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By putting understanding and cooperation at the forefront, A Way Out nudges players into a biblical notion of empathy.
Some cooperative (co-op) video games allow you to choose how much you interact with the other players. You could play Don’t Starve Together completely isolated from your companions, for example, but it’s much easier to survive if you join forces. Overcooked allows you to do your own thing without communicating, but you’ll have a tough time making progress that way. Other co-op games, like A Way Out, force you to work together and think about the other person’s perspective. And that turns out to be a compelling model for empathy.
Way - Out - Criminals - Prison - Crime
A Way Out follows two criminals who are determined to escape from prison so they can get revenge on the crime boss who put them there. As soon as I began playing, I noticed a metaphorical chasm between my life experience and the characters’. One of the two inmates, Leo, is a hardened criminal, willing to do anything to get the job done. He gets frustrated with difficult situations and tends to punch his way out of them. Like most of the prisoners, Leo has a foul mouth, which is one of the many details that reminds me how different his culture is from mine. I relate slightly more to Vincent, who says he is innocent of the crime that put him in jail and tends to talk first and punch if it’s the only option. Whether I’m playing A Way Out as Leo or Vincent, living in someone else’s shoes is uncomfortable. But maybe I need some of that discomfort in my life.
At various points in A Way Out, the two characters will offer different opinions on how to move forward. My partner and I have to agree on choosing either Leo’s...
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