It is no secret that I want games to make me feel things. And I think it’s quite safe to assume that everyone here at +10 feels much the same way. I definitely am not discounting games that exist purely for fun (recently Syn, Mhorgain and I have been playing around in Creativerse–if you like building stuff you should check it out!) but the games I consistently find myself searching for are the ones that will really resonate with me. Games that will make me feel. Turns out there’s a group of people seeking out the same sorts of games with the intent of handing out awards “to video game companies and professionals in our industry to specifically reward the quality of the emotions produced in this medium.”
Judging by their website, the emotions they seem most interested in are empathy and passion. They want games that make you cry, that make you feel sympathy, and that make you feel those emotions strongly.
My hope (and I imagine theirs as well) is that having these awards will encourage game developers to work harder at making experiences that touch players in the same way other forms of entertainment so often do. But I also hope that they will consider awarding a wider range of emotions than just sadness or empathy. I want games that encourage joy and hope; games that will make me laugh out loud not just from silly gameplay or glitches, but from humorous characters and stories (Octodad: Dadliest Catch is excellent at this). I want games that will fill me with a sense of wonder and inspire me to be the best me I can be. There is a wide range of emotions in this world, and I hope that the Emotional Games Awards will acknowledge that.
For many years I thought that the surest way to succeed in any form of storytelling was to make a person cry. And while it’s true that people can cry of happiness just as much as sadness (I cry at the end of Journey every time I play it, for a multitude of reasons), there are other displays of emotion that one should be equally as proud of. I hope to see games that are genuinely funny and scary and happy also make it on the list. If games are to grow, we must encourage them to accomplish the full spectrum of emotion.
Entry for the Emotional Video Games Awards opens Friday, December 11th (that’s tomorrow!) and you can enter by visiting their website. The awards will be held February 12, 2016.
Best of luck to all who enter! ♥