Videogames and Empathy

One thing that videogames are indisputably good at is putting an individual in someone else’s shoes. As I ready through ways that people connect real life to videogames, I came across this news segment about a game-developer father creating a game that allows people to step into the role of a father caring for his son with cancer.

Whether or not other games like it will be made is a question beause gamers cannot “win” a level in the traditional sense; on the first level of this empathy game, the only way to move on is to go to the window and hit “pray.” This is disturbingly realistic and may not appeal to all gamers, many of whom turn to videogames as a way to decompress.

However, I feel that this sort of videogame presence is an important one to have, even if it is not very popular, because it gives people the opportunity to experience someone else’s suffering. Even if it is not widely played, an awareness is created that cannot be ignored (I have not played this game, but was moved just by reading the article about it).

This article shows that videogames do not exist solely to take people away from their lives and responsibilities; they can have real world applications, such as evoking empathy.


One thought on “Videogames and Empathy”

  1. I love this post! I think for a while in this course, I have been saying that some video games set out to evoke certain emotions in people and they aren’t necessarily achieved.

    I think what I like the most about it, although I feel this video game makes it a little drastic, is the real life application. I think McGonigal would not per say approve of the video game itself, but of the effort that is made by the producers to evoke emotion and to connect the virtual world to the real world.

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