But have you ever wondered why we are entering this age of games right now? Why is it that all of a sudden everybody wants to play games?
On the last post Shalker left a comment where he linked to an old post written by R. Koster about single-player games. Single-player games are aberrations, he says. And in a way he is quite correct. Only during the brief period of personal computers which were powerful enough to oppose the player and not connected enough to have players play against/with each other, have PC games been single-player. And even these single-player games have been talked about at school. They weren't all that 'single', really.
But I wouldn't call them aberrations. Even multiplayer games can have and do have single-player elements ... Have you ever wondered why we are entering this age of games right now? Why is it that all of a sudden everybody wants to play games?
In the past almost all games were symmetrical and competitive: You needed a human opponent. Some games, like Bridge or Skat, allowed you to also play together with somebody, but you still played against humans. And we all know how difficult it is to find fellow humans who are just as good as we are at a game. With the help of computers we can design better games!
Players hate to lose: it is shameful. And it is the reason PvP computer games have some market share, but aren't taking off. And they never will take off: losing is shameful - even losing to anonymous strangers. Most people dislike it enough to not even start playing. And this is were computers come in. Finally we have somebody to shame! Finally I can play Starcraft without losing. And even if I lose, I only lose to a computer; nobody notices. This is the reason we are entering an age of games (and metrics) right now. We finally have somebody to shame. Humanity finally found a way to cheat their monkey brains into having fun, although we don't actually do anything that helps us survive or reproduce.
In the short term this will lead us to PvE-sandboxes. PvE-sandboxes combine the player-generated content (not player-created) property of PvP games with the social experience of classical games. What can be more fun than playing in an unpredictable virtual world and shaming the computer together?
In the long term ...