Why I don’t play games

When Lewis Denby asked me to write an answer to the question “Why I play games” for a three part feature in his excellent Resolution magazine, I wasn’t planning to participate. Because I don’t play games. I try often enough. But videogames just don’t amuse me any more. Then I realized that this hasn’t always been the case and I started wondering what has changed. So I ended up writing an answer to the question “Why I don’t play games”. And they published it. :)

Have a read and let me know what you think. Am I crazy? Do you feel the same? Is there still hope? Or should we just move on to something else? Or are the other writers right? Are their reasons for playing games more pertinent than mine not to? Oddly, it seems that several of them feel the same about the scarcity of really good games and the lack of evolution, but this does not lead them to stop playing as it does me.

47 thoughts on “Why I don’t play games”

  1. I heard this fascinating story concerning the Russian sci-fi author Isaac Asimov. As you no doubt know, his name became synonymous with robots, as he wrote extensively about them. While he was an author using a typewriter, the ideas and the vision he included in his books – like the famous three laws – became as important to the world of robotics as the invention of actual automatons. However, in the many years of his life, he always turned down the hundreds of invitations from the rest of the world, requiring his presence in robot fairs, expos, or even in universities where the world’s top researchers and engineers made astounding discoveries.

    Everyone was eager to show Asimov what had been achieved, so far, in robotics: however, Asimov never attended any of these events or place foot in locations where new robots were being developed because, as he said, he feared that the existing robot technology might be so rudimentary that it would dramatically affect his writing and impair his fertile imagination.

  2. I don’t think you are crazy at all…and I’ve been feeling this way for an extremely long time. I can’t agree more with your response. It’s this very reason why it’s hard for people to consider gaming an “art form” when it’s usually so void of conveying emotion or new ideas. There have only been a few games in my past that I thought did this well. One of which was an overlooked title for the PS2 called “Ico.”

    This very reason you write about is why I ended up on your site. I saw you had a Mac version of “The Path” and now I’m stoked. From what it looks like, I will enjoy it very much and I plan on purchasing it as soon as I get home from work. :)

  3. Out of curiosity, what were those early games that showed some sign of maturity?

    I used to play a lot of video games. And I still have no problem with interactive media that’s for enjoyment alone. Problem is, there really isn’t much playfulness in playing games. The adherence to rules and conventions is frustrating. Even some of the most involving games include obtrusive competitive aspects that bring all immersion to a halt.

    I tried playing Little Big Planet and I found myself (and eventually all of my online participants) abandoning the “goal” entirely. Mostly we just flew around on jetpacs and picked up large objects just to fly them up high and see them drop. And it was probably the most fun I had with the game!

    Not that I don’t think interactive media should go beyond simple entertainment. But when most of the industry is so focused on making a product that exists solely to entertain, it’s a shame they can’t understand “play”. Because there are so many other reasons to make games (if we can still call them that) aside from recreation that have barely been touched upon.

  4. It seems that many gamers, disregarding personal taste, consider the games from their past superior to the ones now. Or at least their experiences back then. Does this mean that they all have this feeling of promise, this perception of potential, that is never realized?

    For each person, the games that were meaningful to them are different. But the experience is similar. For me, it started with the first Tomb Raider. And, in retrospect, Ceremony of Innocence. But we didn’t call interactive CD-Roms games back then. After that, there was a big gap that was all of a sudden filled by Ico, Silent Hill 2, Fatal Frame, Shadow of Memories and the first Black and White. I get shivers when thinking about so many great releases in such a short time. There was definitely something in the air back then.

    But it was dissipated soon. Ico supposedly didn’t sell well enough, Peter Molyneux virtually apologized publicly for Black & White, Silent Hill and Fatal Frame are niche games and nobody ever heard of Shadow of Memories. After that, the mantra quickly became “games for gamers” and all attempts to break out of the subculture and strive for greatness were abandoned. Shadow of the Colossus was much more a “gamer’s game” than Ico was, Black & White 2 turned into some weird RTS, Silent Hill moved to America. And the most recent Fatal Frame didn’t make it out of Japan. Shadow of Memories, on the other hand, is coming to PSP! :)

    But where is the new stuff? The closest we get in recent times are perhaps Bioshock and Fallout. But those are just very hardcore games with a narrative sauce over them. And that narrative is far from original and is only really there to justify the banal hero’s journey that happens to fit the structure of these pseudo-competitive activities very well.

