Residual Effects of a Video Game: The Last of Us

Four years ago Naughty Dog released The Last of Us on PlayStation 3. 

Playing as Joel and Ellie, Kristal and I didn’t expect the emotional onslaught. We were in awe with flawless backdrops of silent forests, abandoned cities and roaming giraffes. That all contrasted the hate and killing in what remained in a plagued humanity. 

Sometimes we’d light up a Molotov cocktail to burn three assholes trying to end us and then immediately switch gears to Joel and Ellie arguing about emotional and personal boundaries. 

We’d finish playing TLOU for the night and watch an episode of Friends before bed just to lighten the mood. The next day, we’d recap how we were feeling and how Joel and Ellie were feeling. 

This game was changing us. It was bringing us closer together at such a crucial time.  Oh yeah. We were newlyweds, and this was a new journey about hope. 

Four years later, we still talk about it. We still see TLOU elements in our world: literally. We see abandoned buildings or people losing their minds and say “Last of Us” to each other. The quiet moments together amidst all the chaos in the world, we appreciate those. That’s the pearl found in this narrative. Despite the destruction and hurt, there’s still beauty and intimacy. 

What story or narrative has impacted your life? Was it from a novel, movie, video game? Share in the comments below! 

Four years ago on the PS3
Joel-Ellie garb
All the feels