I really felt this. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’ve personally been through a few traumatic events. But they’ve made me who I am in the sense of working through them and healing from them has made me a stronger, more empathetic and compassionate person. Healing takes time, but the payoff is worth it. So although Maruki has good intentions, and I really do not doubt that one bit, he’s essentially taking away the chance for these people to heal and become better people for it.

So, the Phantom Thieves eventually come around because, I mean, they’re my babies of course they would. Ryuji charges in to protect Joker in what I can only call the best bro moment in the entire game. Truly touching. But they all seem a little bad about going with Maruki’s reality. Futaba is the one who has been hurt by it the most, I think. But so far, Morgana, Ann, Ryuji and Futaba all have their new personas. They were apologetic because we obviously worked super hard to get them all healed up, but they just felt like they chose the other reality for a little bit. Futaba (I love her, okay) broke my heart at this point. It’s difficult, sometimes, to remember that she is a good year or two younger than the rest of the group, and she lost her mother right in front of her eyes. She was always ostracised for being a little different from the other kids, and then she lost the one person who helped her through that more than anyone. All she wants to do is talk to her mother, something that so many people take for granted. She has definitely been affected the most, I think. Makoto’s fake reality was pretty interesting. Her mother was still dead, which I did not expect, but her father was alive and Sae was supportive of her. I think it was less hard on her because Sae had started to be supportive of her by this point. Remember that Maruki left on the 18th November, and Sae found out about this on the 20th November. Joker and Akechi are not affected by this reality because, I think, they never really had counselling. Joker had one session and from then on, he just helped Maruki out. I do not think Akechi actually met Maruki, so Maruki would not know anything about what would make him happy.

Moving on to Kasumi… or Sumire. I do not know how to refer to her. But what the hell. This was a bigger plot twist than Maruki. As this was unfolding, I realised that no one – literally no one – had called her Kasumi in the entire game. I always thought that it was weird in Morgana’s case because Morgana always calls people by their first names. But it was such a cool point.

Thank you for the much needed clarification, Futaba, I’m sure Ryuji needed it.

I’m at the point where Sumire has decided not to run from the truth. This was clearly a very difficult decision for her and therefore I respect her more now than I did previously. The confidant change was pretty cool; I like how I could only go to rank 5 with Kasumi because I could only learn so much about her, as she did not even know the truth about herself. I like how it has been changed to Sumire now, and therefore I can get to know her more.

I am on track to my first Platinum too, which is exciting. I’ve been collecting Mementos requests lately too, through confidants and Mishima. So I am going to head into Mementos soon… I wonder if I will be finished with this palace this week. I have a feeling that it is one of those that keeps kicking you out so I’m very aware of the time limit. But next week may well be the last update.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! Don’t forget to like and follow me for more content like this, and follow me on social media to keep up to date!

Weekly screenshots/ photos I took on my phone:

Futaba acting like the school was a palace
Kasumi @ing Akechi right there
Sojiro looks so happy that Morgana is back!
You can always rely on Yusuke for the classic puns
So Morgana spends the entire game saying that he is not a cat… only for him to say this. I had to take a photo!

Sorry they’re blue, guys! I do not know why, that’s just how they come out on my phone! See you next week for another update!

Why Kamoshida and Shido are not connected- Persona 5

Okay, so I have lasted a few weeks without a Persona 5 post so now I’m throwing in the towel and just doing one. I think it is worth it. This post comes from several conversations I have had with my partner since finishing my first playthrough of the original Persona 5 game. As far as I can tell, it also applies to Royal. It would not make much sense for them to change it. But this post contains spoilers for the original Persona 5 game, so you have been warned!

So it is fair to say that Persona 5 has its fair share of bad guys. Shido is the ultimate baddie, the one who is the cause for disaster in Joker’s life. The game starts with Joker moving to this place because of probation and ends with him stealing the distorted desires of the man who caused it. It’s a nice touch. There are 5 other palaces if we don’t count Mementos (which for the sake of simplicity, we won’t today). There are, in theory, 5 other bad people. We can obviously excuse the 4th palace because that is Futaba’s and she is a member of the Phantom Thieves, but that still leaves 4 awful people. And they are awful.

Here is a quick rundown of why these people are so awful because I run a fan account, and people are still trying to justify their actions.

