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The Psychology of Final Fantasy: Surpassing The Limit Break

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"No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew." - Lulu, Final Fantasy X. From its initial release in 1987, Final Fantasy has gone on to become one of the most beloved series of role-playing games in history. With narratives revolving around grandiose stories of good versus evil, Final Fantasy has allowed us, as players, to witness heroic b "No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew." - Lulu, Final Fantasy X. From its initial release in 1987, Final Fantasy has gone on to become one of the most beloved series of role-playing games in history. With narratives revolving around grandiose stories of good versus evil, Final Fantasy has allowed us, as players, to witness heroic battles, experience hard-won victories, and create treasured friendships for almost 40 years. The Psychology of Final Fantasy guides gamers on a real-world quest of self-discovery so that they can surpass their own limit break. And, as part of this examination, psychologists, clinicians, video game researchers, professors, and enthusiasts who love this franchise ask: How does the storyline in Final Fantasy grab and keep our attention for so many hours of gameplay? Why do the symbols in the game, such as crystals, magic, and weapons, hold meaning about our own psychological inner workings? What are the feminine warrior and archetypes found in the game and how are they living in all of our everyday lives? How does playing Final Fantasy connect us with a larger sense of spiritual guidance as to who we are? Why is it that, by creating a group, we become whole more than we do when playing as individuals? How do the musical interludes affect our psyche and push us to become better versions of ourselves? Think you know Final Fantasy? The Psychology of Final Fantasy explores how the game resonates with a player's psychological drive toward an emotional sense of wholeness, bonding, and completion as they take part in this epic quest.


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"No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew." - Lulu, Final Fantasy X. From its initial release in 1987, Final Fantasy has gone on to become one of the most beloved series of role-playing games in history. With narratives revolving around grandiose stories of good versus evil, Final Fantasy has allowed us, as players, to witness heroic b "No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew." - Lulu, Final Fantasy X. From its initial release in 1987, Final Fantasy has gone on to become one of the most beloved series of role-playing games in history. With narratives revolving around grandiose stories of good versus evil, Final Fantasy has allowed us, as players, to witness heroic battles, experience hard-won victories, and create treasured friendships for almost 40 years. The Psychology of Final Fantasy guides gamers on a real-world quest of self-discovery so that they can surpass their own limit break. And, as part of this examination, psychologists, clinicians, video game researchers, professors, and enthusiasts who love this franchise ask: How does the storyline in Final Fantasy grab and keep our attention for so many hours of gameplay? Why do the symbols in the game, such as crystals, magic, and weapons, hold meaning about our own psychological inner workings? What are the feminine warrior and archetypes found in the game and how are they living in all of our everyday lives? How does playing Final Fantasy connect us with a larger sense of spiritual guidance as to who we are? Why is it that, by creating a group, we become whole more than we do when playing as individuals? How do the musical interludes affect our psyche and push us to become better versions of ourselves? Think you know Final Fantasy? The Psychology of Final Fantasy explores how the game resonates with a player's psychological drive toward an emotional sense of wholeness, bonding, and completion as they take part in this epic quest.

