Author Topic: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?

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Artimicia

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Hello RPGFan.

So... this is something that's been on my mind for a long time now. Like many, I grew up playing a combination of video games, consuming anime, watching movies, and just generally doing a variety of things.

In recent times, I found that habit or tendency has kind of been even more exaggerated, now I will play a bit of a video game, but then decide to watch the related movie or something over and over, like with Star Fox and this silly gem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA2-0nTxaGg

One thing I know, is that I definitely care if something is "interesting" to me or not, if it's fun or exciting, than that takes precedence over whether it's interactive or not. A video game with a really interesting backstory or something about it I'm going to want to engage with one way or another, but I wonder just how important it is that it's necessary? Even more to the point a lot of Nintendo games have related media and I find myself just engaging with them almost as much as just playing the games.

I bring up the Nintendo example because those were most of the games I played back in the day.

Meanwhile, when it comes to RPGs, these are games that were always just partially interactive, in the first place, many of them focusing on characters,  music, etc, as well.

So, for people who have played games or been gamers for a long time, what does the interactivity element achieve for you? I know we had a controller thread here and I think it reminded me how being active and thinking about those things were interesting, but now I've also played Dark Souls 2 on a keyboard and honestly it is the weirdest way to play that game but I was kind of basically fine with it.


Artimicia

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 05:42:41 PM »
A good competing example is something like Fatal Frame 5, where I mentioned here using the gamepad as a camera was a pretty heavily integrated thing that has kind of a unique effect on the experience. Moreover, since it's a horror game, you are feeling the extra kind of immersion perhaps since you are the one that has to dash through hallways or defeat ghosts and so on..

On the other hand, I know a lot about why I enjoy that game or media or property is simply because it's really cool looking and I know reviewers didn't like the characters and stuff but I was pretty sucked into the world generally.

But yes this thread isn't intended purely to advocate a position or another but simply to collect opinions on the matter, if anyone wishes to share. =-)


Mickeymac92

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 09:42:48 PM »
I can't even begin to figure out what the topic of this thread is supposed to be.

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MeshGearFox

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 10:05:53 PM »
I've noticed lately that I like games with... maybe not beautiful per se, but interesting worlds I can wander around in, at my own pace.

You don't really get that from, say, a movie.

I guess I would compare it to walking through an art museum versus watching a documentary about art. You're still seeing the same sculptures and paintings but in the former you get to spend as much or as little time looking at individual pieces as you like.
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Artimicia

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2016, 04:44:49 AM »
I can't even begin to figure out what the topic of this thread is supposed to be.

Eek sorry, I guess I could of done better.

I've noticed lately that I like games with... maybe not beautiful per se, but interesting worlds I can wander around in, at my own pace.

You don't really get that from, say, a movie.

I guess I would compare it to walking through an art museum versus watching a documentary about art. You're still seeing the same sculptures and paintings but in the former you get to spend as much or as little time looking at individual pieces as you like.

Yeah beauty is surprisingly always a motivator... just pretty looking stuff.

That's interesting about not being able to choose how long you spend with something, I guess conventional media can sort of feel like it's making you rush, rather than just being able to amble around in an RPG.


Dincrest

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 08:29:25 PM »
And then there's books.  I like to read books because the interactive part is me imagining the characters' appearances, voices, environments, actions, etc.  To me, that's interactive and makes a book more compelling to me than a TV show or movie.  It engages more of my senses and aspects of my brain.

And that brings me to why I like video games.  I don't like to be a passive watcher- I like to be an active participant.  That's also why I prefer to play sports than watch them.  And with video games, I'm an active participant of what's happening on the screen.
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Aurian

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 11:14:00 AM »
For me there is a balance with interactivity. For me, video games are a way to relax, unwind. I actually don't want something too active like a fighting or platform game. I want to sit back, relax, enjoy a story or character interactions or explore. That's one reason I dislike the move towards action RPGs with QTEs because I find many feel button mashy and don't let me relax as much.

I enjoy books and creating my own artwork as well, and my interactive part of the day is chasing after a puppy.

Kevadu

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 02:22:49 PM »
I've actually thought about this topic a lot, actually.  I often feel like the gaming news media is trying to tell me that interactivity trumps all and I should hate cut scenes and love things like sandbox games for their more organic, emergent gameplay.

