Involved, terrified, nervous and excited was how I used to describe my feelings to my teaching students when I playing Predator vs the Alien. This was in the context of trying to convey the power that computer games can have over the player in terms of making them believe they are there....
A similar thing happened to me recently when I played the Darfur is Dying game. This game requires you to select a character from a Sudanese family who must go outside in to the dangerous worn torn area to retrieve water for their family. The only problem is that an armoured vehicle with a merciless group soldiers/militia from the Janjaweed and if they find your character they will kill him/her.
Some people may think that it is rather incongruous to link the terrible reality of the situation in Darfur with a game but I tell you that this game made me empathise with the situation there much more than any news broadcast has yet to do. I went and found out much more about the Darfur crisis as a result and am now much more knowledgeable about this...really because of my experience playing the game.
I believe that this is yet another example of how the games context can be used to great effect to help make learning real, relevant and in some cases hard-hitting.
Other sites that you may find useful in this context are:
A small middle eastern town has terrorists mingling with civilians. They look similar in terms of dress but when you identify a terrorist and send in your rockets to kill them you find that they generally escape and the people who suffer in the ensuing blast are civilian men, women and children. Makes you think about collateral damage. Certainly not an enjoyable game...more unsettling.
A strange little game that has a number of characters holding flames of remembrance for the people murdered in the Madrid bomb blasts. The problem is that these lights go out and you must continually click on them to keep the fire of remembrance burning....
Powerful stuff here. Any other similar games that people know of?