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About bvanevery

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  1. bvanevery

    No market for 'good games'?

    Games are actually a medium. Nobody says the point of reading a book is to have "fun". Books are put to many purposes. The challenge of course is getting people to play a game. Same as getting people to read a book. There is very little to say about whether games can or can't influence people's behavior, because very few game developers make any effort to try to do that. It is equally clear that trying to influence people is R&D, not something that is generally done or that people generally know how to do. This again is why I say the discussion has to become specific. Generalized problems of human motivation and action are intractable.
  2. bvanevery

    No market for 'good games'?

    You have left out people who haven't made up their mind one way or the other. "Fence sitters" who hem and haw about whether they should or shouldn't do something. Ignorant people who don't even know there's something they could do, who haven't even thought about the moral dimensions of their action or inaction. You haven't discussed any calibration of what you actually want people to do, how large these "good deeds" are. Are you trying to get someone to volunteer at a food bank every weekend? Are you trying to get people to refrain from using racist, sexist, orientational, or biological slurs at other people's expense? Just how many hours of effort do these good deeds cost someone? Personally I also believe that abstract discussions of things like this are pointless. Any specific desired behavior takes a lot of insight and work to try to get anyone to do it. Just one area of do-gooderism can surely fill up a game. You haven't discussed the importance of showing up and being represented, with a point of view that is otherwise unpopular, marginal, or invisible in society. Concrete example: I used to be involved in the Western North Carolina Humanists, before it fell apart due to various people's lack of effort. Churches would show up at public events all the time, putting out their usual messages. Some positive, but some hateful, because it's the Bible Belt. And of course, churches are there to push God and the value of religion. When we showed up, with the Secular Humanist point of view, some people would get really bothered by us and call us devil worshippers. But others would be awfully glad that we were out there, having a presence, stating that there are other ways to look at life and more importantly to do good than viewing everything as some kind of divine struggle.
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