How to Appreciate Video Games

Video games can be considered by some a 20th and 21st century form of art. You can appreciate any video game, no matter how old it is. Much like a painting, there is just so much precision, skill, and patience that goes into the creation of video games.


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    Listen to the music. Almost all the time, the music in video games is original. How does it make you feel? Adventurous? Scared, nervous, or anxious? Dreamy and nostalgic?
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    Listen to the sound effects. Do they sound realistic or closely resemble sounds you’ve heard before? Does the hum of a race car's engine as it passes by sound realistic? Do your character’s footsteps on stone, wood flooring, dirt, and grass sound realistic? How do the sound effects draw you in to the world of the game?
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    Look around on the levels. Think about all the time and effort put into each little nook and cranny in the level. Look at the fine details, like bumps on a rock, single blades of grass, and unique clouds. In older games or games with simpler graphics, pay attention to how the game artists dealt with limitations to produce the best possible visual effects. How do the game's visuals affect your experience?
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    Watch the cut scenes if there are any. Understand that a real person’s voice was behind theirs. Search for small graphical details during the cut scenes, when the graphics are usually the best. Look for things like strands of hair or clothing moving in the wind, characters blinking and things in the background.
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    Think about the overall design of the game, how it has been crafted to deliver a unique interactive experience. One way to approach this is through the MDA framework - mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics. Think about how the different aspects of the game interact and affect your playing experience.
    • The mechanics of the game include the rules, basic gameplay components, and algorithms involved.
    • The dynamics are the ways the mechanics combine and interact when actually playing the game.
    • The aesthetics are the emotional responses evoked in the player while playing the game.
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    Imagine if your game could have been "exactly" how things happened from a historical period. If the game is fantasy, imagine if somewhere beyond our world there is a dream world like that.
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    Research tips, hints, advice, and tricks regarding your game.
    • Tips. Are there any useful user interface aspects you've overlooked? What about special keyboard short-cuts? Maybe there is an easier and faster way of doing something compared to how you've done it before?
    • Hints. Are there any "Easter Eggs" inside of your game? Any hidden levels, special cheats, or unusual quests, NPCs, or locations?
    • Advice. Maybe there is a better way to level up your character? Surely others have played the same game and the same character type before. What about the best techniques for defeating a specific boss or acquiring the best weapons?
    • Tricks. Is there any easier way to shoot down that aircraft? Maybe a specific gun combination defeats a boss in a quick and unusual method?
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    Share your experiences in a game forum or other type of site that focuses on your game. Relate your epic quests or embarrassing defeats. If you want, respond to the game by creating your own fan art, or recording a "Let's Play" to share your experience with others.

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Categories: Video Games