How can game developers create entertaining experiences that have the potential to affect the player outside of the game?
In his book A Theory of Fun (2005), Koster explains that every medium influences its user, and games is not an exception. Even so, he argues that games right now seem to have a very limited palette of expression, which is something worth expanding on. He reasons that games (and media in general) has a social responsibility, meaning that its developers need to be responsible with their creations and to work towards the betterment of society. Whether this is true or not, it is a goal that we as developers would like to pursue as we see it as an important step for games to take, in order to be accepted by those that stand outside the gaming culture. We believe that games as a medium can handle mature and important topics relevant to society and the people living in it.
Just like Jonathan Blow made a game about forgiveness with Braid (2008), we would like to tackle a theme that is important to people in our current society. One could argue that for every human, there is a unique way of perceiving the world. With life philosophies being a subjective matter at its core, is it possible for humans with different backgrounds to truly understand and accept one another? If games could be used to help humans understand the value of acceptance, the next generation of humanity (i.e. those born in the 90s) who have games as one of their primary mediums of entertainment could be positively influenced. Jesse Schell, a famous game design teacher at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that every designer has a responsibility with his creations (2008). Schell explains that this responsibility is as simple as asking yourself the question; “Does my game help people?” He visions this responsibility as a ring to be carried on our pinky fingers, so that every time our hands touch something we are reminded of that responsibility towards our players. After two years of studying game design and art, it is time for us to put on that ring.