I plan to use this place to also talk about my personal game playing experiences for future reference and reflection, so I shall start with my latest conquest, God of War. I have just finished the game last night, and I would have to say that its and excellent example of the modern action adventure game of the current generation, if extremely graphic and explicit. The videos that you can unlock by finishing the game offer even more insight into the design of the game, and as a researcher I found these to be very interesting. The designers looked to refine the elements of action adventure and distill them until the player experience was exactly what they expected you to leave with. This can even be seen in the way the game handles failure. some parts of the game can be inordinately difficult at first, but a small change in strategy will then game the game freely much more forgiving. Sometimes this strategy change is not apparent and the game will ask you if you want to continue the game on easy. While This only occurred to me when I was attempting some of the platforming puzzles, in which a difficultly change would not be helpful, its prompt would actually feel like a personal challenge to try again.
I write this second paragraph a week after writing the first, and I have to say that I wish games with a more appealing (meaning in this case , to a larger audience than 18 to 30 year old males)
aesthetic can achieve the refinement of their game play model as god of war does. I have recently finished reading a article at the escapist, which talked about the experience playing Super Columbine RPG. I have to say that I felt something similar while playing God of war, That I wished I could lead Kratos to a path that can ease his troubled memories. Thus, It seems to build a game one needs to balance yin and yang in a sense. A game needs to be fun, yet frustrating, and challenge the player to be introspective on their choices, yet not be judgmental of choices. This subtle art is the key to designing better games and acknowledging what is art and what is crap out there in this medium.