  5. Fallout!? Bioshock!? C’mon Michael! 😉

    Ico was easier to play, but in order to understand the game the way it is supposed to understand you need more experience with games than, possibly, with Shadow of the Colossus.

    Shadow of Memories had a very good game concept. One of my favorite Konami games ever, it’s good that you mentioned it. I was also pleased that you mentioned Cermony of Innocence again – you did so in the interview we made – since RealWorld games are all aces in my book. Did you ever get to read the Griffin and Sabine trilogy? Bantock made a second trilogy – I heard about it recently. I’m afraid to read because it might spoil the first trilogy for me.

  6. Ah yes, Fatal Frame. Another great example. I was very disappointed when I heard the latest one wasn’t coming out of Japan. I do think Shadow of the Colossus was much more aimed for a mainstream audience, but I think it still had some great art direction. Have you seen the latest iteration from Team Ico called “The Last Guardian?” Definitely check it out if you haven’t already. Another one I am curious about lately is a PS3 title called “Heavy Rain.” I myself don’t own a PS3 yet, not until Last Guardian comes out.

    I myself am an Art Director / Graphic Designer so I tend to find myself looking for more artistic games…or something that is trying to push the limit when it comes to the interaction and involvement of the viewer. I can only think of one recent title that I thought tried to do something new, with a fantastic overall visual style to the game, and that was “Mirror’s Edge.” But, alas, it was still a little bit of a “gamers game.”

  7. Gods, I agree with you, Michael. I remember when people actually cared about the storyline and the ability to explore. I remember when the very first Tomb Raider came out in 1996 and people complained about the lackluster ending, despite liking the main story itself. I was also 12 at the time, so my standards for judging an experience were different then. Games seem to be all about eye candy now, and no one wants to get the player involved at an emotional level.

    I think much of this also has to do with publishers such as Electronic Arts pushing developers to crank out games as fast as possible. When Black & White II came out, people who had played the first Black & White were disappointed that the creature AI was not nearly as sophisticated as it was in the first game. They (including myself) feel as if they were operating a tool instead of actually raising and interacting with an animal (albeit an artificial one, since it was a game). Peter Molyneux said that in addition to running out of money, Electronic Arts was pushing to have the game published ASAP, so they had to let the creature development suffer. However, the fact that they ran out of money on developing the graphics should tell you that they cared more about the eye candy than the actual development of the characters, in my opinion.

    (Oops, I just realized that you already talked about Tomb Raider and Black & White in your comment to your post. ;))

  8. Also, I just remembered Sacrifice. A great RTS game with a great storyline, but it didn’t do very well. Yes, it was bloody and violent, but the storyline was engaging, and it was a creative take on the RTS.

  9. I do think Shadow of the Colossus was much more aimed for a mainstream audience, but I think it still had some great art direction.

    This is the most infuriating cliché I’ve heard lately – and so many people repeat it. Since when does a mainstream audience possess the tools to understand a game such as this? It had better publicity, certainly and because the game had such visual impact it was easier to advertise than Ico. But if anything, Ico was simpler and more accessible.

    Think about it.

  10. Dieubussy, don’t get me wrong. I loved Shadow of the Colossus. And even that game, while it had a bunch of publicity, still seemed to fall in the shadow (no pun intended) of even more mainstream games. I think it was probably wise to give more publicity to it. In the end, it’s about making a revenue. I think due to it being more noticeable in the eyes of the public is helping to set the stage for another “Ico-like” experience in The Last Guardian. Hopefully with the publicity it will open more hearts and minds to the idea of how gaming can actually progress and try new things.

    All I’m saying is there seems to be a lack of innovation in general. And usually in times of bad economy more innovation is sparked…so one can only hope.

  11. I wish it wasn’t necessary to appeal to large groups of people to make games. Maybe games should just be much more expensive. I mean the really good games. I’d happily pay 500 Euros for a really good game. Then they could release a numbered edition of, say, 10.000 copies and be done with it. Forget about mass market appeal!

  12. Michael, I’ve been saying that all my life. I happily paid 100€ and even 150€ for highly appealing games in the past because there were so very few editions produced.

    But imagine we did build this alternative game retail model. Then we’d have the whole videogame populace storm our villa with torches and pitchforks because they can’t stand the thought of an intellectual elite in videogames. And how would the standard US media deal with such games… impressive piece of gaming entertainment but scores a mere 3 in the “bang for buck” category.

    And wouldn’t that be interesting?

