WTF is Wrong with Video Games?

Courtesy of Polygon.

An interesting read. I’ve never played The Last of Us (I swear I’ll get around to it!) but everything this guy says makes sense to me. Probably most of the games I’ve played have all had game mechanics that were completely separated from and had no bearing on the art or the story of the game itself. That said, I’ve also played plenty of games where the mechanics and story were intimately linked. Braid‘s rewind time mechanic speaks to the main character’s wish he could undo what he’s done; The Last Story‘s Power of the Outsider is a physical manifestation of Zael’s desire to protect people. I think the problem is, for many games, there is no story, no higher goal other than to hook you in with addictive gameplay. (Exhibit A: Nearly any game for smartphones.) That may simply be an inherent quality of games, though–at their core, they are about interactive fun. Supposedly. Personally I agree with this author–I think it’s high time games stopped making fun their primary objective, and started branching off into fresh, new directions. When I sit down to watch a movie like Clockwork Orange, I’m not looking to have fun, I’m looking to be challenged and left wondering what it all means. Games are on the right track, but I think they have a ways to go.

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