One of the ways in which a popular video game is often critiqued is on its replay value. Is it still fun the second time around, or the third, or the fourth? Do you glean new insights, or different interpretations, by replaying it? Does its story or gameplay even make you want to replay it, or do you get sick of it after one time through?
I was thinking about this component for the games that we’ve played in this class. After finding out the ending of Gone Home, which revolves around the mystery of “What happened?”, now that you know what happened, can it still be replayed? I imagine that if I were to play this again, my approach would be entirely different from my first time, where I was always so tense and driven to progress by the mystery of the plot. Instead, I would be much more relaxed and more willing to spend time exploring and finding those easter eggs that Taylor brought up. However, since it’s such a linear game, I don’t think I would be replaying it for the story.
That’s in direct contrast to something like Galatea, which is so multilinear that you can just keep playing again and again without getting everything, which is (for me) a huge incentive to replay it. I think this has a lot to do with what elements of the game are strongest – Galatea is almost purely content, with very little going for it in technical gameplay, which might make it frustrating and unappealing to someone who is purely interested in game mechanics. The storyline for Gone Home, on the other hand, is kind of a one-time deal, so in order for it to be replayable it would need some other compelling element.
Which of the games we covered would you all be open to replaying? Is replay important to your experience of a game? Are the particular reasons that make you go back to a game the same or different from what makes you go back to other forms, such as a book or a film? How strongly does a game’s replay value factor into your opinion of how “good” or “successful” it was? (And this isn’t just restricted to Gone Home and Galatea, it would also be interesting to talk about Braid and Rohrer and Dys4ia.)