Simulation is better than Cinema

“Notice that I said that the outcome of a simulation is a narration “for an external observer”. This is because in many simulations, particularly in videogames, the player does not feel like she is being told a story by a narrator, but rather experiencing events as a personal experience” – Gonzalo Fresca, 2001

I’m very much over the cut scene. Whenever control is taken away from me in a game I’m completely yanked out of the submersion that I have previously achieved. With games like The Last Of Us the trade off is worth it as you get really dense parts of story, but ultimately it just feels like it goes against the medium.

This is why I like simulation games. It cuts through the bullshit and gets straight to the good stuff. Gonzalo speaks of games as more simulation than story and I would totally agree. Games like Minecraft, Day Z and The Sims are more about making a path and having a fun experience. I mean I love games like Bioshock but it’s closer to the way I like cinema and other narrative driven mediums.

Day Z is a great example of the simulation experience as it gives you the opportunity to create your own experiences first hand. The amount of strange little moments that I’ve had in DayZ that were completely unplanned and un-choreographed gives credence to this idea that video games are simulation. These games allow you to not just have fun but also escape into a world unlike the one we presently inhabit, which to me is the heart of the medium.

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