Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tale of Tales

I've mentioned Fatale and The Path, and now I've acquired Vanitas, for iPhone. I know many people who dislike ToT for their player-meaning-centric design philosophies, but that's exactly why I like them.

Of course, the case can be argued that until you 'get' what message the designers were trying to impart, the exercise is futile. As my friend described to me this evening, there are two distinct styles of learning prevalent in modern students. Those who are process-based, and those who are product-based. Product-based people will hate ToT 'games'. "But what's the point?" they'll ask or, more commonly, "It's just trying to be arty, there's no real meaning to it." Well, then, which games do have 'real meaning'?

Being a process-based person, I adore ToT. I'm not concerned with what they want me to experience. I'm interested solely in me, in how I feel, and why I feel that way. I'm a very selfish gamer, in that regard. So I will pay $6 for a game with two levels, or $1.20 for an app that's about opening a box to discover 3 random objects, because, to me, my experience makes those prices acceptable. I get out of these games what I put in, which may be why I get a lot more out if them than many other people, designers be damned. It's my experience to have. The game is just the framework.

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