Thursday, March 11, 2010

Doing it alone versus doing it with others

Naomi Alderman has endured the travails of watching commercial television to observe that Nintendo is pushing the "social" aspects of gaming by employing the nation's most loved gurning northern lads to pretend to play with a Wii whilst a southern pair of Balls pretend to play with a DS. Alderman remarks that while playing with or against someone else is seen as an inherently "good" thing, she prefers to play by herself.

The original post is here:

Interestingly, in a revised version of the piece, posted a few days later, guilt and the "Protestant work ethic" seem to have excised Alderman's inclination to extol the joys of solo-gaming. The revised version is here:

Also cut from the reworked piece is a link to an interesting article on game mechanics by Jason Rohrer: "Testing the Limits of Single Player". Rohrer discusses game mechanics and tries to devise a single-player game that offers depth without relying on AI or randomness. While he thinks it can't be done, he comes up with something called i45hg which, although "reasonably interesting" for a few turns, doesn't feel like a real game.

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