I'm not sure what inspired the study, but according to Bowen Research, a company that specializes in this sort of thing, more than two thirds of all video gamers feel that video games already surpass, or will soon at least equal movies, music and books in delivering an emotional impact.
"It is striking that young people today look at games as an entertainment medium that surpasses or will equal the more traditional things that touch us deeply, like books, movies, and music," says Hugh Bowen of Bowen Research. "Half of all gamers think conveying emotion is extremely or pretty important which suggests that games which can achieve more of this will be extremely popular."
Role-playing games evoked the most powerful emotions, but despite the explosive growth of multiplayer online role-playing games in recent years, most respondents still feel it is the single player role-playing gaming experience that delivers the greatest emotional punch. The next two most emotional genres are first-person shooters, followed closely by action games. Flying games and flight simulators ranked lowest on the emotional scale.
While "competitiveness" ranked as the top feeling conveyed by games, it's interesting that "honor/loyalty/integrity," "awe and wonder" and "delight" also were mentioned frequently.
Respondents overwhelmingly cited the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games from Square Enix as the most emotionally rich games, and the death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII was the scene many people said made them cry.