10 Times Video Games Used Reverse Psychology (And It Totally Worked)

Trust Hideo Kojima to totally troll players.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Raiden

Video games are, like all forms of media, designed to manipulate players in ways they can only really appreciate in retrospect.

With games being an interactive medium, they're constantly deploying under-the-hood calculations to push players in a certain direction. Sometimes, though, games go that extra mile in screwing with players' sense of equilibrium.

This is where reverse psychology comes in - the simple act of telling players you want them to do one thing while you actually want them to do basically the opposite.

Perhaps a game will throw up a prompt which is totally counter to what is actually required, daring players to disobey the stated objective and forge ahead on their own.

Maybe the developer takes a well-worn gaming trope and inverts it, teaching players a lesson about the malleability of the video game form itself, once they've first fallen hook, line, and sinker for it, of course.

Whether these feats of psychological manipulation - or as some might call them, straight-up trolling - left you amused or legitimately annoyed, each nevertheless subverted the typical way in which video games are played...

10. Give A Diamond To The Gimme Cat - Final Fantasy IX

Metal Gear Solid 2 Raiden
Square Enix

Final Fantasy IX trolled the hell out of players by conditioning them to accept that, if a friendly monster asks you for an item, handing over said item will see you receive a ton of Ability Points (AP) in return.

But not in the case of the damn, dirty Gimme Cat.

Encounter this feline abomination during the game and, right at the start of the battle, it'll bellow, "Gimme a diamond, meow!"

The obvious implication is that doing so will net the player a tasty bonus in recompense, but alas, Gimme Cat just responds by shouting, "Meow, meow, meow! I fooled you!" and running away from the battle with diamond in tow.

The only giveaway that you're about to be scammed is the fact that Gimme Cat's battle music remains hostile, while the battle music for the genuinely well-meaning critters it markedly different.

This was a total stitch-up on the part of the developers, though, in getting players used to a certain transactional language only to flip it on its head in the most hilarious, trollish way.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.