  13. Such small editions at high prices per copy would probably not even be evaluated by the games culture and its press. They would probably move to the realm of illustrators and fine arts, where 300 Dollars for a limited edition print is not unreasonable at all. Yes, this is elitist, but as far as I know, elites are still not illegal. And the general populace would be happy too because we would finally stop nagging and insulting their tastes.

  14. I disagree with your expensive-elitism idea. Price has nothing at all to do with depth and intelligence. In general, being rich doesn’t imperatively mean being cultured and intelligent.
    By ramping up the price of intellectual works of art you’d effectively be locking out those many gamers that are genuinely interested in a deeper experience, but who don’t belong to the class of people that have 100-500€ to spend on one work of art.

    We don’t pay more to go watch There Will Be Blood than to go see Transformers. A book by Coetzee doesn’t cost more than the latest Twilight novel. Why should an intelligent game have to be sold in limited runs for exorbitant prices?

    Another point is that with paintings, for instance, which can cost an arm and a leg, you don’t need to own the piece to enjoy it. You can see reproductions of it, or even pictures, and still enjoy it for the art it is. Games, on the other hand, can’t be reproduced or photographed. Reproduction would just be theft, and without actually playing the game you can’t experience it fully.

    I agree that there shouldn’t be a need to cater to the masses, but elitism is not the way to go. The medium just needs to evolve to the point where people turn to games for an intellectual experience. That’s easier said than done, of course, but I see indications that we’re starting to move in the right direction…

  15. Sorry for the double post, but the previous comment was too long already, and this is basically a different topic.

    I’m surprised you brought up Fallout 3 and Bioshock as examples of games that have “come closest” recently. To me, those are two examples of games that explicitly fail to come close. Bioshock is interesting until the mid-game climax, but it’s all downhill from there. Fallout has one or two interesting moments but is unbelievably flat when you look back after finishing it.

    When you stick to the “real” mainstream in recent years, I’d argue that Call of Duty 4 and especially Portal get a whole lot closer to being meaningful games.
    And then there’s the indie scene, of which you’re generally considered a part, with masterpieces such as Braid and (to a lesser extent) World of Goo.
    None of these games are perfect, of course, but considering their wide acceptance and all the positive raves and rants, I’d say we’re slowly moving in the right direction.

    I understand your frustration with less-than-involving games, I feel it too. But I remain optimistic. Every once in a while a game comes along that truly means something, and then playing all those other brainless games was somehow worth it, too.

  16. Coren, I understand that you see this from a consumer’s perspective. But from the perspective of a developer interested in the evolution of the medium, the requirement to sell on a massive scale is causing a lot of damage. Even the indie examples you mention, sell in massive amounts (relative to their smaller production budgets, of course). And they do this by being simple, recognizable experiences that put the focus on fun and entertainment.

    Maybe I’m just impatient and the medium can indeed progress by taking this little dwarf steps one at a time for a few more decades (or centuries?). But I’m also very worried. Worried that we’ll forget what we are actually trying to achieve when we move at the snail pace required for mass market appreciation. And that we’ll ultimately end up losing a great medium.

  17. Yeah, I guess I see your point. I don’t think the medium will ever be lost, but it does seem to move at a snail’s pace which must be discouraging if you look at it from the inside.

    Just keep making games, you’re one of those people that helps move things along, even if the movement is ever so slow!

    Personally, I’d very much like to add my own expertise to the gaming world someday. We’ll see if I can pull it off, but I’d like to help nudge things in the right direction.

    (BTW, I think a few of my comments on the more recent blog post got stuck in the spam filter :/)

  18. I’ve found myself agreeing with you, with a few small exceptions. I find myself excited for the Nintendo Wii. The majority of the games so far are overly simplistic, but it shows promise.

    The only game to pique my interest in recent months (other than — I’ll be honest — The Path), is Okami. It’s a reused game engine, and it certainly holds your hand, but it allows you to interact with the world and other characters in wonderful ways. And it’s so darn pretty!

  19. I hope that something will surface in Spore: Galactic Adventures. Hey, ToT, why not try it?

  20. Hm, I hope I didn’t sound as trolly as “games”!

    Maybe you’re setting impossibly high expectations? Trying to get something from gaming that’s better suited to other media is bound to result in disappointment. For instance there’s no way I could possibly immerse myself in a sculpture the way I might with a piece of music.

    There’s really no non-game experience comparable to playing Lumines (or Tetris); possibly a physical puzzle (like a Rubik’s cube) comes close, but those are solved once rather than being infinitely playable. The pure joy of pattern-matching and organization is a type of stimulus our brains seem hardwired to desire!