Kamoshida was a gold medallist who used that respect and power to become a teacher (therefore gaining even more respect and also authority over high school kids), physically and emotionally abused a team until one of them snapped and hit him- and broke his leg. He broke a student’s leg. And then he got the team disbanded so that he was able to start up a new team in the sport of his choice – the sport that he won the gold medal for and therefore gaining even more respect and authority – and then he continued on with the physical and emotional abuse. Only this time, he started to sexually harass teenage girls – one of which was not even on the team – and out of retaliation for being rejected by one of those girls, he raped her best friend, who was on the team. While he was doing all of this, he was also manipulating the staff at the school so that they either did not know what was going on (think about Kawakami’s reaction) or they just wanted the team to do well, so they ignored it, trusting Kamoshida to make sure that the team did well.

Moving onto Madarame, I see a lot of people trying to justify this one. A lot of people say that people of the way Yusuke was after Madarame, it was not abuse because Yusuke is still attached. Now, I really do not like talking about my own experience of abuse on my blog because this isn’t the place for that. However, I will say this: I was abused as a child, from the age of 8 to 11. I blamed myself so much that I didn’t recognise when I got into an abusive relationship when I was 15. I thought that I was the abusive one because I always did something wrong. When I got into a worse relationship when I was 17, I genuinely struggled to work out what was going on. I have been out of that relationship for well over two years, and you guys know that I am in a healthy relationship with a great partner. However, because of the abuse I’ve suffered, I had a real tough time getting over my ex completely. I struggled to break up with him many, many times. I blamed myself for so long, even with the abuse I suffered as a child. So, as someone who has been through abuse, trust me when I tell you that Yusuke is just struggling. He is going through the process of healing. His confidant is one of my favourites because you see him love something so much that his abuser trained him in, which is why he’s in a stump. You see him fear becoming like him. You see, the worst thing Madarame did was not the plagiarism (although that was awful too). It was the abuse. Yusuke had been living with Madarame since he was 3. He shows clear signs that he was being abused. The worst thing is that because Madarame’s palace is so focussed on the plagiarism, people miss the abuse that goes on.

Kaneshiro was a Mafia boss who tried to bribe high school students. He successfully scammed many, many students into giving him more money. He was just an overall shady guy. I don’t have an awful lot to say about him because the arc itself is much more focussed on Makoto (trust me, I am not complaining) but it is clear that there were a bunch of general badness and criminal activity going on.

Okumura was obviously set up for the Phantom Thieves to target. In general, he treated people like garbage. To me, that was not much of a big deal because every company does that, really. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become desensitised to it or what, but it was not a huge deal to me. What is a huge deal with the Okumura arc, however, is Haru. This guy is basically trying to sell off his daughter to whoever would benefit him most. He is using his child, who isn’t even out of high school yet, to benefit him. That’s the worse thing about him and should never be excused.

So, later on in the game, you find out that three out of the four awful people who had a change of heart were actually linked to Shido in some way. They were all giving money to Shido, and therefore it is safe to assume that they had requested someone to die via Akechi. So, who is that odd one out? Kamoshida.

So this got me thinking, why? Why would they just leave Kamoshida out of the group? And I think I actually have an answer for that.

Kamoshida is the first bad guy of the game. He is also – arguably – the most hated. One thing that I think makes Madarame so not-hated is the fact that Kamoshida was so slimy and disgusting in the sliest way that it almost seems like no one could possibly be as bad as him. Kamoshida uses manipulation to hide in plain sight, and the player sees straight through it.

Therefore, my proposal is that the reason that Kamoshida is not linked to Shido in Persona 5 is that he is bad enough without Shido.

If you think about it, a huge thing about the bad guys, in general, is that they are all money hungry. They only want what is best for them. Kamoshida wants fame more than money, which would make it a little strange if he relied on Shido for that in some way. Kamoshida wants something completely different from all the other villains in Persona 5.

Not just that, but Kamoshida is the first. He sets the bar. It is like the game is throwing this awful human being in our faces and going “look! This is what you should expect”. Kamoshida is also based on a much smaller scale than any of the other bad guys, as they are all at a city or national (or even international in terms of Okumura) level. Kamoshida is ruining the lives of individual people in order to get what he wants; Shido would not be interested in that. Quite frankly, Kamoshida is not big enough to be linked to Shido, but he is also too bad to be linked to Shido. By this, I mean that the player sees the effects of Kamoshida’s bad deeds first hand and all around them at the school. With the others, it is almost impossible to see the full scale of the situation. However, what we do know is that Kamoshida went as far as raping a girl and did not care when she tried to kill herself. He broke a teenager’s leg and did not care when that kid lost his chance at a scholarship and therefore gave up on school. The game shows exactly how far Kamoshida is willing to go, whereas, with the others, it is often up to interpretation.