Yet personally I don't really have any problem with cut scenes (so long as they're well-written anyway...) and find sandbox games to be completely tedious.  I have limited time to play games and don't want to have to spend it trekking around in the wilderness just to find the next interesting gameplay bite.  Give me a game that directs me to the next objective so I don't have to waste my time any day.

I do like the trend (that started with the original Half-life, really) of making scripted that themselves feel interactive even if they ultimately direct you to the same conclusion every time.  But that can be hard to do well and I'm not going to hate a game for resorting to non-interactive cut scenes to fill in some of the gaps.

I don't think I'm alone in this opinion either.  Although it's not really my cup of tea, if you look at the popularity of something like the single player campaigns in COD then clearly there are a lot of people who enjoy that sort of linear, cut scene heavy, scripted gameplay.  And yes, I said COD single player.  I realize that it's "common sense" to a lot of people that "nobody plays COD for the single player campaign".  Except that Activision's own statistics based on achievements/trophies have shown that the majority of COD players don't even touch the multiplayer.  The single player campaign is clearly important to a lot of people.

That all said, you can clearly go too far in taking freedom away from the player.  Line in Xenogears' second disc which I couldn't even stand to play...

Artimicia

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 12:58:15 AM »
I've actually thought about this topic a lot, actually.  I often feel like the gaming news media is trying to tell me that interactivity trumps all and I should hate cut scenes and love things like sandbox games for their more organic, emergent gameplay.

Yet personally I don't really have any problem with cut scenes (so long as they're well-written anyway...) and find sandbox games to be completely tedious.  I have limited time to play games and don't want to have to spend it trekking around in the wilderness just to find the next interesting gameplay bite.  Give me a game that directs me to the next objective so I don't have to waste my time any day.

I do like the trend (that started with the original Half-life, really) of making scripted that themselves feel interactive even if they ultimately direct you to the same conclusion every time.  But that can be hard to do well and I'm not going to hate a game for resorting to non-interactive cut scenes to fill in some of the gaps.

I don't think I'm alone in this opinion either.  Although it's not really my cup of tea, if you look at the popularity of something like the single player campaigns in COD then clearly there are a lot of people who enjoy that sort of linear, cut scene heavy, scripted gameplay.  And yes, I said COD single player.  I realize that it's "common sense" to a lot of people that "nobody plays COD for the single player campaign".  Except that Activision's own statistics based on achievements/trophies have shown that the majority of COD players don't even touch the multiplayer.  The single player campaign is clearly important to a lot of people.

That all said, you can clearly go too far in taking freedom away from the player.  Line in Xenogears' second disc which I couldn't even stand to play...

Pretty close to my thoughts, I engage with things for a combination of factors, interactivity is just one thing propelling it all, it can be story, characters, art direction, cutscenes, I've watched a fair amount of cutscenes at various times.

CoreSignal

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 02:10:43 AM »
I think the amount of interactivity is going to be different for everyone. I know there's plenty of "hardcore" gamers out there who don't consider visual novels or point-and-click style games to be real games but it's their loss. People play games for different reasons and for different moods. Sometimes I want a game with an immersive world and an emphasis on aesthetics and narrative. There's other times where I feel like playing a mechanically complex or a more social/multiplayer game. Personally, I enjoy both and I see no reason to exclude any type of game.

Arvis

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Re: How much do you care whether something is interactive or not?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 11:46:28 AM »
I think, for me, one of the big advantages of interactivity is "uniqueness of experience".  My experience with a movie is going to be largely similar to another person's, regardless of our reactions to it.  However, with video games, you can often have completely different experiences.

Take Stardew Valley, for example.  One of my favorite things about it is how I can make choices that change the experience.  I'll have a different waifu/husbando than someone else that's playing it, or make money in a different way, have a different farm layout, take different Professions, etc.  Then the ensuing discussion about the entertainment feels more rewarding.

That being said, the finely crafted story experiences of a book/movie/tv show can be most welcome, especially after finishing a lengthy game.  Experiencing a story that's been specifically put together by other people without any input from me can be extremely gratifying.
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