The 5 Types of Game Rewards
Type Number 2: Escape
Escape is perhaps the most common reason why we play games and one of the rewards developers like to give us the most.
What is It?
Escape is the ability to take us out of our day to day lives and place us in an imaginary world. Essentially, developers are giving us alternative lives that we can access whenever we choose.
How is it Achieved?
Empathy : The most important factor in all of storytelling and character design is the ability to make the player genuinely care about a character, a world or a situation; in other words, to make the player believe that what is happening in the virtual world is more important than what is happening in the real world. Only when the player deems the game more important than their current life will they truly allow their minds to wander into the virtual world. That is why it’s easy to get involved in a game when we are bored or when we are just sat at home relaxing, and much harder when we are involved in some form of real life drama or if we are in danger (where clearly our present lives are of much more importance than a game). By making the game seem more important, a developer provides more opportunity for the gamer to escape. Hence the importance of believability and compassion in characters and story.
Three of the Best Game Worlds to Escape In
Types of Escape Rewards
Cutscenes : The most obvious way is in making sure the story and characters develop as the player progresses. Throughout story-driven games developers are continually revealing to the player new chapters of the story, as well as new characters, new relationships and new problems for leading characters to overcome. By contintually developing the story, the game keeps sparking the player’s imagination, keeping them involved in the action and providing them that much sought after sense of escape.
Challenge : We all love a good challenge, and a great game will be sure to maintain a suitable difficulty level. Should a game become too easy we shut-off, essentially playing the game on auto-pilot, which takes us out of the game and back into the real world, which, of course, destroys the sense of escape. Should the game be too hard we will simply give up, at which point all escape is lost. Only by maintaining a suitable degree of difficulty can a game hope to maintain the sense of escape.
It’s Function As A Gaming Reward : The initial escape in gaming comes as soon as the game begins. Having spent a considerable amount of money on a game the player is already willing themselves to be whisked way to some fantasy land and on the first loading of the game the player will readily step into whatever world the designer has created. The key to escape is in making sure that the game moves along with enough pace, believability and sense of importance to keep the gamer hooked.
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