I might not be right about this, but I do know that there has to be a reason that Kamoshida was not connected to Shido, because they went as far as to connect Madarame with Shido. It makes no sense for them to gloss over the first person that was targeted by the Phantom Thieves.

Persona 5 Royal- Week 6 & 7 Play Update

So, I missed last week’s Royal update because I was not doing too good mentally, so this week is super duper special. It will cover both Sae’s palace and Shido’s! I am pretty proud of my progress, considering the amount of university work I have had to do. Let’s get to it!

First of all, I have finally reached rank 5 in all my social stats. Guts took way too long for my liking, but I did it just after completing Sae’s palace (which I did in one day). I also got quite a few confidants to Rank 10 over the past two weeks, so I am going to do a quick rundown of them.

The first one I want to talk about is probably the most obvious considering the dates, and that is Maruki. As long as you have him at Rank 9 before November 18th, it is automatic. It is quite a sweet ending to a pretty nice and straightforward confidant. You have a special lunch with him on his last day at school, you learn that he has known you are a Phantom Thief all this time (obviously, because rank 10 is all about those folks finding out your biggest secret), and that his work on cognitive psience is completed thanks to you. I have a theory that he might be the last palace, but like, not in the same way as the others. So, my theory is that his palace is self-made, and instead of stealing distorted desires, it will be stealing all the emotional and psychological pain he has faced. Not too deep of a theory but one that crossed my mind during Rank 10.

Maruki’s Rank 10 made my heart happy


Out of the Phantom Thieves, I have Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke and Makoto. Futaba is Rank 7 and Haru is… embarrassingly low considering I wrote over 10000 words on how she is the best confidant. As far as I can tell, her abilities have changed and become even better (which to be honest, I didn’t think was possible). Also, while we’re on abilities, Ann’s ‘sexy talk’ is probably one of the most useful abilities in the game right now and totally makes it worth having her in your party, just to calm the shadows down. I literally went into Mementos last night to do Futaba’s request for her friend. Futaba is actually the only one I’ve never completed out of the Phantom Thieves. Of course, I’ve seen the whole thing because she is my favourite, but I think I’ve only ever managed rank 10.


I have got Tae up to 10 because Alice is and always will be my favourite persona. My Arsene and Mothman are killing it and to be honest, my personas are a little curse heavy this playthrough (we all know that this is easy to do when you use Arsene a lot), so she will fit right in with her suicidal teddy bears! Although I do need some nuclear Personas, but I’ll get there when I get there.


Speaking of Personas though, I spent about two hours doing Justine and Caroline’s confidant. Fusing and fusing and fusing and the old rank 10 is rank 5, which makes rank 10 feel a little bit anticlimactic but ay, as long as I got to fuse Black Frost a few levels before I was meant to. I’ve also finished all of their outings which is sad because I very much enjoyed them.

I’m going to miss this…


I am stuck on Kawakami because I am at the part where she talks to you at school… but Joker’s not at school. So, I am ultimately stuck here until (I assume) the third semester.


I have been neglectful of some confidants that I probably shouldn’t be. Hifumi, Shinyda, Ohya and Chihaya have all been ignored for one reason or another… but no one has been ignored more than my main man Iwai. I’ve only just got him to Rank 2, and I am literally in December. He always seems to get left out in my playthroughs, which is weird because if you have read my confidant analysis, you’ll know that his confidant arc is actually very well written. I’m all about that good character development. I think I am going to try to get to the point where I at least have a bunch of the Mementos quests for confidants and just go for it if I still can in the third semester. Obviously, I have no idea what is going on.


And of course, there is one confidant I have missed off, and that is because my heart is broken. Yoshida. I spent so much time with him. Do you want to know where I got with him? Rank 9. 9. 9. I got to Rank 9 before the bloody election. I wanted to rip my hair out. Drastic, I know, but you should know by now, Persona 5 is my entire personality.

Kasumi is adorable, as you already know. I was so excited after Sae’s palace when she came into Leblanc, all cute and stuff and then said she wanted to be a Phantom Thief! But no. Joker decided that it was too dangerous for her. Joker decided to tell her no. Joker clearly doesn’t realise that I control him and I am meant to be the one to determine things like this. Stupid Joker.

Now we finally know how Kasumi was in Sae’s palace in the opening!

Moving on a little bit, let’s talk about the Akechi. He wanted to fight me in Mementos which was kind of okay. But do you remember in the last update when I said I had to get ready for him to break my heart? Yeah, well, I was not prepared for him to tell me that he hated me.

