I've been talking about literary tips, conundrums, and ideas since I started this blog almost a year ago. But today I wanted to try something a little... parallel. You see, I've been playing A LOT of video games since the start of this year, thanks entirely to DLH.net and Geeknifty taking me on as a reviewer. Today I wanted to talk a bit about what I think makes a good game, something I'm sure I don't need to tell you is completely subjective.
Games have something that books rarely do. Not even television can touch it. Addiction. Sure, people can claim there reading addicts, and people can watch a lot of television, but never one show. Well, I suppose that's called bingeing, but it runs out. Games are always there. On demand. Different as you need them to be.
The right game in the wrong hands can breed a tough addiction. I know, I've lost countless nights in my college days to games I shouldn't have. Further more, I can't say that that addiction meant the game was entirely good. Some games are designed to addict, they feed your reward system and they don't have a linear story, so finding a good stopping point is hard.
Obviously, if you're playing something like Final Fantasy, there are moments, there are chapters, but Minecraft? I'll stop after this day. Well... my base needs tending. Oh, lemme just grab some crops. You know what, I saw a vein of iron I really need, it'll just take a minute. Wait, is that gold? Well I can't stop now!
I'm playing a game much like this at the moment, for review purposes, and I'm finding it hard to prioritize. I need to get the game reviewed, but at the same time, I don't think there's much left to experience that will change my review. So... I could just stop and write the review now. Except that I just got a new weapon... and I'm really close to researching a new technology.
Is the game good? Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm enjoying myself, I think, but at the same time, I don't feel like I'll look back on this game in ten years and remember it fondly. I still love Majora's Mask or Final Fantasy X (fight me!), but I have no desire to replay them. They exist as an experience, a story, that I'll treasure forever. They're good games. Are they addicting? Yes.. but not in the same way that something like Minecraft is. There are places to stop. Comfortable pausing points. These are games I can put down, not touch for months, and then jump back into. And you know what? I think that's the quality I like the most about them.
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.