A Spectrum of Impact

Thus, there is a spectrum of impact a player can have on a game.

Games without narrative stories are the ones in which you can have the most impact: sports games, The Sims, and chess are examples. Playing with a big box of Lego, with all the accessories, would be an extreme example. Your impact on the way the Lego is used and the possible outcomes is huge.[3]

[3] A Lego set is usually considered to be a toy, not a game. In fact, there are some game designers who call The Sims a toy for this same reason: Its gameplay involves the manipulation of (albeit very intelligent) building blocks. To these designers, it's a more advanced form of Lego. I won't try and define the difference between a toy and a game; different people draw the line at different places.

To make matters more complicated, people often create games using their toys, such as when a Frisbee™ (a toy) is used in a game of American football (substituting the Frisbee for the ball). Thinking about all of this could probably drive me mad, which isn't in itself a problem. However, I've already got enough of my own pet issues, quandaries, and conundrums that drive me mad, and I honestly don't have room for another one. This is why I'll choose to ignore this particular controversy of "game" versus "toy"and go into complete denial that it even exists.

I would note, though, that most people call The Sims a game, and we do live in a democracy.

On the other extreme, you could have a game with two different endings. A decision you make near the end would determine the outcome. Here you'd have an impact, but on the impact scale, it would be much less than in The Sims. You could also have other forms of impact as to how you accomplish your missions in terms of stealth versus combat, the weapons you choose, the abilities you use, and even perhaps the geographic route you select.

One form of game isn't innately better or worse than the other; many players enjoy multiple forms of gameplay. And so one form of impact the player can have on the game isn't innately superior. The more of a "real" impact you have in the game, the less there can be anything that resembles narrative story. The more the game contains a narrative story, the more your impact in the game resides in the smaller details, but not the overall direction and shape of the outcome.



Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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