Reading Response 4



1.     The author argues that documentary games are an emerging genre, and are a new explorative take on the classic narrative/education hybrid of the documentary.  There is a vagary pertaining to whether one can appropriately balance entertainment and stating a point of view, but primarily the emergence of documentary games is seen as a positive.

2.     It is quite possible for a game to have a point of view and to be fun, but I feel like that requires dedication and sheer belief on the part of the designer.  It is the designer’s responsibility to make the player think, and if the designer is just looking to proselytize or, alternatively, to just make a point, he won’t reach the healthy medium.  Effective polemical games are far and few between.

3.     I play mostly brain-dead action games, if I’m being brutally honest, but I have played Oiligarchy, which is against oil drilling, and Anti-Monopoly, which is a variant on monopoly that points out how monopolistic tendencies make the real estate market unfair for competitors.

4.     Documentary games and documentary films, at least at first, have the same intention of changing or at least reinforcing the viewer’s opinions.  However, while a documentary is not necessarily obliged to be “edutainment” because at its most bare-bones it can merely be a restatement of fact, games do have a responsibility to entertain and maintain attention.  In my opinion if a game’s excuse for not being fun is “we were trying to make a point,” then it is not a successful game.

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