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I'm not sure I agree with the "Scripted Failure" point. This moment is a failure from the character's point of view, a failure in the game world.
However, in the real world, it's not necessarily so. The player did succeed in his mission - he has played through the level, seen the cutscene, and moves on to next levels. For the play brain that does not care about the story, this is success, not a failure.


What you're describing is like when a Rugby player scores a try, only for it to be disallowed because of some other event on the pitch, like a foul committed by a team-mate.

He has managed to accomplish a difficult task, but his reward is taken away by circumstances beyond his control. Does he feel good anyway? Intellectually perhaps, but not truly.

I'd argue that intellectual accomplishment is not enough. The play brain likes to achieve and succeed, not merely to continue, and the emotional surge from the appearance of success matters just as much as its effects.


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In Rugby player was denied (part of) _mechanical_ reward. The score was not awarded.
In MW3, the only reward that he does not get is the story one. I haven't actually played MW3 yet, so I might be missing something, but contrast this moment with:
"In one sequence the player is Yuri trying to prevent a hostage crisis in an airport. However he is wounded and woozy, and eventually collapses and is rescued. And the user interface tells him 'Objective Completed' even though he has clearly failed."

Is this really different? The _objective_ is completed, even though the character has failed.


Yes. Like the sequence with the family, the airport is but a moment in length and essentially just promenade.

The missions that I'm talking about are long and complex and part of the real gameplay.

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Ah, I get it now. The problem is not that the play brain sees failure. It's that the play brain sees success, while art brain sees failure - and they clash.

Normally, there's no clash because objectives are achieved both in-game and in-story; and in the airport, there's no clash because the play brain didn't even become involved.

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