It is always difficult to talk about emotions, most people say that they know what they are until you ask them to actually define them. Video games try one way or other to manipulate the emotions of the player, but all not emotions leave a permanent memory. Fear can be a strong emotion but it generally leaves few traces in the memories of the player; luckily so because when it does it’s became a pathology. However the emotions considered as being complex (sympathy, compassion) can leave us, for many years, with the memory of a movie or a book.
Animals seem to be able to feel certain emotions known as basic emotions: fear, joy , sadness, disgust, surprise or anger. These emotions considered by many specialists to be wonderful tools allowing species to adapt and survive in numerous situations. However only human bein have developed large fontal brain lobes permiting important social cognition, and sophisticated capacity for recognizing and dealing with the emotions of other people. Many medias produce these emotions, Video games do this less often producing frequently a caricature of this media.
There are already a lot of video games that produce everyday, all kinds of different emotions for the players, however we would like to highlight the work carried out by the studios that produce specific human emotions through this interactive media which is the video game.
If fear is the emotion that is the most frequently used by advertisers or totalitarian politicians, it is because it is quite easy to produce and usually creates submission . Like most people we enjoy the feeling of being scared in games and we assume this pleasure, however we also think that a video game in its interactive dimension should also be recognized for the quality of the complex emotions it produces.
Of course, there is no question of favoring only the games that make the players cry ! We will be analyzing as objectively as possible who are the authors and the studios that have tried the hardest to produce specific human emotions. The video game is partly defined by its interactive aspects, this is the particular notion that we wish to find in the productions that are going to be assessed. On the other hand, the emotions that request the most the distinctive features of the human brain like empathy and compassion will be favored.
There are already ceremony awards that highlight the emotions known as basic emotions which are produced by many video games and we can congratulate ourselves about this. We do not want to create a form of elitism, we just want to judge in the most objective way possible, the complex emotions produced by the video game industry. You said objective ? As objective as possible as one can be when judging the quality of a movie, a book or a video game…
In video games the complexity and the quality of the emotions that we feel, more or less set our memories . You can be frightened twenty times by an alien, lost alone in space and not even keep any memories of this three months after playing this game on your favorite console. But you will never forget the sadness you felt and the context of the day where in a video game, your friend, or your pet disappeared, or the joy you felt when you finally found him alive. Many scientific researches show how the emotional feeling of the players influences the quality of the immersion and the feeling of presence in the video games. It is to this end, to improve, to question and also to highlight emotional experiences of quality, that we humbly give out these awards
At a time when video game is unfortunately still associated with violence and the worst atrocities, it is good to remember that the video game is also known to be the best of humanity and to promote it.
Dr. Erik GESLIN — Emotional Games Awards founder.