Rampant Games - Games with Messages
Jay Barnson's latest blog post discusses games that carry a message - such as a moral or educational subtext - and whether that can damage the gameplay:
I take a pretty firm stance that video games should be entertaining. Even if a game is supposed to be educational – or rather, especially if it is supposed to be educational – it is only successful at its job if the player finds himself enjoying the exercise. Otherwise, you may as well just be doing plain ol’ rote drills, watching an instructional video, or reading a manual. (I feel the same way about movies – including documentaries. Anything you’d go to a theater or rent a disc to see.)
But even for games where entertainment is the primary focus – a game intended for the masses (or for the hundreds or thousands, for many indie games): Should games have a message? Should games contain controversial themes? If I’m playing a game for entertainment, am I going to be angry if the game also tries to drive home a politically-charged message to me?
For me – the answer is maybe.