We see them every day, but do we really look at them? When a nameless, faceless non-player character stumbles into your line of fire, who sheds a single tear? Commenter Sol does, and he wonders if you do as well in today's Speak Up on Kotaku.
Does anyone else feel sorry for NPCs? Strange question, but I do sometimes. A few times I was struck by something that happens in a game like Skyrim or Assassin's Creed. I'll give a few examples.
Far Cry 2. I remember early in the game, I got a sniper and made a perch on a hill to take out some bad guys. I shot one in the leg and he fell, nothing I didn't expect. Then one of his fellow NPCs ran out in the open and started trying to pull his wounded ally out of fire. I didn't shoot at him. I hesitated for a moment before telling myself, "It's just a game." I'm usually a pretty stoic and uncaring when it comes to media, but that really hit me.
Assassin's Creed Revelations. I've accidentally hit random NPCs (that I don't mind pickpocketing en masse) and I cringe, partly because of the gameplay, but I hate doing it anyway.
Skyrim/Fallout/Oblivion. I never could bring myself to slaughter a town of NPCs on my first, main play through. When I'm seriously playing, I hate being the bad guy. I got mad at Skyrim a couple times because they made me kill seemingly innocent NPCs. I always feel bad doing things like that.
What about you guys? Were there any particular moments that struck you, especially if they weren't directly meant to make you feel bad?