Monday, September 29, 2008

Starcraft at Campus

We had a discussion at work today. One of my Russian co-workers told how everyone at his university played Starcraft exclusively for a period of two years. I basically did the same except me not being in college at the time. The third in our conversation had never heard of Starcraft and wanted to talk about World in Conflict! I'm stunned.

I have never played World in Conflict and I guess it is an okay game, but it is symptomatic of the difference between gamers who play games to get a set experience and gamers who play games because they offer an opportunity to dive into a game to learn to master it. It is the difference between role-playing that you command armies to the graphics and setting of the game just being a metaphor to help the player learn the underlying game mechanics.

And some people do not play to win. They want a game that gives them progress and a sense of accomplishment regardless of the level of their skill at the game. I want to be owned by the game or my opponent if I do not go out of my way to win!

Now, there is nothing wrong with playing games casually and to do a bit of role-playing too. I do that from time to time. I just bought Spore for example (and that is a shitty game, but that was not my point) to get exactly that kind of experience. But I really like the hard core game experience too and it has given me so many moments of joy over the last 10 to 12 years. I appreciate it a lot.

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