I’m not going to go all Plato and Socrates in your grill. But I am going to have to go a little deeper than normal. Gimme five degrees down bubble on the dive planes and rig for silent running.
What is a game?
One might as well ask why does chocolate taste good? Why is a flower pretty? What it is about poop that makes it so interesting? We have full-time philosophers who study these things but no answers yet.
Let me take a crack at it. A game should be fun.
The word “should” gets the italics treatment because of my pinhead professor in philosophy class. He imparted into me the basic wisdom: “One shouldn’t say should.” Dammit all to Hell, man. Why did you say that?
The word “fun” gets the italics because its usage in that sentence opens a brand new rabbit hole for us to jump down.
What is fun?
See what I mean about going deep? If you follow this crazy train you’ll quickly jump the rails. It’s like having a conversation with young Mr. Data. “What is ‘is’, Captain?” Oh shit. This might take a while.
The point here is simple: I thought “games” were supposed to be “fun.” Then I owned an iPad and it totally changed the way I looked at what a game should be.
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The App Store will set you #FREE
Boogers that are spliced and everything lice!
Oops, I let the cat out of the bag. And you thought apps were oh-so-special.
An “app” is a small bit of software that is managed by a maître d known as the “app store” so the average idiot doesn’t have to know how to download, install or update. The app’s raison d’etre is to claw it’s way into your wallet in a mad grab for your monet.
An app is similar to its desktop cousin except it has less stuff and bombs more often. There’s something satisfyingly intuitive about a-swipe-and-a-crash. So tactile! That’s Siri saying, “Touch me and I’m outta here.”
The typical app has a lifespan of 42 seconds before it is forgotten. But not forever. You still dutifully update that app on a routine basis for the rest of your life. Parting isn’t sweet sorrow. It’s impossible.
After accumulating several dozen screens of shit icons, the typical user loses interest in acquiring more apps. The thing only gets used for email, twitter, maps and browser. So developers have to escalate the game to get your attention.
This is when the word “free” elbows his way into your life like a glad-handing dandy with his devious “trust me” smile.
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