Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Video Game Studies: What makes a successful video game...?

"Life is a business."

Some people might say that the world's oldest profession is prostitution. However, I argue, since the beginning of intelligence on earth, life itself has been and continues to be a business for those involved.

Life is a business and it can be similarized to a market, i.e. the "transition market": 'transition' because we go from 'knowing' to the 'unknown', the inevitability that is always constant: 'market', in that it exists on a stage within invariable boundaries that is prey for those who wish to fully profit from that constant inevitability. The currency being used and acquired is psychological. It is an error to think that the significance of a trade ends with the product itself. The value is ultimately determined by the psychological state of the consumer. Hence, a dollar bill, or $1.00, is only a representation of the emotional and psychological well-being that is attained after giving it away.

"I'll help you feel more emotionally stable if you help me feel more emotionally stable."

An interesting question for future ponderance: What if currency could be traded psychologically...? This would be a literal take on psychological currency. Do you see where I'm going with this question...? An example: In a normal, current, real-life scenario there are two people trading with each other for the resulting psychological welfare that will follow. Man A trades $29.00 to Man B who gives him a new release of the movie, 'The Hobbit'. The physical trade is the two objects, the $29.00 and The Hobbit. The psychological results (or trade) is Man A feeling 'good' while watching The Hobbit (for reasons we will discuss later) and Man B feeling 'good' because he spent the $29.00 on a video game. Here's where the novelty comes in. Instead of each man trading physical objects, i.e. representations of the resulting psychological and emotional states, in the proposed future scenario, Man A and Man B will both directly trade those states. This could be literal as in the trading of physical synthetic or manufactured 'good' 'feelings'. It could also mean trading psychological states via brain waves (facilitated through some sort of technological device). All this points towards another argument and the realization that emotions and psychological states being traded by themselves relinquish the connection of behaviors previously associated with the emotional and psychological states. I know that has been thought of before, but I thought I'd bring it up. More thoughts on this later (also, other ideas can derive from this)...

I began thinking about this after studying successful video games and looking into why they were successful. Why did I love playing certain video games earlier in my life, and on a side note, why did I lose that initial fervor...? Perhaps the formula for a successful video game does not work on everyone in certain situations, however, as is proven, it obviously does work for a mass amount of people. I wanted to figure out why, because, ultimately, I want to put the research into practice (perhaps creating something similar to a video game...).

"If you keep a group of people entertained, they will be more docile."

To start the research I basically did some easy empirical observation. I searched through Google and did some quick skimming (as my library did not have any books or articles). Taking from several very successful video games, most notably two Nintendo RPGs (Role Playing Games), I jotted down all of the ideas that I thought, or arguably, made them successful. Below is the summation of all of them into a STRONG characteristic of successful video games that is so potent it is used in almost every entertainment field or industry.

░│ Keyword: │ HERO COMPLEX (VG)      │░
░│ Property │ Illuminati Reference │░
░│          ├───────────────────┤░
░│          │ quest collectibles   │░
░│          ├────────────────────┤░
░│          │ evil villain         │░
░│          ├────────────────────┤░
░│          │ savior complex       │░
░│          ├────────────────────┤░
░│          │ good vs. evil        │░
░│          ├────────────────────┤░
░│          │ customizeable        │░
░│          ├───────────────────
░│          │ puzzle gameplay      │░
░│          ├───────────────────
░│          │ engrossing plot      │░
░│          ├────────────────────┤░
░│          │ target audience      │░



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