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Simplicity in Gaming


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Hey guys, I've got an essay due up soon, and part of it requires me to collect a survey from people. The piece I'm working on is about whether games have been getting simpler or not over the years, and whether that is a good thing.

The survey itself is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1K8u0WLBO8lZPlFYE8MxTFVBOGlhPWXCF-vVHg1qfVgQ/viewform but I'd be interested to get some discussion going if that's possible. And if you'd allow me, I'd love to quote some of it if it's really relevant to my point.

If you end up taking the survey, I'd just like to say a massive thank you to you in advance, and I promise to like a post of yours some time in the coming future (Y)

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I think the word "Simplicity" is misleading here; the questions are about difficulty, whereas "simplicity" made me think that you'd be suggesting that games had got less complex over time.

Which obviously is not true. I think games have become more complex (obviously. Compare Asteroids to Bioshock), but that this is not necessarily a good thing. At the same time, games - for the most part - have got easier, but only because games no longer need that level of difficulty to give the illusion of longevity.

When a game only has half an hour's worth of gameplay, it's in the developers' best interests to make it difficult to drag that half hour out as much as possible, and to give people incentives to have to keep coming back to it. Games nowadays don't need that "forced" level of replayability, as they can be much more complex in their design, and give you any number of reasons to "need" to play again - whether alternate endings, unlockable items or characters, or something as simple as "achievements", which really aren't anything other than "high scores" for the 21st century.

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