I am deeply saddened by the local Colorado movie shooting deaths. Despite the fact that no close friends or family were involved, I feel compelled to take some sort of action. After thinking long and hard, I came to the realization that the best thing I can do is to renew my efforts at making positive, family-friendly, and social video games. The connection may not be obvious, as it is only a matter of time before the media starts to make video games into a scapegoat.
But I prefer to focus on the positive potential of video games to bring people together, which is one of the aspects that distinguishes Dani Bunten from her contemporaries. Dani’s vision of the social potential of video games was truly prophetic in the dark ages of dial-up. But she realized the value of play in socialization: “When I was a kid,” said Dani “the only times my family spent together that weren’t totally dysfunctional were when we were playing games. Consequently, I believe games are a wonderful way to socialize.” Thus she dedicated her career to designing games that pioneered human interaction.
Continuing in this vein, I create games to make the world a better place. Offering lonely kids and teens a way to connect with family and friends in a non-violent but still fun and competitive video game is something the world needs more of. Many families are simply too busy to always gather around the dining room table or living room TV and spend quality time together. Asynchronous play games like Alpha Colony can still offer a connection and shared experience even when a family has trouble sitting down together. At this point, little is known of suspect James Holmes’ motives, but what we do know seems to fit the common smart, socially awkward, middle-class gamer mold we have seen before. I firmly believe that social games like ours can help smart and shy young people connect with others in a safe environment.
-Christopher Williamson, DreamQuest Games