Wednesday, September 15, 2004

VistaVision for the Soul

Yeah... this is a tough one. I agree, an emergent system is probably necessary for multi-linear/emergent emotional narrative. The Sims and Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City point the way, but both fall far short of what I'm looking for. Fable might be another step in the right direction too (I just picked it up today and probably won't be able to play it til next week).

I think the generic concept of role playing (different from the current concept of RPG videogames) is core to the idea of emotional immersion. As Deca said, you don't want to play yourself, you want to play someone else. Thus, I think techniques that support role playing are key. Anything that helps the player feel like the character they are playing is good. The acrobatic abilities of the prince in PoP:tSoT help make the player feel like a Persian ninja, for example. Techniques of perspective are helpful, as well, though they are less understood, whether first-person or third-person. In addition, the player's choices must have consequence in the game world. If they don't, the immersion of roleplaying evaporates in an instant, revealing the mechanics of the game (not inherently a bad thing, but not so good for emotional involvement).

I'm really tired, so if this doesn't quite make sense, my apologies.


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