Gamer Theory: The Rise and Fall of Interests in a Gaming World

I found this reading very interesting since I had never really thought about gaming to this extreme depth before.  Many of these thoughts have passed my mind while either playing a game, (usually when I feel like I’ve been playing it way too long), but I had never analyzed it critically.  I was mainly interested with the Vice City topic and the topics on Sims since they are games that I have played before.  The ideas within the text were interesting, but I had mixed feelings about the way they were presented.

I would have liked the ideas to have been a bit more concrete as I felt I was reading something less informational and more artistic.  While I was able to draw on most of the parallelism to the real world as with the utopia, I feel like a more concrete analysis would have been more suitable in some parts.
The format itself was interesting also and I enjoyed the different pages, but I think the text could have been a little bit better and possibly organized into not so big of chunks.  I felt like 1 giant pages was slabbed over 5 slides with no real distinction in some slides as to why is should be separate from the previous.

With that said, the idea that Vice city is limitless and yet has boundaries almost seemed like a paradox.  I had never really compared games to the real world in depth before as I said though it has crossed my mind, especially in rpg’s.  In vice city you really have no limits within the world itself to go anywhere as long as you advance through the game, but you can’t escape the world itself.  In a way you are the master of your own universe.

Something else that I had thought about before that ties into this is when you are able to acquire the helicopter (which may not have been in vice city but in one of the GTA games).   Here you are really able to push your boundaries to the limits and really access any area within the game you would like.  This is where you really gain the sense that the world you had been running around in isnt as big as you thought it was afterall.

This got me thinking about games such as WoW or any other game in which there is a world to explore.  I think part of the reason we are so initially intrigued by these games is the world they create, but I;ve also noticed that this interest dwindles  after you’ve explored and have become familiar with the world.  My theory is that there is a peak point in which enjoyment within the game is reached as you have explored a certain amount or even all of the game.  If you think about it, when you first enter a game with a decentl sized world, it seems kind of overwhelming at first, maybe even discouraging.  As you play, you are able to become a little more familiar with the world and can move around freely, but still have the sense of exploring an unfamiliar ground.  This combination of unfimilarness with the the ability to move freely is what I think can make a game very interesting.  However, once you’ve become so familiar with it, the game loses it’s sense of excitement is certain aspects and it is played more a long the line of just wanting to play the game where you do not concern yourself as much with your surroundings.   If you were to graph this, I think it would look something like a bell curve.

This is just a theory and I would be curious if anyone would agree with me on this though I think it’s something everyone does subconsciously with almost any game though the degree changes depending on the type of game.   In Wow this process lasts much longer I would say than maybe Vice City.  However, the process for this would last longer in Vice City than let’s say an old Mario game on the gameboy.

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