Heartbreak.

My partner and I have discussed this at length because there has to be some reason behind it. And I think we got it! So, basically, Akechi is using all that hate that he has built up instead of himself and directed it at Joker because Joker is the one thing he always wanted to be but never felt like he was- loved. He doesn’t understand that being part of the Phantom Thieves means that you’re part of a family. It means that you have a place to belong. A place to always call home. People to always call family. Friends to call at 3 am when you’ve been up all night studying for a test, and you’re having a breakdown. That is love. And he could have had that, but the thing with Akechi is that he does not recognise when he has a good thing. His friendship with Joker was one of those good things. But this did mean that I kind of avoided putting him in my party because why would I trust someone who hates me over the people who are basically my family? Like, that made no sense, and the timing was terrible in my opinion. But I still like the added bonus, and I think it will be involved in his redemption arc.

Now, the Akechi fight in Shido’s palace. I will get onto Sae’s palace, but I’d rather talk about the two weeks as a whole, so yeah. The Akechi fight was, I thought, easier. Actually, my partner and I were talking, and we have come to the conclusion that the game, in general, is a whole lot easier than the original. But regardless, I found the fight easier. I don’t know if that is because I had more experience, more empathy or what. Remember, the last time I did this fight, I hated the guy so much it made my blood boil. I think I kept expecting his redemption arc to happen during this fight, so I was a little confused as to what the hell was going on. I trust that it will happen and that I’ve done everything right. And yes, I am still bitter that he told me that he hates me.

Will seeds are the bane of my bloody existence right now. I nearly missed Sae’s last will seed. I had to google it! Like, no shame in using guides or anything but I’ve been pretty good at not doing that this time around while I discover the game. I wanted to explore it all for myself. But I sure as hell was not leaving that palace until I got that third will seed, and I was not entering the maze of darkness again to check. Mainly because I get lost easily in there.

In terms of palaces, I really did not feel like there was much difference between Sae’s palace in the original and the one in Royal. I got a bit more lost in the darkness maze thing, but I’m not the best when it comes to finding my way around videogames when they’re brightly lit, never mind when you have to use the Third Eye ability in pitch-black darkness. Shido’s palace, on the other hand, was one that I found significantly different. I don’t know if it is because this is technically my third playthrough of the game, but again referring back to the last update, do you remember when I said the airlock puzzle made me cry in the original? Shido’s palace was basically just a bunch of airlock puzzles for me in the original. However, it seemed so much simpler now. The safe rooms were placed in much better locations (well done, Atlus!), which made it significantly less stressful. Another thing that I liked (but didn’t use because Mothman) is you know how you turn into a mouse? Well, there’s now cages with cheese dotted around. From the dialogue, I assume it restores SP, but as I said, I had Mothman, so it did not benefit me as much as it would other people. But these cages were dotted around a lot, and it was quite lovely to see that there were little things that fit with the story that was there to help you along. And of course, we have got to love those mouse puns.

I know this selfie is a little cheesy but- ay? ay!

Now, there is something that I need to bring up because it is my favourite line of the game, and I am so happy they kept it in.

“You’re more feral pigeon than phoenix”

I have legitimately been using this as an insult to my partner and family members for the past year or so. It’s just funny. I love it.

Do you know something that I loved? Sae’s boss fight. Like, I genuinely enjoyed it. It fitted in with the theme significantly more than the original boss fight. For me (I haven’t looked if it is automatic or if it changes for everyone) she targeted Makoto a lot which I also think says a lot about her character as she often seems in the game to take her anger and frustrations out on her younger sister.

And, I hear you ask, what did I like more? Shido’s boss fight. You see, I am not a huge boss fight person. Like everything else in life, they cause me anxiety. I freak out and make mistake after mistake (look at my Okumura boss fight, aka hell). But when a boss fight reveals more about a character, I really like that. Throughout the Shido boss fight, again, I thought Akechi was going to come in and shoot him or something. I was ready for it. But that did not happen. What did happen was Joker had to fight Shido one on one, and somehow that was more satisfying than a son – driven mad by being unloved his whole life – getting revenge on his father who has basically used him to murder people. Joker 1V1 Shido was the right way to do this. I loved it. Sure, it was stressful. Very, very, very stressful. But it was terrific. Joker got to singlehandedly take down the one person who was responsible for destroying his life. The person whose son tried to shoot him. The person who is literally the reason this whole thing happened in the first place. But not just that, but he would not have gotten to that point if it wasn’t for his teammates. It metaphorically felt like they brought him so far, but took a step back when they realised that he needed to do this by himself. Of course, I was cursing them during the game when I needed to heal but also do damage to him, but it was totally worth it in the end.