    Story, narrative, emotion.. why bother playing a game for those things when other forms do a much better job at them? And given this is the case, isn’t it more productive/interesting to push outward at the strengths of games (real-time interaction, simulation) rather than trying to prop up the weaker aspects (story-telling) to the point where they might just barely be comparable to mediocre works in other media?

  21. “Stop treating me like a retard who has nothing better to do than pressing buttons and solving puzzles.”

    What an odd sentiment, but still glad to gain this little bit of insight into the way you view different kinds of people. It pretty much spoiled the entire thing, and not because I happen to like puzzles in games.

  22. Raigan, you are right about my high expectations. But they are not of games. They are of the interactive medium. I think games are a wasteful use of this medium.

    The old media do not suffice any more to deal with our contemporary reality. We need a new medium to get out of the post-modern knot. And I believe that the interactive medium is this new medium.

    I have no real problems with games as such. They’re fine, they’re fun, etc. But videogames are monopolizing a medium for no good reason. We really don’t need more than some cardboard and a few pieces of string to play games. In the mean time, the entire world is in a philosophical, political and cultural crisis. A crisis which I believe can be dealt with, at least on an emotional level, by an artistic use of the interactive medium. Up till now, I have had hopes that this artistic use could grow out of videogames. But this hope is shrinking every day.

  23. May I ask, have you ever heard of Shigesato Itoi’s Mother trilogy?

    They are a series of RPGs which create incredibly unique experiences. In each, you play as a little boy with psychic powers who goes on an adventure to save their world.

    Mother, the first of the three, is set in rural America. You are a young boy who must discover the secrets behind, and eventually stop, an alien invasion run by Giygas.
    Mother 2 is set in Eagleland, which is pretty much how the Japanese view modern America. You are a young boy who must yet again prevent an alien invasion, though this time Giygas has moved beyond the realm of the comprehensible.
    Mother 3 is set on the a small island known as Nowhere Island. Again, you play as a young boy, though the enemy is a lot more earthly, and the subject matter a lot closer to home.

    Mother 2 (More commonly known as Earthbound) is the most widely known of the three as it’s the only one to ever leave Japan. It’s an incredible game with bizarre with strange things happening at every turn. Each area is interesting and unique and each character has their own personality, even the extras. The game also rewards you for looking around with little easter eggs and secrets hidden all over the place. On the whole, the game is fun, humorous and lighthearted. Right up until the very last moments which shift to a much darker tone which is legitimately scary.

    Mother 3, however, is quite different. It still contains the strangeness and humor that Earthbound contained, but has a much deeper story with a lot of emotion, all of which feels incredibly real. Its TVtropes page describes it best:
    Mother 3 is a videogame about humankind’s corruption of the natural world, the alienating effects of consumer capitalism on communities and families, the ethical treatment of animals, the folly of living vicariously in one’s past, and brotherly love and rivalry. Some have described it as “the closest games have yet come to literature.”

    Mother requires a lot of patience to play (due to random encounters being a bit on the broken side) but if you can get around that, its a very rewarding experience. It’s a lot more exploration based than the other two, with a lot more little secrets than the others.

    Mother 3 has heavy ties with Earthbond. It’s perfectly playable as a stand alone game but it is so much more rewarding to play Earthbound before Mother 3 due to the references of mother 2 are part of the emotional package you’re meant to receive.

    Unfortunately, only Earthbound has ever made it outside Japan. However, all three games have been translated (Bother Mother and Earthbound have official translations while Mother 3 has a near perfect fan translation) and are available as torrents.

    If you feel up to it, I recommend playing all of the games through in order. But at the very least, just play Mother 2 and 3.

    One more thing I should mention is the music. For all three games, it’s incredible. Each sound matches the mood perfectly and will stay with you for a long time.

    Can anyone here agree with me about this?

  24. I think Ilja was referring to http://insomnia.ac/

    Computers are modeling tools; games are just a really nice framework for interactive media, because they are based on models and systems and rules and interactions, so they map very well to computing.

    The problem with most interactive media pieces is that the systems they create are nowhere near as compelling to interact with as Pac-Man; very often the computer is used to simply present content which could otherwise be presented in a non-interactive form! That’s hardly worthwhile use of the medium, while almost every game features proper sets of rules which combine to create systems that are compelling to interact with.

    Without interesting rules and interactions, there is no point to having it run in the computer (other than it’s much more practical to make a 3D model of a setting than a physical set/stage).

