The USS Quad Damage

Or you could do something else

Perhaps instead of trying to change games to make them less about interactivity or decision making, you could... you know... watch a movie, or read a book?

I'm putting my hardcore gamer hat on now. It's subtle, I'm not sure you'll notice it.

An article on GameSetWatch really incensed me into writing a reply. Hearing this douchebag talking about games that “play themselves” or have “no failure” gets me wondering if the guy’s ever played games, or even understands what games are. Games, by definition, are about decisions. Decisions that you make. The game will generally score you on how good those decisions are, but it doesn’t have to.

If you’re not making a decision at some point, it’s not a game. You can talk about how profitable these things which are not games are, but they aren’t games.

But I’m getting over-zealous. Let’s try this a little more rationally... I’ll don my top-hat, light my pipe, and we can totally do this shit.

Video games won’t be as widely accepted as film unless we find ways to allow participation by those who don’t want to be challenged by their entertainment, and who don’t want to have to work to be entertained.

Fun can come from a variety of ways in a video game, and not all of those ways are “Challenge”. I think when we look at games like Flower or The Path or Noby Noby Boy, we can see that games can be about exploration, collection, or... whatever The Path is... These game designers are (hopefully) going to become a vanguard of gaming in the future.

Most people aren’t playing “The Path”, though. They’re playing Madden. However, let’s ignore the fact that this prick-face is totally wrong in his first sentence, and continue:

Video games are at a crossroads. Despite what the hardcore call “dumbing down�, many video games are “too much like work� for too many people

This is a telling statement, because it shows his world-view: The bad hard-core gamer against the poor little casual gamer with a life. He mentions Raph Koster, who is... how can I put this?.... right, and then goes on to ignore the dude. Instead, he listens to David Jaffe. David motherfucking Jaffe, who makes CliffyB look reasonable (FWIW I actually like Cliff, and he’s also made the most popular game evar, but even he must admit he’s kind of nuts, just in a good way). Also, I’m sure David meant the quote in a different way...


Maybe not...

There’s a name for games which require no skill: gambling. If there’s no risk, it’s something which could have been done better in a movie. Quick-time events are a good example of this: even if they’re extremely easy, it’s identical to watching a movie which pauses itself every 15 or so seconds, waiting for you to press play again, and if you don’t do it quickly enough the main character dies.

That would be kind of fun for watching Jane Austen — just watch Mr Darcy die every 15 seconds of dialogue. Even so, that’d work better as a movie.

Games are about decisions, games are about learning, games are about doing. As long as you’re being entertained as opposed to doing the entertaining, you really aren’t playing games. Most importantly, you really ought to be re-evaluating your life and what this “entertainment” does for you in the first place.

I’m putting my hardcore gamer hat on now. It’s subtle, I’m not sure you’ll notice it.

Perhaps this “entertainment” really eases the pain, maybe this steady progress towards nothing re-establishes your dominance is this little room someone made for you. Maybe it’s because you’re a total failure in your real life that you can’t accept losing against a real opponent, that you can’t hack something which challenges you, which brings you to life, because you know you’re really dead inside.

Maybe you’d much rather be taking hard drugs, but because you either can’t afford them or lack even the capability to somehow get the money to afford said drugs, you “self-medicate” through television, and that some fuck-wads would rather you spend your pitiful cash reserves on “games”, instead. Maybe you should just jump off a cliff and die already.

That’d ease the pain.