By Giuseppe Liquori
I decided to explore what kind of games people enjoy and how they enjoy them, asking the EMC students and our social media following. In a completely unscientific approach, a survey was sent out with various gaming related questions asking what kind of games you like and why. Contrary to your parents’ beliefs, not every gamer is wholed up in their parents basement eating doritos and drinking Mountain Dew spouting memes into the group chat. The responses I received reflected a diversity in preferences (even with accidentally limiting survey takers to one favorite genre, instead of multiple).
Role Playing Games (RPG) , Adventure, and Shooters were the most popular, which makes sense because they are commonly the genres associated with AAA releases (Call of Duty, The Elder Scrolls, The Legend of Zelda). RPGs are defined by the player assuming the role of a fictional character in a fictional setting. A classic example of this is Dungeons and Dragons, though elements can be seen other genres. Adventure games are driven by exploration and puzzle solving and are often paired with the action genre. Shooters are games like Call of Duty and Halo, where players assume the role of a soldier or similar.
Indie games are also popular; those games representing the long tail of the gaming industry, analogous to the movies you’d see at a Sundance Film Festival. They aren’t developed under a traditional publisher. The game Undertale was specifically mentioned as one such title. Other popular indie games include Fez and Don’t Starve.
I personally love RPGs, specifically open world games like Fallout and Dark Souls. Those games have incredible depth and replay value, which are traits I value in games. That sentiment was also expressed in the survey, with one respondent expressing their favorite part of gaming is “When you do something perfectly in a game. There is a real sense of accomplishment when you master a game.” Getting the high score is one of the best
accomplishments in gaming (There’s an episode of Bob’s Burgers dedicated to this fact). Games are competitive in nature and drive people to get better at them. Games get players to keep playing.
The idea of games keeping players engaged is occurring at the EMC, using the engaging nature of games to achieve their goals. A prime example of this is BREAKAWAY, a soccer game on the outside but it’s mission isn’t to compete with the FIFA games – BREAKAWAY educate players about violence against women and girls (#VAWG) and how to prevent it. BREAKAWAY is successful because it’s approachable and engaging, more so than a lecture or PSA.
If you ever find yourself in the Emergent Media Center, you’ll likely overhear some of the student workers talking about video games. Maybe about a recent release or one we’re developing. It’s all about fun and games for the gamers.