Can we have adult conversations about video games?

Final Fantasy XVI takes a mature turn, tackling complex themes with depictions of sex and violence. Are video games ready for adult conversations about content?

Final Fantasy XVI, the latest installment in the beloved franchise, is breaking new ground by adopting a more mature take on high fantasy. While the series has traditionally catered to teenagers and young adults, this latest entry aims to broaden its audience with a more adult-oriented story and plot. With depictions of sex and violence that are somewhat unprecedented for the series, it raises the question: should we engage with this game and others like it in the same way we do with mature movies and literature? Has the video game industry matured enough to have adult conversations about the content it produces?

Video games have always been a topic of contention regarding their classification as an art form and their eligibility for critical analysis, on par with movies and literature. While they offer interactive entertainment, they also possess a captivating visual storytelling capability akin to traditional art forms. However, gamers often dismiss problematic elements in video games, such as misogyny, racism, and homophobia, by diminishing their impact as “just a video game.” Anytime someone highlights these aspects, they are vilified. One example of this was the rise of the Feminist Frequency. While Anita Sarkeesian may have haphazardly critiqued the rampant nature of misogyny in video games, it was met with incredible backlash and pushback. Many creators and journalists who voice their concerns about problematic aspects in video games are met with vitriol to say the least.

In this article, we delve deeper into the need to subject video games to rigorous analysis, exploring their potential to shape cultures and influence people’s perceptions.

The Power of Video Games:

Many gamers can attest to the profound impact their favorite games have had on their lives, often helping them grow and develop as individuals. It is essential to recognize that video games are not just frivolous entertainment but a powerful medium with immense cultural reach. They possess the ability to evoke emotions, instigate thought, and create memorable experiences. Whether through compelling narratives, immersive worlds, or thought-provoking gameplay mechanics, video games have the potential to resonate deeply with players.

Video Games as Art:

The question of whether video games can be considered art has sparked ongoing debate. While art can manifest in various forms, it fundamentally seeks to evoke emotions, provoke thought, and provide commentary on the human condition. In this sense, video games share common ground with movies and literature. They possess narrative arcs, complex character development, visually stunning aesthetics, and the capacity to explore profound themes. Just like a painting or a novel, a video game can elicit a wide range of emotions, convey social and political messages, and challenge our perspectives.

Accountability and Critical Analysis:

If we wish to elevate video games to the same level as movies and literature, we cannot exempt them from critical analysis. Just as a New York Times bestseller or an Academy Award-winning film faces scrutiny, video games deserve to be subject to thorough examination. Critics and enthusiasts alike should engage with the content, not merely on a surface level but by delving into the artistic and thematic dimensions.

By subjecting video games to critical analysis, we gain a deeper understanding of their societal impact. For example, scrutinizing how games portray gender, race, sexuality, or violence allows us to reflect on the underlying messages conveyed and their potential implications. It also prompts us to evaluate the industry’s commitment to inclusivity and representation. Holding video games accountable for problematic or inappropriate elements encourages developers to strive for more thoughtful storytelling, nuanced character representation, and responsible depictions of sensitive topics.

Just as we engage with mature movies and literature, it is important to approach video games like Final Fantasy XVI with an open mind and a willingness to critically analyze their content. Mature narratives can provide thought-provoking social commentary, explore complex emotions, and tackle moral dilemmas in a unique and interactive way. By embracing the mature themes within video games, we foster a deeper appreciation for the medium’s potential as a platform for storytelling.


Final Fantasy XVI’s shift towards a more mature narrative exemplifies the evolving nature of video games as an art form. Video games have undeniably matured as a medium, warranting the same level of seriousness and respect as movies and literature. Recognizing their potential as an art form and subjecting them to critical analysis is not an attempt to condemn or censor but a call for growth, accountability, and inclusivity. Engaging in thoughtful conversations and holding creators accountable ensures that video games continue to evolve as a powerful medium that both entertains and enlightens.

Let us embrace the opportunity to explore the rich artistic landscape of video games, appreciating their impact on cultures and people’s perceptions. By encouraging a deeper understanding of their artistic and cultural significance, we can foster an environment that encourages responsible creation, diverse representation, and meaningful storytelling. Ultimately, through critical analysis and accountability, video games can continue to push boundaries, challenge conventions, and inspire players on a profound level.

About Author

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :