Team Player

Still playing a lot of Madden 10 at the moment, proceeding through a season as a middle linebacker. It’s reinforcing all the things I’ve written in the past about the strange pleasures of being a team player in a game, rather than being a central figure. On defense you often succeed by having nothing happen, not getting a statistic, not making a tackle, and so forth. Which makes me wonder whether other kinds of games should (or already do) have this kind of treatment of player agency. For instance, is there a similar sense in any  military shooters, where you’re not the Army of One, but rather play a role in a larger conflict commensurate with what a soldier might actually do? My mind tells me perhaps something like ARMA might be that way? Though even there I’d imagine highly skilled players might “break” the war by being too much of a crack shot? Anyway, it’s a design space that definitely deserves more games, I think – games where you play a part instead of the whole.

28 August 2012
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