fish[2]I think that there has been a lot of discussion as to whether games can be considered art. Now I certainly believe that they have the capacity to be art, though the majority would be better qualified as entertainment. That is by no means a criticism, as most other forms of media I would qualify as entertainment.

For instance most movies, tv, book etc l would also classify as entertainment. I think that to be considered art, a piece of media had to be able to produce an emotional response, such as anger or saddness. Now these would be unusual for the average summer blockbuster or tom clancy thriller.

I am not saying that games are incapable of prompting an emotional response, or at least some try. Most recent that I can think of being mass effect 2 (I won’t go into due to spoilers). Though I think for me the best case is final fantasy 7 when Aeris is killed (surely not a spoiler after all this time). Though generally it is up to the more indie games and modders to produce the more touching imagesgames (dear ester springs to mind), i suppose as is also the case in movies.

I play games to be entertained, much like I go to the movies. I recently went to go see Thor, which is a great movie but didn’t exactly engage me emotional. However there are big movies that do this very well, inception and watchmen to name a couple.

What really does surprise me is that more, well any, mmo’s don’t try and tug the heart strings a bit. Your talking about games that ask people put a gre129144389031472576at deal of time in, they seem ideally suited to prompt emotional connections with a game character.

For instance, you could have a NPC that you spend a lot of time with and at some point in the game you have to make a choice about their future. At a basic level something like saving your NPC friend or a town full of people. Obviously this can been taken to any extent the developer wants, it just a little sad no one tries. In fact probably the only emotion that is really aimed for on a regular basis is fear, and that is done with various levels of success (yes I am looking at you dead space, gorey does not automatically mean scary).

I believe that if games genuinely want to be taken seriously we are going to need, humm a few less blockbusters and a few more heart warming tales.