Top 5: Biggest Tear-Jerkers

The video games as art debate is a ridiculous sham. It seems that many who fall on the "games are not art" side have rarely or never played a video game, often a product of an older generation. If your only experience with video games is hearing news reports about 7 year olds beating up hookers in Grand Theft Auto, then of course your view will be ignorant and bigoted. But that doesn't give critical validity to start creating arguments against that with which you are very unfamiliar. I know surprisingly little about Somalian Islamic Literature, which is why I don't make inflammatory statements about it. To suggest that any video game is incapable of being art is remarkably narrow-minded.

Television and movies choreograph all characters' actions and responses, leaving the viewer as a mere canvas on which the creator's views and reactions are imprinted. Though it's often that a viewer connects with a character and draws individual interpretations, their failures and triumphs can always be placed on the choices of the individual. With gaming, however, the connection can be just as deep, and to some, deeper. When our character fails, we grumble. When our character succeeds, we rejoice. Don't like the outcome? Well, then, you should've done things differently, dummy. While I'm not suggesting that games are better than film, they are simply different and arguably just as valid as high art. At a primitive level, it's not uncommon to punch the sofa in anger after failing a gaming objective. Just the same, it's nearly expected to vocalize with triumph after conquering the same obstacle. Emotional response does not automatically equal art, but creating something which vents one's senses and emotions and appeals to those of others certainly is. Different than stubbing your toe or finding 20 bucks in the street, gaming situations were carefully orchestrated to provide an experience which is dependent on the gamer to interpret. Why should emotions such as fear, love, and sadness be excluded from gaming?

Making my way down from my soapbox, I'll say that perhaps the most intimate display of emotion is crying. Here's the Top 5 moments in gaming that seem to get me every time. SPOILER ALERT: I hate having something ruined just as much as you do, so I'm giving a fair warning right now. This list contains spoilers for several high profile Nintendo titles. None are from the Wii (excluding the Virtual Console), but I will say that the fifth item refers to the WiiWare-bound Cave Story. If you haven't played the game and plan on purchasing it (which you definitely should!), please skip to number four.

The Top 5 is a weekly feature that provides us with a forum to share our opinions on various aspects of the video game culture, and provides you with a forum to tell us how wrong we are. To further voice your opinions, submit a vote in the Wii Fanboy Poll, and take part in the daily discussions of Wii Warm Up.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.