Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Learning Curve and Game Immersion

TIME seems to have some strong words for Second Life.

With all the constant hype surrounding SL, it's nice to see some calm realism from TIME. While there's no question how incredibly successful Second Life has proven itself to be, the learning curve issue is a huge one, and it is indeed the thorn in the side of any immersive game. That's what makes casual games so effective -- easy to learn, easy to play... but less immersive than the super-complex 3D world-type games. The key, then, is allowing for a broader scope of gameplay, allowing for each individual user to enter into the game and play at his or her own personal level of intensity and involvement. Ideally, this concept would be implemented in the style of first-degree price discrimination, to borrow a microeconomics term. It's easy for a game to appeal to specific player subset or psychographic. However, it's quite harder (and quite more lucrative) for a game to offer a substantiated slope of game immersion, connecting the most casual user with the hardcore grand strategist into a single, unified game. It's a tough challenge, but it's a challenge we aspire to overcome with GoCrossCampus.

Also, for a related funny: Get a First Life

-MOB

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