    If you just use the computer to make a model of content to be presented, and then display the content, that’s not really using the medium — just as a display of jpgs which you drew, or playing mp3s of songs you recorded shouldn’t be considered to be using “interactive media”. Moving a 3D camera or animating a few models around in a scene is not much different than adjusting EQ in terms of interactivity!

    So from that perspective, games are using the medium quite well :p

    As for games and interactive digital media fixing the world, can we both agree that if everyone was playing games in their free time, it would be a better place? :)

  25. I agree that most contemporary new media art, as most contemporary art, is very poor. This has probably added to my hope/desire to build something new, something that could replace the fine art tradition (which is stuck in an impasse created by itself).

    I don’t think I can agree with you about games being so beneficial. Not the way most games are now: hero fantasies that give you the illusion that the only thing that matters is winning. It teaches people very bad reflexes. Perhaps games teach you have to survive in extreme capitalist situations. But I’d prefer they teach us how to rid ourselves of such situations.

    I agree that rules-based and goal-oriented games map very well to the computer as logic tool. But I think the computer is much more than that! I think it has the potential to offer us a true medium. And I don’t think games take advantage of this potential (and I agree with Frank Lantz that they shouldn’t even try -we’ll publish an interview with him soon :) ).

    But my problem is not with systems and rules as such. They are some of the tools you need to make interactive works. All computer programs use them, but very few computer programs are games. I’m advocating exploration of the application of those rules and systems to new forms of communication. There’s not a single computer game that is better than chess. And I don’t believe there ever will be. Because, even though computer logic maps to game logic reasonably well, computers are actually not required for games. We need to develop an art form that really requires computers, that takes advantage of its unique properties in a way that no other form has.

    I admit that, so far, the things that have come closest to this ideal have been games. But they have typically been games that are far less rigid an “systematic” than most videogames (most “good” games). Or at least where the rules and systems became means to an end and not the purpose of their existence. Which I guess is the crucial difference between submitting to the game format and the limitations of computer logic and transcending them.

    I want interactive works that talk about real things. Not about saving the planet from alien invasions (though half a century ago that may have been a good metaphor to talk about real things). About all aspects of life. And not just about conflict resolution by annihilation of obstacles. But I don’t think most games should aspire to this. I think they can just go on and provide a certain type of entertainment to a certain type of person. I would only like to see a small fraction of games to be sincere, to talk about life in a intelligent way. Watching The Matrix is fun but I don’t think I could live without Godard. I want more Godards in games.

  26. I would have to say, with the mother series at least, winning isn’t the most important thing. Itoi even says that if you rush through the game to get to the end as quick as possible, you’re doing it wrong.

    It is very hard to describe these games adequately. Earhtbound is a lot more than some kids preventing an alien invasion. It touches upon so many subjects, such as the nature of true evil, the benefit of hope and prayer and existentialism to name a few. It may not be an essay but it gives enough to get people talking and speculating about it.

    Mother 3 is definitely more about playing out a narrative than it is about trying to accomplish any goals. In fact, the “goal” of the game isn’t even presented to you until mid way through, and by then the story has already taken a deep hold on to you. I’ve already said what issues of life the game looks at, but I don’t think I really explained that the level of emotion the game portrays is incredible. You don’t feel sad because the game tells you to, you feel sad because something legitimately tragic has just happened which effects you just as much as it does the characters.

    Mother also touches on some deep topics such as sacrifice, the natures of the subconscious and how evil can be stopped through other means than by fighting it. Again, might not be a huge essay, but it gives enough to get people talking.

    The reason I play games is for the experience. It doesn’t matter to me how the game actually plays as long as the experience is interesting. That’s why I enjoyed the path, it was a completely different experience, it’s the same reason I enjoyed the mother series. The games have a unique style, feel and sense of humor which surprise you, make you smile, intrigue you and lead you to surprisingly deep thoughts.

  27. Auriea has played one of the games in the Mother series on DS a bit. I briefly looked over her shoulder and remember being disappointed with the graphics. I believe she stopped playing because the actual game elements were not very interesting to her (even if being able to let the game take care of the fighting was a good idea in our opinion). But I’m happy that the game was so meaningful to you E.L. It supports my case that games can be.

  28. Thanks, I would say that the graphics are the games biggest drawback though if you get used to them, they work well.

    Just like your own creations, these games are not for everyone. But just like your own creations, that doesn’t mean they should be disregarded, just approached at from a different angle.

