A friend of mine posited that modern video games don’t punish failure of the player, usually death, harshly enough and that is what’s wrong with modern games. It’s a position I’ve heard before, but his discussion had me actually put my thoughts to type, so here it is:
I disagree with this for many games. For the most part, designers of modern games want to encourage players to be reckless, to take chances, to explore and see as much of the game as possible. With too much punishment for death comes conservative gameplay, which frankly is boring and repetitive, much like how the Mega Man series got insanely stale after being insanely fun for so long. 
Many games are so much more now than reflex challenge exercises, they are worlds molded by the choices of the players, branching narratives that adapt to player decisions and interactive fiction that challenges players emotionally and philosophically. To punish them too much for for getting something like a character driven decision “wrong” would be effectively limiting player experience.
Further, once “most optimal” becomes the only way to play a game, a lot of the life get sucked out. There’s a concept in in chess called “going off the book,” a term coined after the massive tomes of series of most optimal chess plays and counterplays that Russian chessmasters used to memorize. Essentially once the match becomes a game of chess that has never been played before, the game is off the book. Up until that point, all the moves have reactionary moves that have been proven to be most optimal, chess doesn’t truly begin until the game has gone off book. 
The Starcraft scene has suffered partly because it tries so hard to be “chess on steroids,” there’s only a few builds that are optimal, and even fewer reactions, essentially leading to the same games over and over until player error. The professional scene has shriveled as players flock to titles like League of Legends, who’s book still hasn’t been figured out (and is constantly evolving thanks to patched design). League rewards bold plays, at the same time still punishing bad play, but not overtly. Dying in League of Legends gives your opponent an advantage (more resources), but doesn’t directly negatively affect the player (like losing a limited amount of lives or loss of equipment, money or experience points).
And this extends well beyond multiplayer and esport, the single player experience is most fun when the player can innovate, not feel stifled to play most optimally. While there are some titles that still make that thrill of playing that one perfect way, it’s really not conducive to modern game design. And that’s a good thing, it’s allowed games like The Walking Dead, Gone Home and Mass Effect live along side Super Meat Boy and Braid. The art form is richer for the lack of harsh punishment for dying, which is really more an invitation to innovate, customize, personalize and trail blaze.

A friend of mine posited that modern video games don’t punish failure of the player, usually death, harshly enough and that is what’s wrong with modern games. It’s a position I’ve heard before, but his discussion had me actually put my thoughts to type, so here it is:

I disagree with this for many games. For the most part, designers of modern games want to encourage players to be reckless, to take chances, to explore and see as much of the game as possible. With too much punishment for death comes conservative gameplay, which frankly is boring and repetitive, much like how the Mega Man series got insanely stale after being insanely fun for so long. 

Many games are so much more now than reflex challenge exercises, they are worlds molded by the choices of the players, branching narratives that adapt to player decisions and interactive fiction that challenges players emotionally and philosophically. To punish them too much for for getting something like a character driven decision “wrong” would be effectively limiting player experience.

Further, once “most optimal” becomes the only way to play a game, a lot of the life get sucked out. There’s a concept in in chess called “going off the book,” a term coined after the massive tomes of series of most optimal chess plays and counterplays that Russian chessmasters used to memorize. Essentially once the match becomes a game of chess that has never been played before, the game is off the book. Up until that point, all the moves have reactionary moves that have been proven to be most optimal, chess doesn’t truly begin until the game has gone off book. 

The Starcraft scene has suffered partly because it tries so hard to be “chess on steroids,” there’s only a few builds that are optimal, and even fewer reactions, essentially leading to the same games over and over until player error. The professional scene has shriveled as players flock to titles like League of Legends, who’s book still hasn’t been figured out (and is constantly evolving thanks to patched design). League rewards bold plays, at the same time still punishing bad play, but not overtly. Dying in League of Legends gives your opponent an advantage (more resources), but doesn’t directly negatively affect the player (like losing a limited amount of lives or loss of equipment, money or experience points).

And this extends well beyond multiplayer and esport, the single player experience is most fun when the player can innovate, not feel stifled to play most optimally. While there are some titles that still make that thrill of playing that one perfect way, it’s really not conducive to modern game design. And that’s a good thing, it’s allowed games like The Walking Dead, Gone Home and Mass Effect live along side Super Meat Boy and Braid. The art form is richer for the lack of harsh punishment for dying, which is really more an invitation to innovate, customize, personalize and trail blaze.

chinesekleptocracy:

Don’t want nudes leaked? Don’t take nudes. Don’t want to be robbed? Stop owning things. Wanna avoid being killed? Buddy, quit living already!

(via spaceystuff)

So this guy went through pretty much every SSB character pallet and found references to other characters/alternate costumes. 

(Source: challengerapproaching)

Help, Menopause Ruined My RV Vacation!

thatbadadvice:

Ask Amy, 13 September 2014:

Dear Amy: When we were dating, my wife was the sweetest woman in the world. She didn’t make a move without asking me. We had a few kids. She stayed home and raised them while I worked. The kids grew up and went off on their own. The wife got a part-time job to keep…

I had my father get sick when I was 22. And I was poor, alright. And my father had an ulcer, and it exploded and you know all these toxins get in your blood. And basically, my father died, whatever, 50 days after his ulcer. So I had a father get sick while I was poor.

My mother got sick when I was rich. And my mother, you know… I don’t really want to get into it, but my mother was sicker than my father. And my mother’s alive. My mother’s fine, OK? I remember going to the hospital to see my mother and wondering, ‘Was I in the right place?’ Like, this was a hotel. Like it had a concierge, man.

People don’t… if the average person really knew the discrepancy in the health care system, there’d be riots in the streets, OK? They would burn this motherfucker down!”

Chris Rock [video]

(via someonestruth)

(Source: umbrellaeon, via ayearofgaming)

If you have any kind of narcissistic tendencies, and I think all creative people do to a certain extent—before these outlets, if you wanted to be in front of somebody, you had to go out into the world and share the thing you made and kind of get off on the adoration of a crowd. But now that crowd exists in your pocket. Whenever you’re feeling like you need that validation from people who already think you’re great, you can just go online and people are like, “You’re amazing!”

It’s cut out the need for people to actually be out in the world sharing their creativity with a crowd, because the crowd is already there. If I can just go on my phone and make witty observations while I’m watching the Emmys, I don’t really need to finish that song that I was working on, because I already did some creative things today. I don’t think it’s a conscious thing, but it’s definitely affecting people. I’ve seen it too many times.

You know, I want to see more girl gamers, right? I want to see more gay gamers coming out the closet. I want to see more black gamers, you know? There just isn’t—It’s not a truly represent demographic of society yet. But we are getting there. And I think that’s gonna be the next phase. Like, as it gets more readily accepted and we drive out that almost, like, negative hardcore element… We’re going to get this beautiful almost, sort of—it’s gonna transcend all the barriers and bullshit in society and gaming’s gonna become the super cool thing to do, I think.

Give a moment or two to the angry young man
With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand
He’s been stabbed in the back he’s been misunderstood
It’s a comfort to know his intentions are good
And he sits in his room with a lock on the door
With his maps and his medals laid out on the floor
And he likes to be known as the angry young man

And there’s always a place for the angry young man
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand
And he’s never been able to learn from mistakes
So he can’t understand why his heart always breaks
And his honor is pure and his courage is well
And he’s fair and he’s true and he’s boring as hell
And he’ll go to the grave as an angry old man

(Source: conniecann, via spaceystuff)