This one took way too long to do. I'm not satisfied with how Imagek turned out in the second panel but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to make him better! *grr grr grr*

Currently watching: Inuyasha season 2




Replay value

I was in the middle of playing a MMO with a holiday prize, “beat x monsters to gain the following bonus” when my son needed the computer with on-line access for a school project. I had some time left before I needed to get back to work, so turned on the old computer and called up a 4X game from 15 years ago (4X stands for Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate, and normally applies to long strategy games like Civilization). Several hours later as I almost missed a work deadline, I was struck by how much I enjoyed the old game and it made me wonder if the current on-line game would weather the decades as well.

What makes a game repeatable? One could use current video games, but perhaps looking at “classic” games may give a better answer. Pretty graphics? Not in Go or Contract Bridge. A variety of starting positions? Although Settlers of Catan has this, other “classic” games like Chess or Risk have pretty standard set ups. Depth of play? Othello, Draughts (checkers) and Mancala are completely closed (every combination calculated and evaluated). Discovery? The odds in Poker have been calculated and known before calculators or computers were readily available. What else could explain the endearing quality of these and other games?

Delving into game theory any further is probably beyond the scope of this brief rant. I wonder if it is the challenge of another person that makes a game worth looking forward to playing again and again. Although solo games have a strong niche market, the popularity of PVP games would indicate there is something about playing with another person that makes a game enduring.