The journey or the destination?

Interesting post over at Kotaku about the restrictions that video games put on players. Do video games focus too much on enforcing “rules of gameplay” and fail to give players the freedom they enjoy in other “real life” activities? And if so, is that unhealthy for the players?

What should we expect to get out of our video games? Should it just be about enjoying the moment, entertaining oneself? Or should you be able to come away with lessons. The experience of playing real baseball in a real dirt and weed-filled hole wasn’t about accomplishing the inevitable it was about the communal experience of being there and playing.

Video games, I think, are too often about the destination and not nearly enough about the trip. We churn through games to beat them, not to experience them.

Are video games too restrictive by design, too focused on simply completing them for its own sake? Should we expect that the journey to beating a video game be more fulfilling and meaningful than it currently is? Or is the appeal of video games precisely that they don’t generally aspire to be more than an entertaining diversion?

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