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VenusInFurs avatar 12:45 AM on 05.06.2012
The "two hour" experience (short blog)

For a game to be successful it must respect the player痴 time. As I get older I知 finding it increasingly difficult to invest my time in video games. I知 not a busy man, no, in fact I sometimes have sufficient time to game. What I lack is a certain sense of motivation. I知 still very much interested in video games and gaming culture, but I知 at a point in my life where I知 no longer willing to invest my time to games that take twenty, thirty, sixty, or hundred hours to complete. More recently this generation of indie games has saved my once dying heart, pumping fresh blood into a decaying body that was once at the brink of disinterest in the medium. Games like Journey, Closure, Braid, and many other highly, and not so highly, regarded games opened my eyes to the wonderful world of the 鍍wo hour experience.



I壇 like to compare the 鍍wo hour experience to the literary world of short stories. My most admired short story is A Country Doctor by Franz Kafka. This four page story filled with long paragraph like sentences can be read in about 8 minutes. While the 田ompletion time is brief, the impact; however, is unlike anything I致e ever read. The same goes with video games -- the most emotionally filled games I致e ever experienced have been no longer than five hours. These so called 鍍wo hour experiences are the future, and I couldn稚 be happier.

The filler, fat, and love handles that infested so many games in the past is finally ending, yet most seem to be against the idea of short game. Most of it is due because of pricing. Yes, video games are expensive, but ask yourself this: How many games do you actually replay? Like books and films, the length is only a problem if the material is not up to par. Nothing is more disingenuous than a game that must meet some imagery time goal. If the game is good -- you値l want to play it again -- just like films, books, comics, etc. The notion that a game痴 length is determined by its price is something I find ludicrous. For instance, Journey is a game I致e completed five times in a span of a month, it has taken me about two hours to complete the game. While some will say that the $15 price tag is too much for a two hour experience, what I get from it is far better than what most games offer. I致e already invested ten hours in this two hour experience. Sniper Elite V2 can be complete in nine hours, very similar to Dead Space 2. The latter having perfect pacing is a testimony to its length. If Dead Space 2 was any longer (not including 100% completing the game) it would have ruined the overall flow making the game less enjoyable.



I知 not completely against long games. I sometimes love to immerse myself in a lengthy experience, but only if that experience is justified. Unfortunately most double digit games are filled with so much fat that it sometimes turns me off to the experience all together, which is why I get my money痴 worth with the 鍍wo hour experience -- I don't have to wait for the good stuff.

 
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