The Benefit of Platform Games: Creative Thinking
The best benefit of platform games is not as apparent nor as commonplace as the benefits of all other gaming genres. That’s not to say that platform games don’t have as many benefits as other games for they certainly do, but the number one benefit, the development of creative thinking abilities in gamer, is only really produced by the best of the best platform game designers, like Shigeru Miyamoto.
In order to create a truly amazing platform game it is necessary for the video game designer to find new and entertaining ways to interact with objects and with the environment. Watch this short video of Super Mario Galaxy 2 for a great example of this as we explore The Ledge Hammer Trap
Why are moments like this in gaming so amazing? Because they force our brains to think about basic objects in new and exciting ways. Most of Super Mario Galazy 2 is made up of blocks and, unsurprisingly, platforms. But the sheer amount of ways in which Shigeru Miyamoto is able to produce new effects and new gameplay mechanics from these basic elements inspires and develops the gamer’s creative brain, making them think outside the box, showing them the versatility of objects and inspiring them to be more playful in the real world.
The mentality that Super Mario Galaxy 2 produces can best be thought of as that of an inventor. Inventors are able to create new tools and products because they can perceive new ways in which old objects can be used. Take these old objects: a bead and a rack. To you and I, these objects might appear near useless. What the heck are we going to do with a few beads and a rack? Oh, I know, says a genius creative mind, we’ll put them together such that they form an abacus, a tool used to do quick calculations, a tool so amazing it wont be replaced for about 1800 years.
In inspiring us to see the versatility and possibilities of the most basic objects, platform games naturally develop the gamers creative mind, the side of the brain that has produced most of the essential tools used by modern society.