Gaming with Kids: A Clue to the Future
Just finished reading an excellent column by Colleen Hannon over at GamerDad. The article covers some issues about how parents ought to be involved with their kids' gaming, but what struck me more was her description of playing Fable with her kids.
She played it first to be sure it was ok (it's rated M, after all), and then allowed her kids to play, supervised, of course. Hannon cites the depth of cause and effect, choice and consequence, as one of the key aspects of this game that make it good for playing with children. She used this central gameplay mechanic as a jumping off point for many discussions with her children about morality, life, the universe, etc.
One son even found that though he had played as evil throughout the game, he couldn't bring himself to make the final, ultimate choice as an evil character. Here the game is not just a tool of self-expression, but of self-discovery.
To me, this marks a step on the way toward games as art.