30 review for The Psychology of Final Fantasy: Surpassing The Limit Break

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janna M

    This collection of essays was page after page of nostalgia! Full confession: I didn't actually grow up with Final Fantasy. (We didn't have video games in our house!) I got into video games in college, and FFXIII was one of the first I got to experience. I remember being enthralled by Sazh's chocobo chick, and Lightning's epic battles. Years later, when I met my husband, he introduced me to FFVI...and then FFVII...and then FFX...and eventually FFXIV...which we still play today! We even have a cat This collection of essays was page after page of nostalgia! Full confession: I didn't actually grow up with Final Fantasy. (We didn't have video games in our house!) I got into video games in college, and FFXIII was one of the first I got to experience. I remember being enthralled by Sazh's chocobo chick, and Lightning's epic battles. Years later, when I met my husband, he introduced me to FFVI...and then FFVII...and then FFX...and eventually FFXIV...which we still play today! We even have a cat named Kain. So, the series holds a special place in my heart, even though I'm relatively new (is ten years new?) to it. I gave the whole book a score of 4/5; some essays were easily a 5/5 and some fell a bit short, but they averaged out well. The entire chapter about music turned my brain into a jukebox, leaping from tune to tune with every one that was mentioned. The in-depth discussions of Cloud and Vivi broke my heart all over again. I felt most of the authors were deeply connected to the material, and jotted down several recommendations for further reading based on their notes or sources. If you find yourself firing up your old PS2 every few years to replay the classics, this book absolutely needs to be on your bookshelf. If you ever wondered why so many Final Fantasy characters suffer from amnesia (and if you want to be amazed at how accurately it was depicted), get yourself a copy. If you ever took a psychology class in college and managed to make your final paper about Blade Runner (hey, I got a B on it!), you will adore diving into this book. Thank you so much to Goodreads and Leylines Publishing - I won this book in my first ever giveaway!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arya FrouzaanFar

    Riveting, absolutely riveting! That is, if you have played at least one Final Fantasy game. From the Acknowledgments section of the book (and I have added the bold formatting): I truly believe in order to understand the virtual worlds, expansive universes, and reasons we play video games, we need to step into the arena and personally experience virtual worlds. If an academic or therapist is going to talk about, research, or conduct therapy with individuals who play video games, they should at lea Riveting, absolutely riveting! That is, if you have played at least one Final Fantasy game. From the Acknowledgments section of the book (and I have added the bold formatting): I truly believe in order to understand the virtual worlds, expansive universes, and reasons we play video games, we need to step into the arena and personally experience virtual worlds. If an academic or therapist is going to talk about, research, or conduct therapy with individuals who play video games, they should at least be familiar with the topic free of the addiction pandemic bias so prevalently found in our society today. Many other authors and researchers who talk about video games view them as a means for addiction, violent extremism, and antisocial behavior. This bias is far from the truth. This book imparts great insight into the video game worlds, the players, and the inter-workings of the video game world of Final Fantasy . We did not approach this topic from just the outside, but the inside of the video gamer world as well as we all have played the games we loved talking about in this book. That is to say, if you haven't played at least one Final Fantasy game or you aren't familiar with at least one of the stories, you will probably be reading the book from the outside. (And thus, you would probably appreciate it less than a Final Fantasy fan like myself would.) So if you do decide to read, keep this in mind, and maybe don't rate! (Same goes for recommendations; I personally didn't recommend this to any readers I know as they weren't Final Fantasy players.) This book does impart great insight on many of the nuances of the stories. Besides, you may take many of these insights and apply them to ordinary, day-to-day life. Identity development, coping with trauma, stereotypes, etc. (This is real human psychology after all.) Do expect spoilers (mostly minor, but with some seriously major ones mixed in) and do expect your love of the games rekindled! You might even find yourself looking for explanations and backstories all over the place. (Which, I personally evaluate as a good thing!)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anh

