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The less you know...

stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member

With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.

Take Oblivion, for instance. My aunt buys me a magazine and on the back cover, there's an ad for Oblivion. I think, "Hey, this looks like a cool game!" I buy it, not knowing a damn thing about its mechanics, its gameplay features, etc. and every single aspect of it blows me away. Everything about Oblivion felt fresh, felt interesting, and most importantly, felt mysterious, since I knew very little about it. I actually discovered most of the game on my own. In comparison, I read several impressions on Skyrim, learned about most of its mechanics, analyzed countless reviews, and simply put, that feeling isn't there. I know how things will happen. I know how the game will progress. I know how my character will evolve. Suddenly, that 'mysterious' factor is long gone and it's as if the game is missing something.

And while it's important to actually know what you're putting your money down on, it seems this predetermined knowledge mostly acts as a double-edged blade. I believe the purest, most truthful, and most awe-inspiring of impressions only come when little do you know on what you are about to experience.

Comments

  • DannyGloverDannyGlover Portland, ORPosts: 1,277Member

    I agree. I remember discovering games as I walked into an arcade or a game shop. That rush of playing something that grabs you or seeing someone play and going whoa. Today, that feeling is pacified by sneak peak videos, dev blogs, and beta leaks. We get all those warm fuzzies long before we get our hands on the product. Then when we actually get to play it, we have already plateaued.

    I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.

  • AlcuinAlcuin Broken State, CAPosts: 310Member Uncommon

    Interesting observation.  This happened to me with Master of Orion, back when one would go to Egghead/Software Etc. to browse the shelves for the latest releases.

     

    It also makes me think of Electonic Arts in the 80s and a game called Monsters Inc.  Back then the ECA logo meant a great game.  Fred (?) Ford and Paul Reich III were the masters back when games were made by a handful of programmers. 

     

    Unfortunately, that means I'm old...

    _____________________________
    "Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit"

  • bartoni33bartoni33 Southern IllinoisPosts: 1,080Member Uncommon

    I agree 100%.

    I try to know the least info on a game other than the genre. Obvious dangers involved in this but I think it helps immerse me into the game as I play MMOs and RPGs like I'm actually in the game. I've bought some really bad games because of this (Brink comes to mind) but more often than not it works.

    image

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    If you buy a game without knowing much about it, the odds that you're getting a game that you'll dislike are much higher.

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    I agree, and I almost always make an effort to avoid knowing anything about a game before I play it (or a movie before I watch it). Except MMOs.

    Because if you're serious—even casually serious, if that makes sense—about playing an MMORPG, this isn't something that the community tends to tolerate. And I daresay that's not something I can blame them for. Since you are playing with other people, your ability to play the game has an effect on their ability to play the game. Your enjoyment can be a hinderance to their enjoyment.

    I've had to accept that the Wiki Age has completely shifted the role of "spades" from in-game to out-of-game. It's so much faster and more accurate to get your information from an information repository maintained by thousands instead of asking the people that you meet inside the game. I don't think this is the fault of the people who make the games... it's a natural consequence of big online communities. It's not something that can really be undone for a game where you play with total strangers; there's no social contract against looking up information and tutorials. Even if there was, the payoff is too high and the chance of being caught is nil.

    If I were able to play in an MMO where everybody discovered things by playing and chatting instead of looking them up, I'd love it. But that is something that can only be done with a group of willing people, not a game that's open to everybody.

    image
  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,643Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by stealthbr

    With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.

    Take Oblivion, for instance. My aunt buys me a magazine and on the back cover, there's an ad for Oblivion. I think, "Hey, this looks like a cool game!" I buy it, not knowing a damn thing about its mechanics, its gameplay features, etc. and every single aspect of it blows me away. Everything about Oblivion felt fresh, felt interesting, and most importantly, felt mysterious, since I knew very little about it. I actually discovered most of the game on my own. In comparison, I read several impressions on Skyrim, learned about most of its mechanics, analyzed countless reviews, and simply put, that feeling isn't there. I know how things will happen. I know how the game will progress. I know how my character will evolve. Suddenly, that 'mysterious' factor is long gone and it's as if the game is missing something.

    And while it's important to actually know what you're putting your money down on, it seems this predetermined knowledge mostly acts as a double-edged blade. I believe the purest, most truthful, and most awe-inspiring of impressions only come when little do you know on what you are about to experience.

