To sum up the last two posts:
Will Wright believes that a player’s satisfaction from interacting with a videogame should be on a primarily intellectual level.
I’m not saying he’s wrong. In fact I’d say that this describes 99% of the games currently on the market, including several that I enjoy and recommend.
That does not mean that games should not attempt to engage a player on an emotional level as well. Games that do so successfully have enormous power and often enormous popularity and longevity.
The way to engage a player on an emotional level is through the effective use of characters, setting and story.
It is not until games regularly engage their audience on an emotional level that the “are games art?” debate will be of interest to anyone beyond games designers and a few academics.
You may, if you want, take this as a manifesto.
A question, more of a request really: what games do engage their players emotionally? Post ’em in the comments, please: let’s make a list. Justify your choices; show working; use both sides of the screen. I’ll start with the four obvious ones: Nintendogs (Nintendo, 2005); Animal Crossing (Nintendo, 2001-2005); Final Fantasy VII (Square Co.,1997) and, of course, Planetfall (Infocom, 1983)