Because they create a world into which a player can project, video games often incorporate some level of simulation. Constraints such as gravity or real time regularly play a part in games, as do attempts to use procedural algorithms for a variety of things from rag doll physics and enemy behaviour to terrain generation.
However simulation is not actually the point of games. The reason that we use simulation in games is not to create a real world, but instead a deliberately simplified impression of one. In games it is generally better to fake it rather than make it.
It’s never pretty, but game projects often fail. However the interpretation of why failure happens is almost always wrong. The easy thing to do is point at a developer and describe failure in personal terms. If only their ego didn’t run away with itself, or if only they didn’t do such a poor job.
Actually most failure has systemic causes. It’s the result of a dysfunctional publishing culture that is set up to be adversarial, and that in turn is what breeds failure. Most game failures are actually caused at the executive level.
This is the second part in a light-hearted series about no-brainer games and the inner moron. In the first part I talked about what moronism is, and started into a list of questions that you could be asking to vet your ideas, to see if you are in fact being a moron. This article continues that with four more, including a reference to elephants!
"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." - H.P. Lovecraft
A common meme surrounding games is that they are supposedly in their infancy, that the reason game stories don't really work very well, or that players don't really participate in games as heroes is a problem of technology and technique.
What the meme is actually trying to say is that games should be unlimited and that they should not accept constraints because one day the tools and techniques will exist to craft the perfect world. This ideality will offer meaning and gameplay, players will become heroes, and finally games will take their rightful place at the head of all media tables.
In his house at R'lyeh, dead Techthulhu waits dreaming. The meme is beautiful. It's also wrong.