Are video games only meant to be fun

Although many people see videogames as only meant for the purpose of having fun, I think that a lot of learning can be done by playing them. It makes sense that the creators of the games will emphasize fun in their games. This will attract a bigger audience and increase their revenues. People often want to escape from real life and use the fun part of gaming as an outlet from their real lives. They want to take a break from learning and just have fun.

However, I think that it is also important to create games with a learning aspect. Most people in the younger generations play videogames and a really easy way from them to learn is through gaming. If a game is a simulation of history or current events, the player can learn just as much, if not more, by playing this game rather than reading about the event. They can be put in the place of someone making important decisions or as a person living through the conflict. The player will get a better understanding of that part of history or time period by being immersed within that society.

In an article I read for class, someone created a videogame about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Players can either be the Israeli Prime Minister or the president of Palestine. In the game, players must make decisions and be forced to live with the consequences of their decisions. Due to the nature of the conflict, it is hard to please both sides, which the players learn while taking either side. The person who developed the game believes that a player can learn more playing for a few hours than reading about the conflict.

I believe that games such as this one are fun in the sense that the player will come out of the game with a whole new perspective or understanding of a point in history. It is just not the typical kind of fun people associate with gaming.

One thought on “Are video games only meant to be fun

  1. It is interesting to revisit this post after visiting the Highway of Tears virtual reality exhibit, because I see a lot of parallels between that game and the Israel-Palestine conflict game you talk about here. Highway of Tears is also educational and spreads awareness, which are positive outcomes, but the subject is so dark and sad that it doesn’t contain what I would typically consider “fun.” Before this class, I would not have even considered games like these to be “games” but I have realized throughout the semester how much variability there is in what constitutes a game, and that educational experiences such as these can be games, too.


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