Video Games As A Catalyst For Empathy And Perspective Taking
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Video games today are an expanding their reach into greater popular acceptance and are broadening the diversity of content, and despite relative youth compared to more mature expressive mediums like literature and film, people are critically analyzing games and trying to hold games as an entire medium to a higher standard of quality. In particular many people are calling for more development of and championing existing games that address meaningful topics, like global conflict, mental illness, and complexity of relationships, that elevate games to become more culturally meaningful and reflective of human truths. In particular, empathy in games and as a result of games is a growing area of research. This thesis addresses how games can elicit empathy and explores the interplay of intractable conflict, empathy, and prejudice, generally, and through an experiment with a strategy game, PeaceMaker, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The thesis concludes with a culmination of what the findings of this research and recommendations for the industry to create more impactful games.