Why is replaying games valuable?

If you have a great love for video games, you've probably run into people from time to time who compare this medium to movies or novels in terms of literary value. They don't know, you have arguments. In fact, most people who hold this kind of view seem to be espousing something like willful ignorance of the value of video games and haven't spent many hours playing them.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

If you have a great love for video games, you've probably run into people from time to time who compare this medium to movies or novels in terms of literary value. They don't know, you have arguments. In fact, most people who hold this kind of view seem to be espousing something like willful ignorance of the value of video games and haven't spent many hours playing them.

Discussing Arguments Arguing against such a view is extensive and beyond the scope of this article. In fact, here we're going to use a common comment we hear a lot from people mentioned, as a launching pad to explore a topic called replay value. A topic that most gamers probably take for granted, but one of the most important pillars of video games as a medium.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

The common opinion we mentioned is best summed up as follows:

Games often make players waste their time by playing them more than once. Even if we accept that games are valuable, that time would be better spent playing a completely different game. Just as there are many quality books that justify multiple readings, there are also many games that justify playing more than once.

In fact, the main issue here is that video games They waste players' time because they somehow encourage players to play the same game over and over again. Understanding where this reasoning comes from is ultimately helpful in understanding why common misconceptions like this exist and why video games are unique.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

Let's start with the comparison the aforementioned comment makes between video games and books. It can be said that a comparison like this is usually used directly or implicitly in the arguments of people who object to video games in this way. Let's assume that someone is completely convinced that video games can actually tell a story. Yes, my friend, this collection of pixels on the screen named Cloud and Tifa (Final Fantasy) actually have as much backstory as Frodo and Gandalf.

However, that person has yet to play a video game. . What we really hope for is that such a person expects the storytelling of games to work in a similar way to the story of a book or movie. Until proven otherwise, it's a perfectly natural assumption that storytelling is fundamentally the same across media. For example, if you watch someone playing a game, as opposed to when you experience it yourself, the game will look like a movie in many ways. Sound effects, graphics and dialogues are all evolving on screen.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

So, this hypothetical friend of ours Compares video games to books. Now the important question is, when is it usually worthwhile to re-read books? You might say that a book can be valuable if it retains its appeal when read with different goals in mind. For example, reading the books of Herodotus for literary analysis versus reading them to learn more about politics and society. But assuming that a person has read a book completely, in order to be able to include it in different contexts, he does not need to read it several times.

Of course, when a person reads a book re-reads after a significant period of time has passed since the first reading, it becomes worthwhile to read the book several times. Rather than any internal change in the book, it is the change in the reader's perspective that is important here. For example, when you read Shakespeare's King Lear as a teenager, you will undoubtedly have a different understanding of it when you read it again in middle age.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

This change in the reader's perspective is central to the rereading value of a work, because the text of the book is fixed. In fact, it's not like the book Sand by Jorge Luis Borges is literally different every time one opens it. This is where our friend's reasonable assumption of comparing video games to books becomes untenable. This is because video games offer the player a wide range of possible choices; The player can perform various actions with their avatar, which creates a degree of freedom not seen in the books or movies. It is this degree of freedom that turns a video game into an encapsulation of possible versions of a story.

The degree of freedom of video games changes the dynamics of engaging with a narrative multiple times, and does so in a variety of ways. he is doing it. A game with a complete storyline Consider a line. Even so, not every player experiences the game exactly the same way. For example, a player may obtain different items, have different encounters with enemies, and die in different places. On the other hand, another player can complete the game without using a specific item.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

It is possible that each round of a game is phenomenologically distinct from reading a book several times. Even if the overall story of a game is the same, the potential for microscopic outcomes, such as those listed above, vary based on the player's actions, making games a different experience than books. In fact, the experience of a game is different every time, and even if these differences are very small, they are still enough to justify the experience of the game again. The game they create on a macro level is more obvious. In such cases, the outcome of the game may be different for each player. Consider a game like Chrono Trigger, which has a wide variety of different outcomes for events based on player choices. On the other hand, this game invented the term New Game Plus, which can actually be experienced by playing the game more than once. He played a lot. This game actually moves the evolution of its world forward in two ways that you need to finish the game at least twice to experience it. On the other hand, Nier 2010 actually has four distinct and consecutive endings, each of which gives the player a completely different idea of the world and the story of the game. Games like The Witcher, Elden Ring and most open world games today also have multiple endings. The structure of such games is actually such that a player who plays the game only once will somehow ignore more than half of the story that the game tells.

BingMag.com Why is replaying games valuable?

Finally, what is important here is that the misconception of our hypothetical friend is quite understandable, since it is based on an assumption about the constancy of the content of a work of art, which somehow It is considered logical. Interestingly, this assumption leads us in the wrong direction when considering how video games work. On the other hand, in addition to the fact that video games are different from other media, they change our expectation of interaction with a work of art. So the next time someone complains about playing something like Skyrim too many times, or you get bored of it yourself, remember that you're experiencing something different every time.

Source: With A Terrible Fate

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