So, it has been a busy two weeks. Next week, I believe we will be in uncharted territory. The Third Semester. Hopefully, at least, because I really have no clue how the whole thing works. All of the questions that I have been asking for months might finally come to an end. Heck, the game might even be finished by next week! (I doubt that because I have assignments but hey, here’s hoping!).

And of course, here are the funny screenshots:

These illustrations are top class
Turns out that if you change their costumes, they also change in the Showtime Attack!
Poor Sojiro seemed a little concerned when Joker came in with the Twins
This mini game thing put me of playing video games. That’s all I’m saying
I bought… a few… protein…
The Twins trying to get a gift from Joker
Akechi’s face is a little… too much
This again because it is legit my favourite in the entire game
Bit harsh tbh
Maruki being 100% relatable to glasses users everywhere
Maruki being 100% Maruki… yeah
All of these options were top class

How I learnt how to play Yu-Gi-Oh

So, this is going to be a mix of video games and card games, with a touch of anime shenanigans. This week, we are going to dive into the weird and magical world of Yu-Gi-Oh, the trading card game that you can play virtually on several consoles.

So, if you have a Nintendo Switch, you probably already know how expensive the games can be. The Yu-Gi-Oh game is actually one of the cheapest. It is a fun little game that I got for my partner. It is similar to the older one, but it has link monsters!

Here is the way I learnt how to play, and I think it would be a good way to get a casual player or just a friend to understand the rules and such. Now, this is a long process. You can jump to any level depending on your skill level. However, my partner (who was teaching me how to play) realised that my skill level was 0. I have to be interested in a game before it gets complicated; otherwise, I give up easily. So, here is how it went down!

Here are the things that you need to know before you get into the whole playing thing. There are 3 types of cards – monsters, spells and traps – and they all have different variations, but we’ll get into that later. Monsters can be placed in attack position or defence position. Spells and traps get placed face down below the monsters. You can only normal summon one monster per turn. At the start of each turn, you draw a card.

Step 1: Duelist Kingdom Rules

Only 2000 Life Points
No tribute required for a normal summon
Can’t attack directly
Only one monster can attack per turn, unless the monsters have the same name
Can activate any spell cards as quick play cards
If you have 6 cards in your hand, you can choose not to draw if you want to attack, but if you draw, you can’t attack.
Any card can do anything if you can come up with a good enough explanation that people believe (like something shooting at a moon, or a monster that cannot hit a monster with wings)

Step 2: Battle City Rules

Tributes are now required. Monsters Level 4 or under don’t need tributes. Level 5-6 monsters need 1 tribute. Level 7-9 need 2 tributes. Level 10-12 need 3 tributes (but really there should only be 3 level 10s at this point, and those are the Egyptian Gods)
Can’t attack with fusion monsters the turn that they are fusion summoned
Life Points go up to 4000
Normal spell cards (only) can be activated as quick play spells
Monsters can attack directly
Multiple Monsters can attack each turn

Step 3: Watch the first anime

Do it. It’s a bit long, but do it. It will make everything so much more worth it. It’ll make the cards mean more to you. For example, I have three Blue-Eyes White Dragons in my purse that my partner gave me for my 18th because they were his first Blue-Eyes White Dragons, and his favourite character is Seto Kaiba. I also have a Red-Eyes Black Dragon in there because I got it from a pack and Joey Wheeler is my baby. I swear if someone ever steals my purse, they’ll think I’m crazy for only having trading cards in there.

But honestly, please. If you do this, let me know, too! I’m always down to talk about the anime with someone! It is on Netflix (the dub is, anyway) in case you were wondering! The show will mess with your emotions, and you will 100% be emotionally invested by battle city.

Step 4: General anime rules

Level 10 and higher now only need 2 tributes, unless they are the Egyptian Gods… then they need 3
Fusion monsters can attack the turn they are summoned
Only quick play spells can be treated as such
I should have said this before, but play the game as if you are in the anime. For example, card of sanctity just lets you both draw until you each have 6 cards in your hand. Anime rules make the game more enjoyable and easier. It is just sometimes a little hard to get your head wrapped around. If you have any questions about a particular card, drop them in the comments section!

