October 23, 2005

Zimmerman's Essay on Games

Zimmerman's Essay

I guess because I haven't played games for a ong time, I'm behind the trend here. The most I remember about game stories is Super mario Bros. trying to explain not what lead to the kidnapping of the princess, but hat it happened and now yoiu have to save her. But I never really paid much attention, even at the end of the game when you won and it showed the restoration of order and the happiness of hte creatures.

Game stories to me are just not important. If I am going to play a game it is not because of the story invovled it is because of the way that the game is played and wheter or not I think that I can accomplish it.

Then he goes into talking about the definations of narrative, interactivity, play nad game.

This is were I got even more confused. With narrative is seemed like he was trying to make it seems ok that kids are spending all there time playing games because they are now like "narratives in books"

It was like kids are now writing their own books with each action in the game. Is it suppoed to make is seem more educational?

Yet according to the defination of a narrative anything can be one, even eating a meal so I don't know what they were going for here.

Then when it got down to interactivty it really seemed like they were comparing games to books, like they are just liek the choose your own adventure books.

I'm sorry, ut I really don't see the benefit of most games compared to even the choose your own adventure books. Unless they actually teach kids somehting they will use in school o rlife (and I don't count how to kill someone) they are not very helpful to increasing your intelligence like books can do.

When he started talking about the game story and he went on about the Ms. Pac-Man game story as a "strategic pursuit through a constrained space, about dramatic reverasals of fortune where the hunter becomes the hunted. It's a narrative about relationships, in which every character on the scree, every munchable dot and empty corridor, are meaningful parts of a larger system...." it was reading way to much into a game.

I doubt most kids, who are the majority of those playing, are thinking about the life and death struggle of Ms. pac-Man as they are tyring to beat the game or their friends high score.

It just seems like they are trying to say that the game players are thinking about the game story while they are playing. It just seems like this is tyring to justify game playing fo the public or like the industry is justifying why they need to charge so much for the "experience" of the game.

I just don't see what the game story really means. At first it seemed like it was about the story behind the game (why things had happened and what you needed to do to resovle them). Then it changed to the experience of playing a gme. To me stories tell the reader a tale or set of actions that have occured and the experiences that were percieved by those involved in the actions. Not the experience of the reader of the story about the story, the book that they were holding and the drawings that were in it.

To me this article just seems liek a mean sto justify his job. Maybe the game-story is important to the indutry and those that play, but ot me videogames are just games and are not an experience.

Posted by laje0007 at October 23, 2005 3:06 PM