It seemed that, as a class, we generally believed that in order for videogames to be successful, they need to have some sort of “fun” component in them. Of course, there are many different ways to define “successful” but in this context I’m using 1) How wide of an audience does the game capture and 2) How impactful is the game on players to measure the level of success. Typically, these factors grow when there are more stereotypical “fun” elements included within a game. We seemed to really struggle with the idea that a successful videogame, aka a game with a lot of “fun”, could also be serious. But it seems less strange to assume a game can be both “fun” and serious when we consider how sports have become an incredible vehicle to address social, racial and political issues. Simplified, the only difference between sports and videogames is the physical vs the virtual but as time goes on and technology continues to advance, I believe the boundaries between these two will continue to blur, much like the premise behind the sci-fi novel, Ready, Player One (but probably to a lesser extent).
The major aspect holding videogames back from being greater impacts on “serious” issues is the generational gap that exists; one of the article options for class supported this notion, stating, “The generation that grew up with Super Mario is entering the workplace, entering politics, so they see games as just another good tool to use to communicate,” he added. “If games are going to be a mature medium, they’re going to serve a variety of functions. It’s like with film. We think first of using it for entertainment, but then also for education and advertising and politics and all that stuff.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/arts/23thom.html?ex=1185076800&en=2365cab8f8972ab8&ei=5070) Games will be more and more influential as time goes on. Eventually, I believe the cultural moments and lessons captured in sports, such as when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the Olympic podiums as a human rights salute, will be able to be captured in game play without the medium being the source of controversy.