I have been a gamer all my life. Not only video games but ALL games be it Table Top Role Playing, Collectable Card games or even Tactical Minature games . To me Video Games were a way for me to live out my imagination and they allowed me to take on the roles of super heroes, knights in shining armor ( ever wonder were I got my Gamertag from?) and larger than life heroes. Of course in the early years of the video gaming industry you had to extend a certainn amount of imagination when it came to the representation of said character on screen due to the graphical limitations of the hardware that was around back then. I remember playing Atari’s Pitfall and pretending that I was Luke Skywalker running through Dagobah in Star Wars.
As the years went on , video games became more and more realistic in its potrayal of the worlds and characters leaving less to the imagination and putting it all on the screen in front of us.
The something bad happened. The gaming community came to expect a certain level of quality from game developers. No longer content to experience games as they were made, we instead took to social media and blasted studios and developers for trivial things like graphical quality and gameplay systems even though everyone who made such comments lacked the technical ability to do better themselves.
In short the industry has become privialaged and spoiled and seem to think they DESERVE more and better experiences.
In recent years I have seen a trend where developers are creating ” scripted” trailers to promote their games. These trailers usually involve someone playing the game ( single player or multiplayer) and moving at a slower pace , giving players a chance t o absorb the game world around them and even movinng in the game enviroment in such a way that it is more akin to watching a movie versus the real world spastic manner in which most players traverse the enviroment when they get their hands on the game.
A perfect example of this is Tom Clancy’s The Division. When this game was unveiled to the public at E3 , we saw a small group of players walking through the streets of Manhattan interactig with the enviroment and talking to each other with a sense of actually being IN the game world. This created a very cool emersion and really did put viewers into the mindset of the game and created a very cool experience.
Here are some tips on how you can take your next gameplay session and get a little bit more emmersion out of it ( Not PVP games because as you know that is just pure chaos)
1: Take time and smell the roses.
Almost all modern games have a button or ability to run/sprint and or move faster than simple walking speed. This is both a blessing and a curse as you tend to move through the enviroments in an effort to get to your next quest location. Developers are now spending more time and resources building amazing worlds that are filled with little details designed to pull you into it.
Youll have plenty of time to run once the action ramps up. Take the quiet moments to appreciate the little things in life.
2: Watch the Cut Scenes
I cant stress how important it is to watch and listen to cut scenes when trying to get more oput of a game experience. I do have friends who simply hit “skip” everytime they are given the option and not just because they have already seen the cut scene or cinematic. Opt in at least once so that you can become more invested in the game. To me its like watching a movie and fast forwarding past all the talking just to get to the action scenes ( Imagine how much better a Michael Bay movie would be if we did that huh?). Resist the urge to skip a cinematic and just take the 30 seconds or so to get a little more attached to the game.
3: Read Everything
Sad as it may be, games have said goodbye to instruction booklets for the most part. Back when I was a younger gamer most games came with a robust manual that not only detailed the games controls but also a breakdown of the levels complete with pictures and in some cases strategy guides to help you.
Modern games now teach you how to play through ” tutorial missions” and intro chapters that guide you through the early stages of the game. These also serve to acquaint you with the game world and some of the lore accompanying it. You may find items littered around the environment ranging from things like Books, audio recordings or even links to an out of game source of info ( Destiny took a lot of hate by telling its EPIC story through the use of out of game ” Grimoire” cards that you had to go online to read/view)
While tedious these items will go a long way towards connecting you to the game your playing.
As games continue to evolve and deliver increasingly more immersive gamer’s will be faced with choices on how much they want to get out of their games. I for one appreciate the amount of love that goes into every video game and challenge all of you to think before you skip the next cut scene you see.