    After listening to the “fanthropology” episode on the “Ologies” podcast, I proceeded to read this book. I enjoyed the anthropological and psychological analysis and incision into the epic storytelling, gameplay elements, and interpretation of the common attributes that appear in the game. First off, I recommended this mainly to people who are veterans of the Final Fantasy Series, because there is a lot of jargon. Though there are footnotes that elucidate these elements, but readers might still b After listening to the “fanthropology” episode on the “Ologies” podcast, I proceeded to read this book. I enjoyed the anthropological and psychological analysis and incision into the epic storytelling, gameplay elements, and interpretation of the common attributes that appear in the game. First off, I recommended this mainly to people who are veterans of the Final Fantasy Series, because there is a lot of jargon. Though there are footnotes that elucidate these elements, but readers might still be confused when they have not truly immersed in the high fantasy worlds from these installments. Most the examples in the book are drawn from Final Fantasy VI- X. The book also includes plot spoilers from the games. I don’t agree with all of the content discussed, such as it’s praise for having more female characters, and less sexualization of women in the games. What about Lulu’s victory pose? Or the need to rescue Rinoa? Most of the main leads are males as well as dominant party members. There was an essay that later does describe how audiences have responded to gender roles in the game and how they were used, which was an ideal counter. Overall, I enjoyed the explanation that made the characters compelling.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This to me served more as a nod to veteran fans of the series, and perhaps some newcomers as well, than as a serious academic text for psychology. However, the usage of themes and character stories from the franchise did make for an easy to interpret contextualization of concepts such as trauma and social archetypes. While it would have been an exhaustive work to include every game in the franchise, I would have appreciated a wider net cast of characters and concepts, but that comes down to the s This to me served more as a nod to veteran fans of the series, and perhaps some newcomers as well, than as a serious academic text for psychology. However, the usage of themes and character stories from the franchise did make for an easy to interpret contextualization of concepts such as trauma and social archetypes. While it would have been an exhaustive work to include every game in the franchise, I would have appreciated a wider net cast of characters and concepts, but that comes down to the subjective likes of both the reader and the authors, i.e. having favorite games/characters. Still felt it was definitely worth the read, and perhaps worth a replaying of the games with the book's concepts in mind.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christine Craft

    As a Final Fantasy fan, this was an incredible and intriguing read. I greatly enjoyed revisiting the series through psychology concepts and theories. I loved reading the essays and the few lists within tables because they were informative, insightful, and expanded my understanding of the series. I thought the selection of characters the authors selected to discuss in each chapter was a good amount, just know that not every single game or character gets examined like others do in this book. Overa As a Final Fantasy fan, this was an incredible and intriguing read. I greatly enjoyed revisiting the series through psychology concepts and theories. I loved reading the essays and the few lists within tables because they were informative, insightful, and expanded my understanding of the series. I thought the selection of characters the authors selected to discuss in each chapter was a good amount, just know that not every single game or character gets examined like others do in this book. Overall, this is a fantastic read and I highly suggest it if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy, enjoy psychology, or like both!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Graciously received a free copy through good reads. I've never played a final fantasy game. This book made me realize how complicated the game sounds and makes me not want to try it. I also realize how many people it must take to make these games, so kudos to the game creators for creating something so complicated. I wasn't interested in the game aspect of this book, but learned some psychology stuff that I found quite interesting. Graciously received a free copy through good reads. I've never played a final fantasy game. This book made me realize how complicated the game sounds and makes me not want to try it. I also realize how many people it must take to make these games, so kudos to the game creators for creating something so complicated. I wasn't interested in the game aspect of this book, but learned some psychology stuff that I found quite interesting.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Slashcard

    It was a pretty darn good book, and offered more than I was expecting, and I listened to it via audiobook in one morning/afternoon of working on my lawn. If you've played some of the games, I would say it's worth your time. It was a pretty darn good book, and offered more than I was expecting, and I listened to it via audiobook in one morning/afternoon of working on my lawn. If you've played some of the games, I would say it's worth your time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Watson

    The authors get a few facts about the games wrong, but it's still a good read. The authors get a few facts about the games wrong, but it's still a good read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Juan Rivas

    Great book for those familiar with the Final Fantasy series. I enjoyed revisiting aspects of the game series with a psychological lens. Nostalgic and worth the read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Mulvey

    "While the Limit Break is an important feature of gameplay for the series, it also speaks to something deeper about human psychology, for it is only by taking damage that you can unlock a character's full abilities." "While the Limit Break is an important feature of gameplay for the series, it also speaks to something deeper about human psychology, for it is only by taking damage that you can unlock a character's full abilities."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Broyles

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelesea

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clockwork

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan C Olenick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Bean

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Parker Kennedy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Stinebaugh

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cloud Riser

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frank Dolce

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Malin

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