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So it would seem to me that you're talking less about abstract gameplay mechanics and more about esoteric gameplay mechanics. The idea being that fewer people will enjoy mechanics that are wholly unfamiliar to them less than games that involve more recognizable rules and objects. I think the relative popularity of FPS games has more to do with the familiarity of their functional components much less than the accuracy of their representational aspects. The most popular war games are not those that represent war the best, but those that present war through familiar game mechanics. This also explains why FPS's are so intimidating to non-gamers, who are not familiar with the mechanics.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2010 on Game Design as Make-Believe (2): Props at ihobo
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Interesting take on imagination in games, though I wonder how you square the widespread popularity of traditional games like Solitaire or poker--or even the Tic-Tac-To you mention in the article--with the view that less imagination=greater success. None of these games have really anything to grab on to--no props to explain how the game latches on to reality like Monopoly's money and houses do. They just have rules that lead to a fun experience. And it seems to me that while video games that feature the least amount of imagination are most popular in the hardcore audience of video games, casual games--which have a wider audience--usually find success with more abstract games with things like Bejeweled or Tetris. Does that mean that fans of first-person shooters just happen to be less imaginative as the average population?
Toggle Commented May 29, 2010 on Game Design as Make-Believe (2): Props at ihobo
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May 29, 2010