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SGS Feature: 'Playing With Fire: The Little Game That Could'

Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source discusses the Zidane 'headbutt' newsgame, citing it as an example of
October 18, 2006
Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source discusses the Zidane 'headbutt' newsgame, citing it as an example of why 'games do not necessarily need to be fun'. Specifically, IT University of Copenhagen researcher and Powerful Robot Games co-founder Gonzalo Frasca examines how serious-themed games are perceived by the gaming community as well as the gaming industry, and how these, and video games in general have historically not been fairly judged. In this excerpt, Frasca offers his opinion on the differences between serious games and those which are more mainstream, noting that a lack of entertainment does not necessarily make for a poorly made game: “We take for granted that all games should work like commercial games but we could not be more wrong. Not all games should provide 40-80 hours of gameplay. Not all games should have top of the line production values. We don’t expect that to happen in other media and we shouldn’t expect it in video games. The ultimate truth behind all this is that games do not necessarily need to be fun. Yes, that’s right. Fun is overrated. Games need to be compelling, they need to grab our attention, they need to give us something that we didn’t have before we played them. Newscasts do not need to be fun. Kafka is definitively not fun. Ideas do not need to be fun. Still, we cannot imagine a world without news, drama or philosophy.” You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject, including more thoughts from Frasca concerning how serious games are viewed (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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