Evening Reading: Tortises and Hares

While writing yesterday's ER on the elegance with which Mass Effect 2 interweaves its central and supporting stories, I fell back into thinking about the different ways we choose to play games, particularly RPG's. This subject takes on additional weight as a writer because so often we're working under time constraints to have a review ready by deadline. But you don't have to be on assignment to feel that compulsion to power through a game. The compulsion to know what happens provides all the motivation many need to drive their determination to stay on track through a game. And at the extreme end there are many who find their satisfaction in the skill of being able to finish a game on a speed run.

I noted that I fall at the other end of the spectrum and then asked anyone who was interested to describe how they play. Daedraug plays like I do in one massive undertaking but wondered whether there might be a negative effect from that of the role playing being overridden by artificially trying to cram so much in. Massdev looks for the loving touches from the designers that go beyond just cranking out the game. Arceihn takes the opposite approach to me, going in with a plan to play a second time and thereby freed to leave stuff behind for that second trip.

The freedom to play a game how we choose is one of the big difference makers between video games and other modern entertainment media. Think I'll have to come back to it for more discussion.

In the meantime, here are some of today's Shack quests for you:

Happy Weekend!

From The Chatty
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    January 29, 2010 5:00 PM

    After installing the two game disks, entering three codes on the website, and downloading four pieces of DLC, I feel that Mass Effect 2 has effectively brought the feel of gaming on the PS3 to the Xbox 360. BioWare is breaking down barriers!

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      January 29, 2010 5:03 PM

      Ever since you called me out for not actually making posts related to gaming I have been trying keep some semblance of occasional relevance but its slower climbing back into the spirit of a conversation about games.

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        January 29, 2010 5:11 PM

        It's fun to throw out a weird thread occasionally, but you need a solid core on on-topic discussion to build upon. Otherwise every post becomes less interesting and more rote. Whether it's nonsensical drug observations or nonstop catchphrases or adopting odd stylistic affectations or every single response becomes a robotic "FUCK HER IN THE ASS!!!", it just means you're stuck in a rut and you're boring.

        If you're going to hang aboot on a gaming website, play 'em! Think about 'em. What do you like, what don't you like, what would you like to see? What trends have you noticed? Tie things together, break 'em apart.

        I want good conversations, I want people to make me think. Not just boring posts that get tagged green. Join me, it's fun!

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      January 29, 2010 5:04 PM


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      January 29, 2010 5:05 PM

      did you expect anything else from EA ?

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        January 29, 2010 5:24 PM

        I keep hearing that EA has become better than they used to be. But I don't believe that at all. They did buy some good companies, but the changes EA made to those companies games are all bad.

        For example, Bioware is awesome. Dragon Age is awesome. Having to make an EA account just to play the damn game and get DLC, is horrible. Having to enter five codes just to get setup is horrible. Having to be logged in to EA all the time is horrible. In other words, everything that EA added is horrible. EA is still a horrible company who won't play nicely with anyone at all.

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          January 29, 2010 6:15 PM

          depends on whether you focus on important things or not. For example, the EA account stuff has been going on for awhile where as not long ago I don't see EA greenlighting Dead Space and Mirror's Edge and then committing to sequels to both despite sales below expectations.

          Also, the DLC codes are not just EA. Epic did it with Gears 2 as well. How else can they distribute free DLC to people who buy the game new?

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      January 29, 2010 5:17 PM

      I bought ME2 for the xbox on my way home from work planning to have a quiet evening at home. Clearly that went right out the window and I went drinking with friends instead. Looking forward to giving this game a try once I wake up.

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