     

    I agree 100%.

    I am almost bored of the game before I even get it now... I have seen most of what it offers second hand.

    I know people will say 'well, don't look', but... it's there and people will look.

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,643Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by DannyGlover

    I agree. I remember discovering games as I walked into an arcade or a game shop. That rush of playing something that grabs you or seeing someone play and going whoa. Today, that feeling is pacified by sneak peak videos, dev blogs, and beta leaks. We get all those warm fuzzies long before we get our hands on the product. Then when we actually get to play it, we have already plateaued.

     

    This is how I found EQ... liked the box, read the back, bought the game, threw away my life lol

    It was mind blowing to step into that world without knowing a single thing about it.

  • toljartoljar Elk river, MNPosts: 132Member Uncommon

    Back in 2001 when I got Asheron's Call I was Awe struck. I bought it at a store off the shelf because it looked cool, I had no idea at the time WTF a MMO was. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I miss that feeling I had of people running around infront of me and being in a world of more players than just myself.

    IRONFIST Gaming community
    www.ironfistgaming.com

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon

    I'm very similar I don't suck up all info, get myself hyped up, know exactly what class I'll play and all that Jazz but I do keep one eye on a new release and when, in the case of MMO's, I see it hit the CB stage I'll read up a little to see if it interests me and try to get into CB or OB to try it out. I do like to go into new games as clueless as I can to help me experience the game as is and not the fantasy in head of what the game will be like that for me will only lead to dissapointment like you see all over these boards just after a game is released.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • SkymourneSkymourne Ruston, LAPosts: 366Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by stealthbr

    With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.

    Take Oblivion, for instance. My aunt buys me a magazine and on the back cover, there's an ad for Oblivion. I think, "Hey, this looks like a cool game!" I buy it, not knowing a damn thing about its mechanics, its gameplay features, etc. and every single aspect of it blows me away. Everything about Oblivion felt fresh, felt interesting, and most importantly, felt mysterious, since I knew very little about it. I actually discovered most of the game on my own. In comparison, I read several impressions on Skyrim, learned about most of its mechanics, analyzed countless reviews, and simply put, that feeling isn't there. I know how things will happen. I know how the game will progress. I know how my character will evolve. Suddenly, that 'mysterious' factor is long gone and it's as if the game is missing something.

    And while it's important to actually know what you're putting your money down on, it seems this predetermined knowledge mostly acts as a double-edged blade. I believe the purest, most truthful, and most awe-inspiring of impressions only come when little do you know on what you are about to experience.

    This is THE most important thing about playing games in my opinion, because, in a way, brings back that same feeling i had in childhood when i picked up Dragon Warrior for the NES.  I had been learning to play for a couple of years( the mid eighties were great), but then i picked up this new game and it had slimes and dragons; swords and sorcery; Dragon Warrior. Thus began this entire ride.  Later it was randomly picking up final fantasy 3(6) and taking it home. That is still in my top 3...and number one on my list of all time favorite games: Chrono Trigger. I had NO idea what it was, just that my friend said it's some rpg. I've never had a better gaming experience. 

    I appreciate your thread and the ideas held inside, and i will adopt this philosophy once again for myself in hopes that it triggers the old response once again.  A few other titles that come to mind in regards to not knowing what the hell they were:  Wild Arms (still awesome), Secret of Mana, Everquest, and the most famous in my mind Diablo 2.  

    As a gift recently, my wife purchased me Dungeon Seige 3 from Steam. I had no clue about it except that she said it would cure my Diablo itch for a while. I had never heard of this series.  It has dominated the last four days for me and i absolutely love the game.  Maybe we should all do the same?  It's really up to each of us individually. Some people just like knowing every tidbit, but for me from now on i'll adopt this new process and see where it takes me.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    Buying a game blindly has always bit me in the ass and I've regretted my purchase. I'd be a masochist to do it again.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    I miss the days of browsing, not knowing what I want, picking up a random game or two, and trying my luck.

    Unfortunately, the price tag on games these days forbids that now. At least for my budget it does.  Back when new games were cheaper, and greedy game companies weren't trying to drive used game sellers out of business, I found some pretty fun gems hidden away this way.

