Are Modern Games Too Concerned With Fun?

16 May

Say what? Isn’t ‘fun’ what game designers are taught to shoot for? Find the fun, and you’ve got a game. That’s not untrue, but EA LA’s Randy Smith has written an article on Next-Gen.biz that challenges that. He argues that games of yore such as Ultima V gave the player lots of options, lots of consequences, and didn’t always reinforce good or bad decisions. Sort of like real life, right? Whereas he argues that modern games are designed to remove all of the superfluous material and leave only the fun: go down either of the two paths available and there will be a challenge to beat, then you are rewarded.

Essentially he’s saying that modern games teach you that you can do no wrong, because to do wrong is not fun. But maybe simple ‘fun’ isn’t the only way to go.

“And what’s with fun? Schindler’s List is a valuable film, but it’s not especially fun. I’ve heard it said the best rock music is about longing and loss, which in my experience kind of suck. How did we become the artform that absolutely has to be all about fun? Remember when graphic novels were all about superheroes and cartoon animals? Was that so great?”

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