I finished Fallout 3 – very quickly. I probably spent 10 hours on side quests, and 5 on the main quest line – and it was over. I finished at level 12 (I hear there are 20 levels, but I didn’t figure that out). The end was a bit of a dissappointment, but at least I have replay value. Going through it again, but this time I am going to be a goody two shoes. I didn’t get a friend in that game, and the dog stuck around with me for a bit before he hit a chain of landmines. Instead of burying him a la “I am Legend”, I scavenged the dog meat and moved on. I was thinking about how good of an experience that game is and immediately started thinking on the ways I would have liked it to be different.
I caught myself and asked that question. I don’t go to the movies and want to change the movie. The movie is either good, or bad, or somewhere in between. I don’t come to my blog after watching 007 and say “boy, that James Bond movie was SWEET! Too bad the Aston Martin didn’t have a built in grappling hook. Or that part, where he shoots the guy in the foot and does a round house kick? That would have been SOOO much better if only he shot him in the face and then kicked him in the nads. And the camera angle when he was hanging off the bottom of the chopper should have been from the left, not right. And if only they changed his spy name to 009 – haha, then it would have been a GREAT movie!!”
We don’t think that way. I suppose it is because movies (and television) are passive entertainment. You pay, you eat popcorn, you watch, you enjoy. Maybe you don’t enjoy, but you observe. At the end, you are $25 bucks lighter and had an experience, good or bad. Games are move active entertainment. You control the hero/bad guy, and you go out and shoot your own movie. Movies are also “one offs”, you know you can settle in for 90 minutes and it’s done, where in gaming it is a much larger time commitment (for the most part) and you have to invest that time, and money, to advance your entertainment. My final point is that I prefer gaming as entertainment to the traditional passives, and I want to see better choices made.
Why do we do it? Did I miss anything important?