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Has gaming ever offered a bright, happy future?

Electronic optimism

A few weeks back Warren "Deus Ex" Spector tweeted an interesting question.

And I've been struggling to think of a good answer.

My first thought was Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, its bright world packed with positive characters. But it doesn't hold up. It's, of course, a world on the brink of destruction, evil in the East spreading West, towns in despondence, hope being lost. I guess it comes to mind because it's a game where you apparently really do fix all that as you play, and make the world a better, happier place. But no, it's not a good enough answer.

So what is?

I think you can cheat the question. You can pick some daft cartoon platformer where the focus is on silly, but I'd argue this isn't specifically about a positive future. It's not about developing a coherent world where things are bright and happy. And heck, the vast majority of colourful platform games are about that bucolic world being infested with nasty evil. (Which I think disqualifies even the likes of Super Mario Galaxy.)

I think the trick has to be, finding a game that's about an optimistic outlook, rather than saying, "Slime Rancher is bright and fun." Sure it is, but it's got nothing to do with a bright, happy future.

So? Any ideas? And isn't it awful that it's so hard to think of one?

About the Author

John Walker avatar

John Walker

Disposable

Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run buried-treasure.org

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