The Long-Lasting Influence of Short Video Games

Big things come in small packages.

Big things come in small packages.
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Every video game is a journey – a journey through unknown worlds and untouched lands, untold stories and unfamiliar characters, and unexpected feelings and unforgettable experiences. And as is so with journeys, some are long, while others are short. Generally, it is safe to say that the majority of us prefer the latter, as long journeys tend to take a lot out of us, both energy-wise and time-wise, while short journeys are convenient and gentle on our bodies and minds. One can then infer that this preference of ours applies to the interactive art form we call “video games” as well.

Short video games have been ridiculed by many outspoken gamers for being inefficient returns for investments of money. “They’re too simple and brief to be immersive experiences,” they say, “the longer the game is, the more time I have to understand it.” Although it is true that understanding new information requires a certain amount of time, it is rather narrow to think that simplicity and brevity cannot create a fully immersive and coherent experience. A game that is complex and lengthy does not automatically amount to greatness; the portal to an immersive experience is created when every single feature complements each other.

Experiences that are short complement the schedules of arguably any person with responsibility. Experiences that are long require a person to go into a state of limbo where reality is momentarily forgotten and left to take care of itself. The loss of a large chunk of reality scares people away from an interactive art form such as video games, as the return is uncertain in spite of a hefty investment of time and energy. This is why short video games have so much power within; short journeys can lead to longer journeys if only the audience is cared for well.

About the author

Bryan C. Tan

Bryan is way more than a riddle, completely shrouded in countless mysteries, and sure as hell am not inside an enigma; he IS the enigma.