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Finding New and Unintended Ways of Playing Games 346

Posted by Soulskill
from the trickjumping-and-speedruns-and-bears-oh-my dept.
Ronald Diemicke writes "World of Warcraft players sometimes hang out in front of Ironforge and dance. Fallout 3 players seek out new and elaborate ways of destroying their avatar. Brawlers in Smash Brothers have an itchy pause finger, ready to catch any humiliatingly hilarious screengrabs. The thugs running rampant in Grand Theft Auto are putting Evil Knievel to shame by using a full assortment of vehicles to pull off some incredible stunt work. Personally, I like to collect and move things. My favorite is making piles of bodies in any game that lets me move them around. Ever catch yourself doing something in-game that isn't exactly part of the game, or just something really dumb?"
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Finding New and Unintended Ways of Playing Games

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  • Explorer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omnilynx (961400) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @02:26AM (#28994193)
    I'm not sure if this really counts because often it fits in with the intent of the game, but I like to completely explore everything. Especially if there's a map that gets filled in as I explore; I will happily criss-cross a bare desert if it's the last uncharted corner of the map. It really clues you in on the quality of the game: the best games are the ones where the designers stuck all sorts of cool little things away in corners for people like me to find. The worst games are the ones where none of the doors open but the ones you need to reach the next story point.
  • Re:Explorer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @02:39AM (#28994251)

    This is what bothered me about WoW. There are places (such as the southern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms) where you can swim around the continent and up onto hidden beaches and up into valleys, but there's nothing there. No gold. No creatures to kill. No NPCs to interact with. It's like it was created to be a secret spot, but they forgot to reward the player for spending the time and effort to get there.

  • by Laser Dan (707106) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @03:55AM (#28994493)

    I always liked playing coop Operation Flashpoint with friends, there was a particular map where the enemies had 2 or 3 tanks next to each other with the drivers standing next to them. The map was supposed to operate with you fighting the tanks with RPGs etc as the drivers would jump in as soon as you were detected, but we found that you could put everyone in a jeep, then drive full speed at the camp and if you were lucky you could run over the drivers before they got in the tank. Then everyone jumps in the tank, blows up the enemy tanks before they can turn the turret, and go on a rampage in a mission where you aren't supposed to have a tank. Soo much fun.

    There was another mission where you could steal a helicopter in a similar way.

    Sometimes it would take many tries to do it without someone being killed, but it was so worth it!

  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @05:20AM (#28994765) Journal
    So instead of single-mindedly killing fake people it's better if he single-mindedly killed real people? Perhaps not such a bad change after all, eh?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:29AM (#28995291)

    Really? I had no idea.

    I'd always thought the point of Sims was to build elaborate swimming pools, take out the ladder, and watch your sims drown to death. Or my other favorite, surround the sims with four walls but no exits. And watch them starve. If I were feeling generous that day, I'd make a window or paint the walls.

    Heh heh heh.

    That's because this is largely a perception issue. There have always been well designed games and poorly designed games and the more than half of them have always been poorly designed games because video game creation is a complex mix of art and science and computers a relatively new discipline. What does change is the perception of the players however. When you were a kid some poorly designed games were enough to hold your attention because you didn't mind doing the same thing over and over or it had Star Wars written on the side of it. As we grow older we expect our entertainment to mature with us and so we remember the amount of fun we were provided as a kid and the amount of fun we are provided now and through comparison find today's games lacking. It's the curse of nostalgia that affects all sorts of art forms (e.g. Movies, TV, Video Games, Literature) and leads to phrases like "way back when" and "the good old days".

    To be sure there are waves of quality in any medium but they are hard to recognize within a single generation and much like the record of political leaders can only truly be judged in a historical context which is why since the beginning of time grandpa has liked the "things these damn kids are doing".

  • Re:Explorer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dhasenan (758719) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @10:13AM (#28995723)

    No, you need a non-trivial reward *not related to gameplay*. An exceptionally beautiful scene, for instance. Or an old woman sitting on her front porch with fifty times as much dialog as a typical character, just talking about her life and the things she's seen and the places she's been.

    It has to be something you can't take with you, but there should be a reward.

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @11:47AM (#28996131)
    Jean-Paul Sartre would be proud.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn