Friday 30 March, 2018
My final session ended up surprising me with more gameplay than expected. Though it did boil down to simple point and click interaction. The puzzles were fairly straightforward, and made sense. But the "decision" portion was a game of chance that got the whole team killed. Which I did play through again, with different die results, but the same outcome. I'm assuming that the game has some other conditions that need to be met before this game of "chance" can have a positive outcome.
The vents can be played in a non linear order, though it seems like it would be best played the first time through in the linear fashion. But this isn't easily possible due to the naming conventions, unless one were to use outside resources, which in my opinion defeats the point of things like this.
Outside resources brings up to mind some questions on things like achievements, lets plays, and online guides. The ones that have the largest controversy surrounding them are lets plays and video walkthroughs. Lets plays in general are watching someone else have a good time playing a game. You can have a variety of different reasons for watching them, but at the end of the day they are usually adding something to experience. For those that do not add to the experience, are companies in the right for flagging and/or removing videos from a platform? It is an interesting question, and I think it depends on the type of game. With things like movies and books, its pretty straightforward, that content has one way to be experienced on its own. Things like riff tracks can be added on top to improve the experience, but that is adding something on top of, not redistributing the content.
Though is making a video of the games content the same as redistributing the content? Even in games where gameplay is minimal, the experience is different for each player. I'm sure some people struggle with zero escapes puzzles, where as I did not. Some people might find it enjoyable to watch miserable struggles, while other might want a certain level of competency in their viewing experience. I don't think it is ethically wrong for people to distribute this content, because people are likely viewing it for one of a few reasons: They just like the personality, they are stuck, or they have no interest in actually playing the game.
The third group in that list is the group that should be looked at. Are the morally in the wrong for enjoying content that others created without paying for it like the video producer? While these people are doubtfully going to equate to a lost sale, they are benefiting from other peoples hard work. That being said, lets look at an extreme, say you don't have an interest in a game, but your significant other is playing it, and you enjoy watching it at least. Are you in the wrong to watch them play? I would say no, the watcher is having an enriched experience, and they are another potential person to spread the word about the product. Both sides get some benefit out of it. If one were to look at it from one of our lenses, I would say utilitarianism would be the one that sees it most favorably. Because in all situations this only increases the amount of good spread, rather than decrease it. The more linear and movie like a game is the trickier this argument can become though. And it is not something I have been able to fully think through at this point.