Friday, January 06, 2006

Shadow of the Slashdot

The Carnival of Gamers is up at Kill Ten Rats (here), I suggest you check it out as there are some cool entries.

But I'd also like to take this post to say, wow, I was chosen of them all to be quoted on Slashdot? (here) Sure it was Games.Slashdot, but it's still classically cool. Especially considering that I didn't know it was there and happened across it. As a bit of a follow-up to my Shadow of the Colossus post, the day I posted that entry was a bad day. It ended that night in my writing that post, extraneous words and all, and then going to kill the final colossus. And I instantly regretted it. (I'm going to catch shit for that, I'm sure.) Without beating it, I figured I hadn't 'won', but I also knew that I didn't lose. Thanks to the excellent design, you obviously figure out something's amiss just by playing. And because of that I resigned myself to living without Mono (the girl) and quitting before I look that final plunge into damning myself, and maybe her, by enacting whatever horrible thing that no doubt awaited my killing of the final colossus.

And that was the, badly relayed, point of the post. Games don't end at the end of the narrative that supports them; games end whenever gameplay stops. That's why I think that so many gamers easily stop playing games before their narrative end. It's easy to do and makes enough sense. (It was all inspired by thought I had while posting on Jamie Fristrom's blog long ago, here. The pertinent data being that only 55% of a focus group finished Spider-Man 2.) If the entire premise behind the medium is the interactivity, then if a game does nothing on any level to the player, it's logical for the player to do nothing in return. There has to be some catalyst that urges players to be inspired and want to continue, and you have to harvest that. Otherwise the player sits the controller down, and that's it. The game's over. And if only 55% of the people that played Spider-Man 2 finished it, that's still no reason to worry. So what if they didn't finish the narrative? The narrative is second to the gameplay anyway. And swinging along New York City was fucking great. I didn't stop playing when I beat Doc Ock. I stopped after I finished swinging.

One last note, sorry that my last post wasn't spellchecked. Seems to be a running gag in my life that things people actually read are horribly written. :D