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Friday, July 6, 2007
Games With A Message
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Gamasutra has posted an article examining the use of computer games to promote messages and educate the public. The article offers commentary from some of those involved in the creation of such "serious games" about the current state of the fledgling genre and their hopes for the future.

Headline-grabbing subjects like global warming or third-world poverty (as seen in the popular Ayiti: The Cost of Life) aren’t the only ones tackled in serious games. Some of the genre’s most captivating offerings take on topics that are a bit further from the limelight.

Take Persuasive Games’ Disaffected!, which puts players “in the role of employees forced to service customers under the particular incompetences common to a Kinko’s store.” Bogost says he made the game because “Kinko’s is a place I both frequent and abhor and I felt that a satire of it had the opportunity to speak to a whole range of people.”

“Getting crappy service at Kinko’s is a mundane, everyday experience that all of us have had,” he adds. “Why does it happen? We don’t answer that question in the game, but we offer players the chance to step behind the counter and imagine what forces might be driving these dissatisfied workers. Is it simple incompetence? Sedition? Labor issues?”

Similar questions are addressed in another of Persuasive Games’ offerings: Airport Insecurity. “It’s another everyday experience that I hoped players could start to ask questions about,” Bogost says. “I’m really much more interested in the mundane than the serious. It’s just that our work often breaks a lot of unspoken rules about what can be represented in a video game.”
Head over to the site below to read more.

Gamasutra: Who Says Games Have To Be Fun?

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