Step 5: Introduce the ban list, with anime rules

There is a new ban list every so often, but the most important thing is Pot Of Greed is banned. It is pretty easy to find online. Just introduce the ban list into your game, and keep playing with the anime rules.
Keep playing with anime card effects

Step 6: Introduce the layout and new cards, with anime rules

Okay, so this is where the new cards come in. So, by now, you should know you have normal monsters, effect monsters and fusion monsters. But now, there are link monsters, XYZ monsters, pendulum monsters, synchro monsters. Pendulum monsters broke the game, but links made it better (I think… this all happened before I got with my partner). I use a link deck (Trickstars, if anyone is interested). It sounds super-duper complicated, but by now you should be playing pretty close to the actual rules of the game. However, here is a small rundown:

Link Monsters: Do not have defence, but ‘links’ instead, which is basically like their level. They have arrows on and can only be summoned into the extra monster zone from the extra deck, or a zone that another link monster is pointing to. They usually have awesome effects. Link monsters have specific materials to be summoned. For example ‘3+ effect monsters’. The link rating also tells you what the monsters need to add up to. Non-link monsters get treated as link one, but link monsters can be treated as link one or their link rating.

XYZ Monsters: They have a rank instead of a level. You put the monsters used to summon it under the card, so a lot of them have effects that are used by sending one of the monsters under them to the graveyard. XYZ monsters also tell you the material on the cards. The level of all the monsters involved needs to be the same as the rank of the monster you are trying to summon. You just stack all of the materials on top of each other and then place the XYZ monster on top of it from the extra deck. They can be summoned in any monster zone.

Pendulum Monsters: Probably the reason Link Monsters exist. Can be placed in the pendulum zones face up. When there are two pendulum monsters in these zones, you can perform a pendulum summon. When they are in the pendulum zone, they are treated as spell cards. That means if an effect would be used to negate a spell card, it can be used to negate the pendulum effect. If a face-up pendulum monster would leave the field, it gets placed face up in the extra deck instead. It can be summoned back via a pendulum summon to the extra monster zone or a zone that a link monster is pointing to.

Synchro Monsters: A new summoning mechanic. Not really super special or anything. Similar to fusion monsters. They will always have the materials needed to summon it on the card. Will typically be one tuner monster and one or more non-tuner monster. A tuner monster is a special type of monster that is most useful in a Synchro deck. The combined level of all the monsters being used for the Synchro summons needs to add up to equal the exact level of the Synchro monster.

This is here because the new layout is scary. However, it is used in further animes like Vrains. Here is an example of how to do this:

Keep to the anime rules for a little bit, especially if you are struggling. I also recommend watching more anime if you need help.

Step 7: Actual rules

  8000 Life Points
The player who goes first does not get to draw in their first turn
You can’t normal summon a monster in defence position, and you have to set it (face down)

Now, you’re ready to play the video games and participate in tournaments! Have fun!

So it is pretty simple but can take a while to get your head wrapped around it. Honestly, if my partner had not been playing for years before we met, I probably would have never got it! If you have any questions whatsoever, let me know! I’ll try to be as helpful as possible!

Should historical figures and events be used in video games?

So, for my last post, I covered a similar type of thing (but with mental health). This post, however, actually came into my mind months ago as I had a lecture about it. Since then, I have been on several rants (to the people in my class and my partner) about the topic, and I have finally come to a conclusion.

Before we jump in since they are so similar, my mental health post is linked here:

https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/05/10/should-mental-illness-be-used-in-video-games/

So, this might be a sensitive topic, and I want to stress that by no means do I mean to offend anyone. I am purely stating my view as a history student and a gamer. Some things I am going to write will, undoubtedly, upset some people. While I understand that, please read the whole post to fully understand it from my perspective, and do not be afraid to leave comments!

There are so many games based on historical events, and that include historical figures. Wolfenstein, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty WWII. The list goes on and on. But there are several questions that need to be asked. These are real-life people or events. They actually happened. People were affected by these events/ people. Most of the time, people died because of these events or people. So, is it really morally right to use them in video games due to the effect they had on people? Is it okay to portray them differently to provide entertainment to the audience? My answer, with some debate, is ultimately- yes. Here is why.

History is subjective. It is, despite what people think, not just facts. History is always written by the victor of a war. Winston Churchill famously said, “history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it”. In history, there is this thing called historiography. As a second-year history student, I am still a little unsure as to precisely what it means but here is the gist of it: when looking at history, you must always look at who wrote it, why they wrote it and when they wrote it. This is because perspectives change. For example, a lot of Germans in 1933 likely thought Adolf Hitler was alright. So if you take a source written in 1933 and compare it to a source – maybe even by the same person – in 1950, their perspectives would have likely changed significantly. History tends to be written as if it is fact, even though there is significant debate on the topic. Actually, there is even debate about if history is an art or science, but I won’t get into that right now.

