Tag Archives: length

The Length of Games and the Frailty of Memory

Recently, GameSetWatch linked to an article at You Are Lose! asking if a long game can tell an engaging story:

When RPGs or strategy games stretch into the dozens of hours, played over many weeks or months, how am I to be expected to recall something that happened in the beginning of the game?

The longer a game, the more likely I am to put it down for a lengthy time and forget major details about it. This is a major detriment, I think, to games’ ability to tell a story.

The author, Korey, makes a certain amount of sense. As he points out, many games will present information in the opening cutscene that’s not referred to again until hours later. In the middle, there’s a whole lot of content going on. However, I think that when interactive narrative is handled properly, works of equivalent scope need to be longer than their non-interactive equivalents. Let’s look at Valve’s Portal first.

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