“When people stop learning in a game, they lose interest and quit. When understood properly, therefore, games may in fact be one of the best models for learning and knowing in the twenty-first century. Why? Because if a game is good, you never play it the same way twice.” (Thomas, Douglas and Brown, John Seely; A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, 2011)
When I find a game I like, here are the Top 5 things I notice (in order) keeping me around to play it:
- Superb graphics. I tend to prefer 3D over 2D and cuter rounded design over harsh jagged design. Because of this, I typically play modern Nintendo games which feature both of these preferences. (The GameCube was my first love.)
- Explorability. If the world itself isn’t fun to run around and discover new places, I don’t want to continue further. Skyrim and Breath of the Wild (pictured above) do this really well by making a huge fluid world that doesn’t require loading screens to get from one place to another. And everything you see can be touched, which means you can climb the highest of mountains if you so desire!
- Decent rewards. I’ve tweeted about this before, but if I put in a ton of effort to complete an objective, the rewards need to be of equal value. I don’t want 10 measly pieces of gold that’ll buy me one carrot for slaying an ogre that took 10 minutes to defeat. That just doesn’t physically feel rewarding. If anything, it’s frustrating!
- Interesting storyline. I’ll often give games a bit more attention when the story to go along with it is fun and relatively unique. As we know from my digital literacy class, everything is a remix, so as long as the story is remixed well, then I want to keep playing to see what happens!
- Non-repetitive quests. Despite loving the graphics and storyline, I actually stopped playing the MMORPG Blade and Soul a couple of months after I started playing it because at every skill level, the quests were essentially the same, just with harder monsters to defeat and similar but higher level gear to obtain. It was fun for the first 30-ish levels, but then it felt like a second job because I was just doing the same thing over and over again. Breath of the Wild actually has this issue, as well, but for me, the captivating world design made up for it.
I’m pretty picky with games, but Nintendo games typically don’t let me down. Finding decent MMORPGS and FPS games to play is a different story because of the necessary elements I listed above. I love games because I’m learning through play. If a game ends up feeling like work with little fulfillment, I drop it because I want to spend my free time enjoying myself, not stressed out! To remain stress-free in my old age, I plan on spending my retirement (in about 50 years) replaying some of my most cherished games so I can experience them once again in a different way!