Let’s discuss historical events first because that is probably the less controversial part of this post. So, I sat in my history class of 30+ students with my severe anxiety, basically screaming that it was a good thing that historical events are included in video games. I understand that they can be seen as insensitive. However, it is history. Kids are so much more likely to learn about history through a video game than reading a textbook in a classroom. I honestly feel, as someone who also wants to teach history to high school kids, that video games are the best way to teach kids about history. I will let you in on a little secret here: so, my uncle was in the cold war. He’s told me story after story (he goes on and on when he’s had a bit to drink and since I’m a history student, I’m stuck with it) about what it was like, the events of the cold war, all of that. But you know who knows more about the cold war than me? My partner, who did not enjoy GCSE history at all but severely enjoyed the Metal Gear Solid games. We talked about it quite a bit because it’s history, I am obviously going to be interested. However, he starts it off every time with an “I’m not sure if this is exactly how it happened because I learnt this from Metal Gear but…” and you know what? That, to me, shows interest. That is ultimately all it takes for someone to go off and do their own research. For example, this is not about history, but it applies, I live in the UK, so I don’t know much about the Mexican/American border. When I played Life Is Strange 2, there was a massive thing about it. I streamed the game on mine and my partner’s YouTube channel and felt like I was a little ignorant of the situation. Therefore, I went and researched it. I found out about the situation on my own merit because a game had made it interesting.

So, the counter-argument to this is that games are not accurate. Games have a purpose of entertaining the audience and therefore, often spread misinformation about historical events. So, to anyone who is interested in this post because of the history and not the gaming, let me make this very clear. Gamers know that the games they play are fiction. There are often disclaimers at the start of the game saying that the game is fiction. However, if a historical event is brought up, people are going to be more interested in playing through that event than reading about the event. Like I said before, history changes on the daily. There is rarely a right answer. So, that is why it is so difficult to portray historical events accurately. But that is okay. Gamers always know, as everyone should, that they need to take the information that they are given through media with a pinch of salt. But it is the immediate interest and the experience of playing through the historical event that is most important.

Now, moving onto something that I am sure people are going to be mad at me about: historical figures. I have gone back and forth with my opinion on this for a while but ultimately came to a decision. So, my partner’s brother recently got the Jack the Ripper DLC for Assassins Creed Syndicate. When he told me about this, I cringed. I originally thought that it was a bit insensitive. However, I thought long and hard about it, and then I thought about the lesson I mentioned earlier where I was screaming at my classmates. The thing is, society has a way of dehumanising historical figures such as Jack the Ripper, Marie Antoinette and Adolf Hitler. From my perspective, it is almost to distance themselves from people who did terrible things. However, it is my strong opinion that it is wrong to dehumanise people who did bad things. Instead of trying to distance ourselves from the mistakes from the past, we should admit that it could happen again and find a way to avoid it. Just people some people did terrible things does not mean that they were not human. It is important to remember that these people are human, just like you. The actions of these people could very well happen again if society keeps dehumanising them because it is a passive way of not admitting that these things could happen again. So, when you learn about the secret life of Black Beard in Assassins Creed, just keep in mind that for all we know, he could have acted the way he acts in the game. History documents what society wants it to.

In conclusion, I think we as a society could learn a significant amount if more historical events and figures were in video games. It will also encourage us to accept that these things happened and encourage us to find ways to avoid them happening in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to follow my blog to be notified whenever I post and check out my social media to know when a new post is about to come out!

Should mental illness be used in video games?

I am not going to pretend I have a degree in psychology in this post (although my partner is doing a degree in psychology, so I do like to think I know a decent amount of stuff); this is going to be a sincere post about a very serious topic. I have several mental illnesses, a lot of which are highly misrepresented in all kinds of media. Right now, there is a movement to normalise and decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness. So, the question I will be discussing today is if putting mental illness in media, such as video games where the player gets to control the character, is a good way to attempt to end the negative stigma surrounding mental illness.