  29. I think, at this point, the most important thing is the desire in developers to use this medium to convey meaning, advance thinking, share emotions, etcetera. Toys and childlike play are fine. But why stop there if you know the medium is capable of more and different? Of course every game will mean something else to every person. And some you will appreciate and others you won’t. If anything, we should strive for such variety! The current situation in which you either like all games or you don’t like any is absurd and only points out the immaturity of games as a medium.

  30. It has always stuck me that people who have read the English translation of Baudrillard’s work have such a different interpretation of his philosophy than anybody else.

  31. In any case, to a large extent I agree with the notion that art, much like anything else, is dead. We are living in post-historic times. But I believe the interactive medium can help us cope with this situation, if not solve it, if only on an emotional level. I only use the word “art” for convenience, much like I use the word “game”. Strictly speaking, we are indeed living in a post-artistic era. I just happen to believe that this is fertile ground, and does not necessarily need to be the end of everything. I see the death of art as an opportunity to start something new.

  32. Also, I tend to ignore the 20th century. Pretend it never happened. And pick up at the point where the modernists started destroying everything. Call me a romantic fool. 😉

    People who read (the English translation of) Baudrillard often seem so fatalistic. But for me Baudrillard is a source of inspiration. His merciless criticism of our failed modernity is very stimulating to me. Very… encouraging, even.

  33. All the “hero fantasies” etc. is just something recent, that has been layered on top of many games for stupid commercial reasons, but just like the Hollywood script formula isn’t fundamental to film. There is no hero or narrative in Tetris, that’s part of why it’s so good — it’s pure game.

    Perhaps you could try playing games like I do: turn off all voices, skip all cutscenes immediately, and just outright avoid the games that are fundamentally bound up in narrative to start with (which is most big-budget games).

    I think the “like all/dislike all” situation is an exaggeration; there are plenty of types of games I don’t like at all (fighters, shooters, RTS, anything by PopCap) and I’m _sure_ there are games you would like.. you just haven’t found them yet! Do you like Chess or Go?

    Have you played Lumines? Some of the Artstyle games for DSiWare are also pretty good.. there’s got to be something that will restore your faith in games :)

  34. Don’t worry, Raigan. I love playing games! Trotting around in my little Animal Crossing village on the Wii is making me very happy at the moment. And I love playing Rummikub and Scrabble with my parents, and chess with Auriea (we both suck ;D ). It’s all very fun and amusing. But it does not quench my thirst for something deeper and more meaningful, something that helps me understand life on a fundamental and transcendental level. Fine art just doesn’t do this any more for me. Cinema neither. I mean I adore a good film and an excellent concert. But those media cannot capture the specific issues of contemporary life. Linearity is wonderful but naive compared to what we’re dealing with now. I need something that can take me deeper, that can explore this complexity. And I know that the interactive medium can do this.

  35. In that case, may I ask your opinion on this:


    Oh, and as a final word on Earthbound (I promise). I would have to say, not just to you but to anyone reading this, despite all its flaws, its imperfections. All the things you may find don’t mesh well with you, play through it anyway, even if you need a game guide to get through it (the game was originally sold in the US with a game guide anyway) as the experience is so unique that it becomes worth it in the end.

    Ok, I’m done, go enjoy Hotel now. Sorry if I’ve been too relentless about it.

  36. “I think, at this point, the most important thing is the desire in developers to use this medium to convey meaning, advance thinking, share emotions, etcetera. Toys and childlike play are fine. But why stop there if you know the medium is capable of more and different? Of course every game will mean something else to every person. And some you will appreciate and others you won’t. If anything, we should strive for such variety! The current situation in which you either like all games or you don’t like any is absurd and only points out the immaturity of games as a medium.”

    Yes, very very good. That is all I have to say. :)

  37. beautiful sentiments. i agree with all you have said.

    i seek out games that immerse me into an escapism… and these things can only do so much with the limited “been there, done that” of shooters and puzzles.

    i also appreciate the posting of the bit about Issac Asimov above, too… it reminds me of how i feel about technology in general…

  38. I think one of the reasons why some people like the older games they’ve played more than the newer ones is that those games gave them a new experience.

    Those people just need games and virtual interactive experiences to keep providing something new.

    Sometimes I think that we actually need to have this incredibly frustrating environment where we’re all poor and fumbling around in order to push the envelope. But I guess I’m a romantic in that way. 😛

    By the way, have you played Judith? It’s a gothic horror game about mystery, adultery, and murder. It was a very emotional experience for me, and I’m a developer that doesn’t play many games for the same reason you don’t.

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