Two types of games10 May 2013
(Post in english because laziness :-P)
There are two different types of video games: the ones where you do things for a greater purpose, and the ones where you do things because you like doing them. You trudge through quick-time events in Heavy Rain, for example, because you want to see the story, while you play Tetris because it’s fun to play Tetris.
And it’s the one type that you actually enjoy to play while it’s the other type that you’re glad when it’s finally over. In that fashion, adding extrinsic goals to games that are intrinsically motivating (I’m looking at you Minecraft, also, Achievements) can overshadow and ruin the fun that you would have without them.
But luckily, the other way around is also possible: You can have games with clear goals that are also simply fun to play without these goals in mind. Best example, as often, is Dark Souls. This, though, is much harder to pull off, mainly because creating gameplay that is rewarding and fun in and of itself is fucking hard.
Lately I often think about playing a video game, feeling guilty that I don’t actively pursue that hobby more often. But at the same time, when I do play, I feel guilty for doing so. I’m starting to realize that this is because 99% of games are actually utter crap. And a game being crap is closely linked to the observation Jason Schreier makes in the above quote. A game that is statisfied with feeding me story or trinkets merely symbolizing progress, in response to me pressing buttons, is a waste of time if I can have a much better story without pressing buttons, by reading a book or watching Doctor Who (or anything else).
Worst offender in that category lately has of course been Bioshock Infinite.
Whenever you play a game, ask yourself “Would I rather watch this as a movie?”.
If the answer is yes, stop playing.