I’ve been struggling lately with how to express an idea I’ve had about the relationship between work and success in games and how to do it right. If I had the time and inclination it would be the subject of a video rant called “Angry Birds Sucks”, but I’m getting tired of the abuse I’m taking for trolling people by clumsily pointing out the faults in their favorite things. The thesis statement would basically be “if my success or failure is based on elements I can’t control then the so called game has failed.” In Angry Birds the inconsistency of the input device means your shots are going to be within some cone of possibility that you can’t really control, never mind the fact that even if you could control it any tiny adjustment has potentially huge effects on the resulting shot. It was going to end with a joke about Angry Birds being like beer pong when you’re drunk and on a boat… except that boats are awesome, and Angry Birds isn’t because… at which point I’d have nothing and have to sit down for a bit.
Interspersed there would be other examples like Arcade Mode on Jewel Star for Android or Peggle. Games where success has less to do with you playing well and more to do with the game finally letting you go to the next level. Completing these games feels less like you’ve accomplished something and more like you’ve earned your freedom and why even subject yourself to that abuse?
Then I saw this post on Lost Garden which basically covers the whole idea in more detail than I was going to, so just go read that instead.