I am just one person. I will be focusing on my own mental illnesses because that is what I know. I never wanted this to be a place to talk about mental illness from a personal standpoint, so this is not that type of post. I am purely going to be talking about representation in media, if it is harmful or not, and what can be improved in future games. This is all obviously my opinion, but since I have these illnesses and communicate with others who have similar illnesses, I feel confident in my judgement. For reference, I have depressive and anxiety disorder, psychosis, and the one that we’re going to be talking about in a lot more detail, dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

So, first of all, let us talk about one amazing example that I have seen in video games that I’ve talked about before: Josh from Until Dawn. I cannot write this post without bringing him up because you can tell that the writers really did their research for that game. For those who have not played Until Dawn, or seen it on YouTube, or read my last blog post on it (I will link it at the end), there is a scene in Until Dawn where the player gets to witness Josh’s hallucinations. Although somewhat dramatised (although it is also realistic as Josh’s mental health is particularly bad in this scene), the scene gives the audience a great insight into what it is like to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. It is terrifying, and it throws it in the player’s face that Josh is not well. Josh is very clearly sick, and this scene makes it clearer than any other scene could have. It does not make him seem ‘crazy’ as it would have if the player were not able to see the hallucinations. It makes him seem scared because he is, and he has every right to be.

Now, let us discuss the negative side of putting mental illness in video games for a little bit. For this, I am going to be using the example of dissociative identity disorder. I will include a link to a great YouTube channel if you want to know more about the illness itself, but I’ll do a brief summary because it is important you understand. Dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness which is caused by childhood trauma. It creates other ‘personalities’, or ‘alters’ as the DID community refers to them, in order to cope with the trauma. Now, my personal experience of telling people that I have this is them saying “oh that’s cool” or “I could do with that”. This is harmful. To those with this illness, it is basically invalidating their mental illness. These people went through trauma in their childhood. They have repressed memories, confusion, and typically post-traumatic stress disorder along with this. Having an illness is never fun. Telling someone that their illness is “cool” or “would be handy” is not okay in the slightest. Dissociative identity disorder is so much more than just switching personalities. It’s not understanding, not knowing, being confused most of the time. There is so much more to it than an average game could show. The main issue with mental illness being in media like video games is that it is difficult to show the full picture.

That is what makes the scene from Until Dawn so good. It does show the full picture. So, the idea that I am putting forward is that mental illness should be in games if the full picture is shown, and only then.

There is also an issue with normalising mental illnesses to the point where it becomes what seems to be a joke, or even when the mental illness becomes an adjective. For example, someone saying “I’m so OCD” because they like their coloured pencils in a certain order, or “I’m so depressed” when they are feeling sad. Obviously, there is an issue of someone finding out about a mental illness and faking it to get some kind of attention (the recent issue with Trisha Paytas comes to mind immediately). However, it is important for me to state that you do not know what is going on in someone’s mind, and unless you are their doctor, you should have no opinion on their mental health.

I have gone back and forth, over and over again, on whether or not dissociative identity disorder should get more representation in media. This has been a long-debated issue. Mental illness of all kind is always a touchy subject. Everyone experiences it differently. For example, someone might experience depression differently compared to someone else. The issue with representation in media is that, as a writer/director/designer, you have two groups of people that you need to consider seriously: your current audience, and then the people with the mental illness. The media still has to be entertaining, so plenty of the people in charge of these decisions fail to consider the thoughts and feelings of the latter group.

A small example that I can think of on the spot is the split second that dissociative identity disorder is brought up in Persona 5. If you cannot remember it, I do not blame you. Why? Because it wasn’t. Now, please bear in mind that this is my favourite game. In this game, dissociative identity disorder is referred to as ‘multiple personality disorder’, which is an old term that has not been used for decades and can rather upset people with dissociative identity disorder. Not only that, but Persona 5 misinforms people about dissociative identity disorder. It states that alters cannot be different genders and ages, which is untrue. This is an example of including mental illness in video games is bad, because it uses old terms and misinforms the audience of the mental illness. This is worsened further because they had the chance to fix it during Persona 5 Royal, but the scene is not corrected.

You see, video games are unique to other types of media because it is interactive. You are able to play as the character. You can experience life as they see it. That is why I love it so much. They can be educational and fun at the same time. In my opinion, putting mental illness in video games can be a good thing. However, if you do as little as mention a mental illness in a video game, you should be doing your research on the subject. There are so many people on the planet who suffer daily with mental illness. Since it is so stigmatised, you need to be informative and accurate while informing your audience about the mental illness. If your main character has a mental illness, it becomes even more important to do serious research on the subject as so many people experience it and people are obviously going to play the game as the character and experience it through the game.

Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments. If you have any questions, let me know.

Until Dawn Mental Health Post:

https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/03/22/what-until-dawn-teaches-about-mental-health-and-why-it-is-important/

Good YouTube channel to learn about Dissociative Identity Disorder:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6kFD5xIFvWyLlytv5pTR1w