I wonder to what degree sadness can be included in games.
People who think of games purely in terms of fun often suggest that making players sad or angry should never be a goal. But it's clear that this industry has potential for becoming an artistic medium, like films or music. As I've said many times before, games don't have to be fun. They just have to be compelling. Countless films have become very popular and financially successful while focusing on effects other than fun and joy; such as Ben Hur, Schindler's List, Pay It Forward, and Saving Private Ryan. In fact, serious themes are expected in most entertainment. How many comedies can you name without any?
So I don't question if more seriously-toned games could be popular. Of course they could. Nothing about the medium prevents a serious focus. And a serious focus certainly doesn't exclude fun or light entertainment. There are plenty of jokes in Fiddler on the Roof and Patton.
The reason I wonder how sadness can be incorporated into games is because sadness is a negative force. It more often drains us than motivates. And games, more than any other medium, rely on the will of the audience. Games require more investment than movies to continue.
What do you think? Is incorporating sadness into games a challenge?