15 January 2011

What Characterizes Broad Game Markets? - by Lewis Pulsipher

      Posted 01/13/11 09:19:00 am  

I have been thinking about what characterizes the broader market in games, both tabletop and video.  I haven't come to any generalized theory yet (if I ever will), but I have some observations.

"Twitch games" are games requiring a player to move and react very quickly.  This is the most common form of hard core video game, as epitomized by shooters, but can also be seen in many casual games such as Tetris.

The 21st century is the world of Instant Gratification, of "oh shiny", of the "Easy Button", of myriad distractions and encouragements to "just do it" rather than think about it.  It's the world of "listen to your feelings, Luke", where something other than logic is preferred (e.g. "The Force" is better than any computer). 

K-12 education in most places in the USA consists of memorization of material to pass multiple choice tests.   Students aren't encouraged to think.  ("Life is an essay test, not multiple choice", but that's not the trend in education.) 

Twitch games are far more popular than strategy games because so many people in the modern world are unwilling to shift their brain out of first gear.   I am talking about general points of view, not necessarily what YOU are like, of course.  We don't need to concern ourselves with whether this is good or bad, it is what it is.

In the past decades we've changed the twitch games to reach a broader market, as typical games are easier than in the past, and include such features as auto-aim and auto-save.  

I'm

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