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member

    There should be a checklist on the back of every box:

     

    Example:

     

    Instanced PvP Battlegrounds with rewards (CHECK) - If this is checked, I will NOT buy it.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Alcuin

    Interesting observation.  This happened to me with Master of Orion, back when one would go to Egghead/Software Etc. to browse the shelves for the latest releases.

    Happened to me with Masters of Orion II and Morrowind.

    I knew nothing about these games but bought them and they ended up being amazing.

    And Alpha Centauri come to think of it.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by stealthbr
    With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.... more interesting stuff here, read the OP to find out what it is ...

    I think the "risk aversion" tendency in people is more powerful than the "surprise me" tendency. In theory, you can avoid something bad by knowing more about it ahead of time. Yes, it takes away the wonder, but if you're avoiding something bad, then that's what people will do. It takes some effort to not try and find out ahead of time if you're getting ready to do something that you won't enjoy.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    Originally posted by lizardbones

     




    Originally posted by stealthbr

    With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.

     

    ... more interesting stuff here, read the OP to find out what it is ...

     







    I think the "risk aversion" tendency in people is more powerful than the "surprise me" tendency. In theory, you can avoid something bad by knowing more about it ahead of time. Yes, it takes away the wonder, but if you're avoiding something bad, then that's what people will do. It takes some effort to not try and find out ahead of time if you're getting ready to do something that you won't enjoy.

     

    there are different personality traits and those different personalities have different goals in games. In my life I have to feel like I have a sense of progress related to my efforts. Risk is not associated with 'building' in that context in any shape or form so speaking for myself a risk based game would bore me to tears.

    I usually play games where I feel one day I am building off the other day.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,991Member Uncommon

    It's just what I call the "surprise" factor.  It happens to me with movies all the time.  Rarely is a very hyped movie as good as my expectations, especially if I've seen lots of great trailers (which generally seem to include the only good parts of the movie, The Grey, I'm looking at you)

    Meanwhile some of the best movie experiences I've had is when my wife drags me to something I have no clue about, and much to my surprise....it turns out good (even if not really a great movie) because my expectations start out lower.

    With games I see the OP's point.... I have a copy of SWTOR but haven't opened it yet because of what I have read about it here on the forums.  Sure, perhaps I've listened to the negatives too much, but largely it seems like SWTOR takes you to the standard theme park end game of BG's and PVE raiding and that just isn't where I want to go with my MMO end-games these days. (though the questing story line parts are probably pretty fun)

    As Quizzical said, generally with games when you don't learn anything about them you end up buying ones that aren't fun, but hey, once in a while there is the surprise factor to consider.

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by SEANMCAD

    Originally posted by lizardbones

    Originally posted by stealthbr
    With internet granting us immediate access to countless sources of information, allowing us to see and learn about things before even experiencing them firsthand, are we in reality crippling our actual impressions when we do get to try these things out in person? I believe the best gaming experiences I have ever had came from playing games that I knew very little about.
     
    ... more interesting stuff here, read the OP to find out what it is ...
    I think the "risk aversion" tendency in people is more powerful than the "surprise me" tendency. In theory, you can avoid something bad by knowing more about it ahead of time. Yes, it takes away the wonder, but if you're avoiding something bad, then that's what people will do. It takes some effort to not try and find out ahead of time if you're getting ready to do something that you won't enjoy.


    there are different personality traits and those different personalities have different goals in games. In my life I have to feel like I have a sense of progress related to my efforts. Risk is not associated with 'building' in that context in any shape or form so speaking for myself a risk based game would bore me to tears.
    I usually play games where I feel one day I am building off the other day.



    I'm not talking about risk inside the games, I'm talking about the risk of buying a game end ending up with a game that you wouldn't like. Finding out about games before you purchase them is an effort to avoid games you won't like first, and an effort to find a game you'll like second. Not everyone does this or fits the same thinking patterns, etc., but for the most part, 'risk aversion' in people is a stronger instinct than 'happiness seeking'.

    That's why it takes some effort to remain ignorant of games before you buy them, or to buy a game you know nothing about. You have to be willing to accept the risk of "cr@ppy game". Getting a game, installing it and playing it long enough to see if it's something you'll enjoy is a time intensive process. Many people will not accept that risk.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

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