Kieron Gillen's workblog




"Industry wisdom states that only a tiny fraction of the player-base will reach any given game’s end. This misses something central to the gaming experience. In the same way that every player’s experience with a game with is unique, and their actions and emotions personalise every step of that journey, the decision of when a game “ends” is similarly in the players hands. Whether the game follows a strict narrative (Metal Gear Solid, Mario, Zelda, Deus Ex) or a boundless experience (Civilisation, Elite) or somewhere in between (Diablo, Everquest, Nethack), it’s the player rather than the developer who decides where the game’s actual end is. Even in a strictly confined linear game, the option to start again and re-explore the experience is always open – as determined players in Thief replaying the game before the SDK was made available, and inventing new play styles such as “Ghosting” show – and if a player decides that replaying isn’t worth their investment, it is still /their/ decision that it isn’t worth replaying. Only the most novelistic games whose experiences are identical on each progression – i.e. adventures – seem exempt from this, and even they can be re-entered in the same way a devoted fan may re-read a novel. To play or not to play are the decisions right at the border of a game, the passport control to these imaginary countries. Or put more simply, every ending is a player’s own."

Working on something larger, and come up with this paragraph. It's actually fairly off the topic of the question in hand - games addiction - so may not actually make the final cut. I present it here in the hope of provoking discussion. There's flaws in it, clearly, but there's something here...




Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.