Welcome one and all to a very Athena Veta season of good will! Athena’s a friend of the show, as it were, and general all-around cool person; she also happens to be extremely smart, so check out her blog at the AmbiGaming Corner for deep and well-considered thoughts on what we can learn from gaming as well as a whole bunch of other always-interesting stuff.
For the holiday season this year, Athena’s coordinated an event based on that classic Marmite of tunes (you love it or you hate it): The Twelve Days of Christmas. Each day from December 26th to January 6th, we’ll look at a gamified version of one of the song’s lines until eventually we have 364 gamey gifts!
On the tenth day of Blogmas, the gamers said to me: What are three things you want gamers to know about games for the new year?
Wow, that’s a big question. I don’t think I’m an authority on this, but here we go:
3. Kingdom Hearts III is happening and I will not be caring about anything else for a short amount of time (or possibly a long one).
2. Games are works of art and part of culture. This means that they can legitimately be analysed in context as political statements, assuming that there’s grounds within the game itself for doing so. It also means that they can deliver messages or statements which may be uplifting to people, or indeed offensive to people. If someone finds something within a game offensive, don’t assume they’re being whiny or a snowflake or an ‘SJW’ or whatever; in an age in which people from all kinds of minority groups can share their opinions more widely via the Internet (when before their voices would have been silenced or censored), we are responsible for listening to them about the real harm that portrayals or elements of culture can do. So… I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than that you should respect someone’s perspective on a game even if you disagree with it.
1. Games are also fun, and it’s OK to just enjoy a game even if it’s not an award-winner or a major artistic achievement. Like movies or books, some of the creations in any form of media will be thought-provoking and perhaps challenging, while others will just be for the purpose of enjoyment. Both are valid. If you want to play something fun, easy, relaxing, then go for it. Whatever helps you take care of you is a completely acceptable way to enjoy your hobby.
So, in short, respect other people and yourself.
Of course, I’m writing this in advance, so I don’t know who else is taking part or what they’ll have written, but I bet there are a bunch of other awesome people writing incredibly cool things on this very topic today, so check out the AmbiGaming Corner and probably Twitter for some links! See you tomorrow for the next day of Blogmas…