They [Don’t] Know Us So Well

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Gaming, Gender Bias
Tags: ,

I stumbled across this article last week:

5 Things Every Game Company Gets Wrong About Gamers

I have to say, I think they did a fantastic job of pointing out the things about the newest games and gamesystems that piss me off the most.  The fact that Gaming has forgotten about why it exists – the Gamers.  Slick, flashy cinematics are edging out actual gameplay within these new titles giving us less and less to do.  Apparently they think that gamers have gotten resistant to having to move their digits to actually cause things to occur on screen?

I think part of the reason it struck such a note with me was that in spite of the media buzz around the new Tomb Raider and it’s leanings towards  rape as motivator , I wanted to play the game.  I was in fact excited to play the game.  And then I got it home, popped it in and watched through the endless opening cinematic.  Eventually, cinematic ends and I think “great, lets get playing”.  Only, not.  you do a little moving, a little button pressing and I think “okay, we’re in the tutorial”.  Then I’m back in a cinematic but I’m being asked to wiggle the controller at a specific time.  Or press the button right…now! Or I have to sit through it again and again.  My guy nailed it on the head – it felt exactly like Dragon’s Lair.  Shiny, glossy and completely controlled.  As is pointed out in the article at the top of my post, not everyone enjoys watching a cinematic.  Some folks take that time to grab a glass of water, check their email or what have you.  Only in Tomb Raider, if I chose the wrong time to do that, I end up starting the damned cinematic all over again.  And if I’m 3/4 of the way through one of these transitional sequences and press a button slightly too late – back I go to the beginning.  This doesn’t feel challenging to me, it feels suffocating.  It’s game play for dummies.  I want a certain amount of challenge.  I want to feel I’ve earned the abilities my character has in game.  But I don’t want to be pressured in to this sort of over-stressed situation where a microsecond mistiming means the tedium of attempting a thing over and over.

I won’t go into the entire article point by point, though I do think they all hit home with me in a similar fashion.  But it’s definitely worth a read.

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