Life is hard, few people would argue that point, though what makes it hard is always a topic for discussion. Stress, work, the whole “hell is other people” thing, it all feeds into the need to occasionally just take a break and escape from it all. I’ve told some of my students that the way that I deal with them after a long day of teaching college freshmen is to go home, turn on my Xbox, and play Payday 2.
That’s the reason we play these kinds of games, why we hop onto various and sundry online games and blow each other away and perform acts that would likely get us imprisoned, or at the very least deported. But that’s obviously not what games are for. It’s been suggested that games are becoming the new literature, a form of storytelling that demands interactivity, yet at the same time follows the same paths to the same expected point. While the Limbos and Braids and Bastions and Journeys of the gaming world have been tugging at our heartstrings and also making us believe that we were lucky to not be eviscerated by spiders during our childhood, another new genre has been creeping out of the indie market in the last few years: the so-called “empathy game”. Continue reading