Will Wright used to work on The Sims – one of the most popular, gender neutral, games ever to grace an X-box. A while back he createed a new game called Spore which is even less about shoot’em up but still has an edge of grit about it. When you know the subject you will understand why.
It’s a game about evolution – not about our evolution, but about the process of evolution, a process which, in this case, is directed by you the player. You can create and adapt creatures, landscapes, weather systems and buildings. It’s interesting because Will’s stated aim is to make people think about the future, to think about the long-term view, not the short term view and watching creatures and civilisations evolve over time certainly does that. It’s effect is to make us view ourselves sub specie aeternatis, under the gaze of eternity – under God’s gaze?
There’s an Chinese proverb,
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
Games that encourage players to think and engage rather than gain points for being a show-off and a bully (SSX on Tour does this though I love it so…) are inherently giving players a more spiritual life-value. We should encourage and promote them – they help people understand just how small they really are.