Is A Game Really "Just A Game"?
Posted on Wednesday, December 1 @ 15:46:11 PST by Jesse_CostantinoWe gamers have a built-in reflex whenever some controversy rears its ugly head in the gaming world. Rather than admit that a game may indeed be racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive, we shout as loudly as we can via forums, comments, and blog posts that it’s “just a game".
At the same time—alongside the rise of independent games and so-called art games—many of us gamers insist that there are deeper meanings to the games we play. Mario isn’t simply rescuing a princess; he’s overcoming his sexual insecurities. And Samus Aran isn’t just battling space pirates; she’s a force of nature seeking to restore ecological balance.
Am I reading too much into these classics? Absolutely. But if the alternative is to say that they’re “just games”, then maybe we all should read too much into the games we play. Besides, the rise of acutely self-referential games like No More Heroes, Braid, and Vanquish leads me to believe I’m really not that far off.
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