m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Too Interactive?

I recently read game blogger Yehuda’s Berlinger’s review of The Path, a not-quite-video game or “interactive entertainment.” The non-game sounded like exactly the sort of near-future science fiction interactive world to which my characters inevitably become addicted, wasting their lives away inside Matrix-style pods, etc., etc. It’s hardly my original idea; the notion of a participatory movie-like secondary reality is more of a trope working its way up to subgenre status.

The thing that struck me about Yehuda’s review was that he didn’t like the game:

If the entire thing could be played in 2 hours AND I would be guaranteed to discover everything within that time, I would probably think that it was an amazing game. But The Path is obviously aimed at experienced video gamers who know what to expect. Not movie goers and what they expect.

I don’t foresee him popping himself into a pod for some higher-tech version of The Path. I’m no fan of perpetual video games myself, or even of Shadows Over Camelot. Now I’m wondering whether something less interactive could be more addictive.