Archive for December 4th, 2008

tester #12

December 4th, 2008 by Auriea

game tester #12 And… we ended our series of alpha testing on a light note yesterday. The player knew absolutely nothing of games, or how to interact with a virtual world. Also, she was left handed and a Mac user who hadn’t really used a two button mouse before. We spent the first hour helping her understand how to navigate. It was kind of fabulous though. It turned out that the joystick was the easiest way to play for her. She approached the entire experience unlike any of the others. Slowly and with wonder. Everything was a sign, a symbol. She herself is an inventor of games… analogue ones that children can play (she was an educator.) She discussed how she often had to find solutions to problems, changing traditional physcial games (football, running races etc.), remixing them to help girls and boys play together or for kids who are of different skill levels to be able to play together without problems. This, she said, made her sympathetic to the way we are trying to make a video game that is remixing the idea of what video games are.
Her reactions were the polar opposite to the Game Designer we had as tester #11. All of the things he said we “should do” would have totally turned this woman off to the game. She was here because she found the game beautiful. That perceived beauty and interaction with the characters was entertaining for her. We don’t interfere with her experience with lots of hardcore conventions. Maybe where we are coming from is just not from the place of conventions of game design. We are simply applying the same principles of art and aesthetics from our past experiences. It is about entertainment but not necessarily fun. Why are games supposed to be fun? (I mean, action! fun! whoohoo! fun.) Are video games fun? I posit that games can be about dreams. And we invite you to visit one.