The game The Shivah is a game about a rabbi in New York City trying to solve a murder. Naturally, it explores religious themes.
Now my general understanding that the so-called category of “serious” games were those comissioned by organizations outside of the entertainment industry (government agencies, non profit organizations etc.) to make games about their relavant topics to entertain+educate at the same time. Seems like a useful thing, sure.
But because the game industry as a whole simply has no conception that a game can have explore themes meaningful to the world outside the game industry, The Shivah gets lumped in with the above. At GDC this month, the developer of the Shivah gave a talk the Serious Games Summit.
Now, to be be fair, the folks who were actually organizing the GDC probably just didn’t have a better place to put it, I’m sure. But that’s the problem, right, there’s no place for it! The game industry steadfastly refuses to give up the notion that games *must* be fun. Never mind there’s all sorts of entertainment that you’d be hard pressed to classify as “fun”.
Which is why Chris Hecker was right in his rant against the Wii, but I’ll get to that later.