Keira points out that the deepest and most impressive literature usually requires more investment from the audience to get through. That got me thinking...
Relatively few people read classic fiction, literary masterpieces, outside of school. Shakespeare, Dickens, Poe, and Dante might be universally recognized as great writers, but their works are generally not casual reading.
What might that tell us about classic games? interactive masterpieces?
Well, for one thing, I think of the literary masterworks that became popular in their own times. Those works excel on multiple levels. On the one hand, they can be enjoyed as casual entertainment. On the other hand, they involve enough depth, mystery, and open questions to warrant replays and slower, lingering enjoyment. The best stories (LOTR, for example) are shallow and deep at the same time, combining serious philosophy and commentary with simple jokes, quirks, and everyday events.