Can a video game speak to the heart?

Peter Molyneux, the creative force behind the Fable series and the seminal god game Populous gave an emotive panel at SXSW on Sunday entitled “The Emotion Engine: Can a Video Game Speak to the Heart?”

Molyneux set out to take issue with the premise most people don’t find video games as emotionally engaging as films, claiming that games actually had huge expressive potential.

Talking to Frank Rose of Wired, Molyneux revealed some information about his new Fable III project, hinting at the fact it would be revolutionary in terms of “user choice.”

“We need games that aren’t based on the rulebooks of the American Hollywood industry,” he proclaimed to much audience applause.

The gaming guru also spent much time discussing how he felt games needed to be more joyful and less dark and creepy, but then went on to ask how a player would feel if a character in a game could fall in love with the gamer. 

Er, creeped out!

“You should be able to get married to your co-op player,” he declared.

Another interesting point made by Molyneux was about gamers’ “choice” in terms of sexual orientation in a game. For instance, wouldn’t it be interesting if some games, by default, had gay characters?

“This freedom of choice is at the core of Fable,” he said.

“There is tremendous pressure from the game industry to make games about weapons,” he added, clearly preferring his players to make love rather than war.

After all, he concluded, shouldn’t technology enhance what is means to be human?