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Playing Persona 4 Makes You A Better Person

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Playing Persona 4 Makes You A Better Person: I was recently very sick. I got a cold that knocked me on my ass, and I was confined to my couch for days and days. When this happens, you try to find anything that will keep you entertained. I stumbled upon a let’s play of Persona 4 Golden by Nico B and proceeded to watch over 40 hours of it :s. I had never played a Persona game before and have been eagerly anticipating the release of the 5th game since I found out about the series (damn delays!). I decided to watch a lets play because I didn’t have a system that could play any of the games, but I still wanted to see the play style and story. I was not disappointed, the game revolves around a teenage boy who has moved from the city to the country side to live with his uncle and cousin. He is there to complete his second year of high school. Murders start happening in the small town, and without spoiling anything your character gets involved and he along with his friends become the only people that are able to find the killer and stop him.

The game has the story and feel of an anime, which is what captivated me for so many hours. It plays as two complementary, but almost separate games. First the classic turn based dungeon crawler, and second, almost more interesting, is the relationship building, day in the life of a pg4sqteenager, side. You become more powerful in battle by developing relationships with other characters in the game. Developing those relationships requires you to spend time together, go on dates, and/or help them with various tasks etc. The cool part about this is you have 5 skills (social qualities) you must master in order to be able to progress your relationships with other people: Courage, Knowledge, Expression, Understanding, Diligence

Stat

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Courage

Average

Reliable

Brave

Daring

Heroic

Knowledge

Informed

Broad

Expert

Professor

Sage

Expression

Rough

Eloquent

Persuasive

Touching

Enthralling

Understanding

Basic

Kindly

Generous

Motherly

Saintly

Diligence

Callow

Persistent

Strong

Thorough

Rock Solid

I thought this was really interesting and something one could apply to the real world. In the game there would be situations that you could not progress through, or speech options you could not choose until you improved these skills, which is true in real life as well, it’s hard to ask for a raise from your employer, or stand up to the bully if you don’t have the courage to do it. Some of the ways the game has you build these social qualities is:

  1. Expression – joining and attending the drama or band club
  2. Knowledge – reading books, answering question correctly in school
  3. Courage – working at a creepy hospital at night or eating spoiled food out of the fridge (haha) Diligence – joining the soccer or basketball team, working different jobs
  4. Understanding – taking a part time job working with children

There are many more, but you can see how doing these things would improve these skills. Of course the game does over simplify it, for in real life many times we requiring multiple skills at once, however I like the way it forces you to think about these skills and consciously improve them. It would be a very helpful exercise to write these 5 social qualities down, and rate yourself out of 10 for each. Then once you have your numbers pick the weakest one and come up with ways you could improve it. (e.g. low courage – start going out and asking strangers simple questions). It doesn’t have to be complicated, it only requires honest self reflection, focused thought, and action.

This reminds me of a simplified version of Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues. In a quest to
become a better person Franklin devised a list of thirteen virtues, created a chart to track them, and at the end of every day he would right down where he went wrong in each. He would benfrankdedicate one week to focusing on, and improving one virtue. I suggest starting with the five from Persona, maybe adding anything you feel is missing for yourself, and then try moving to the Benjamin Franklin’s version. Try it right now, write down the list and rate your self on each one. Think about where you would like to be, and how being better in these categories could help you. Finally I’ll leave you with Benjamin Franklin’s list to read and think about (interpret them in whatever way makes sense to you):

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation.

  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

  3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e.,Waste nothing

  6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.

  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly

  8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty

  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation

  11. Tranquillity: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

  12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or anther’s peace or reputation.

  13. Humility: Imitate… Socrates.

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Playing Persona 4 Makes You A Better Person
Article Name
Playing Persona 4 Makes You A Better Person
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Cole Elliot talks about the how the social qualities used in Persona 4 Golden can help you become a better person.
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