So concerning VR, why can’t ‘power fantasy’ type games be heavy on mechanics?

VR can simulate life with added elements of fantasy, and nothing is more complex than life, right? Of course this means that in the future everything will be a first-person adventure, which sounds lame.

Dude, VR is a screen strapped to your face. You’re making the massive leap that VR is suddenly as complex as life is, when the thing barring that isn’t having good enough screens, it’s the difficulties of content creation and many of the intermediate physical simulations necessary to make that work. And this isn’t something unique to screens strapped to your face, this is just a matter of programming more things into the game, which is something that ALL developers deal with. If you want to make a more complex game, you don’t need VR to do that. I don’t even know how you’d jump to thinking that because it’s VR suddenly it’s a complete physical simulation.

The point isn’t just being complex, simulation style games are pointlessly complex. The point is to funnel that complexity into something that challenges the player, that requires the player to actually understand all the shit going on and leverage it to their advantage. Sure, life is absurdly complicated, but most of that complexity is going on in completely different places than us and we can’t affect it at all, not to mention that the vast majority of it is completely pointless from a games perspective.

Then you’re crossing this VR thing over into power fantasies, which is a different category entirely. Power fantasies care less about immersion and belief in the world, and more about belief in the strength of the player character. God of War has quicktime events so they can demonstrate how powerful the player character is with moves you can’t use in normal play, God Hand has quicktime events so the player has a skill test to get them out of mistakes or to offer bonus damage when you’re already doing well. God hand doesn’t care much if you believe in the shoddily presented world, they care about making the best game they can even if the main character looks like a doof sometimes.

Not to mention that VR isn’t exclusively used for first person games, and VR has a lot of limitations which create simulation sickness if you go overboard, like if you make the camera move too fast, which can cross a lot of game types off.

The point beyond this is, even if I was transported to a fantasy universe, I’d still want to play some Street Fighter Third Strike or some of my favorite tabletop games, or 20 questions. Because the thing I’m looking for is a dynamic system that is focused in some way on a clear quantifiable set of goals so I can enjoy the process of hunting through all the possibilities of the system and get speedy experimental results back as I try different things to succeed.

There are so many conflations and confused models in your head, I don’t really know where to start. The ideal I am pursuing is not immersion. The holodeck is not the ultimate goal of games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s