Tuesday, February 10, 2009

combining fun and depth

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.

1 comment:

  1. Creating artwork or literature with multiple layers of enjoyment is definitely a worthy goal, the way I see it. I'd say a piece is better, not worse, if it can be enjoyed not only in a deep, artistic way, but also at a more accessible though shallower level. The layers of meaning and enjoyment become yet another dimension to design and compose. Just don't let the superficial stuff become annoying or distracting for those who want to get at the deeper stuff.

    It's a similar question to what had been discussed in a recent blog post on Tale of Tales, about adding Achievements to games.


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