A plea for openness

Now that there’s so much willingness, technology and skill to create beautiful virtual worlds, it’s disappointing how many videogames cling to obstacle-based designs. As if players have to earn the privilege to explore by passing an irrelevant test. Now is the time to open up this medium, to let go of our affections and addictions, of our loyalty to childhood memories, to open up the beauty of videogames for the world to see.

Everybody wants to visit our worlds, to interact with our characters, to play a role in our stories. Don’t let them down! Give them access. Let design mean the building of bridges and the opening of doors, not the hiding of keys and the cowardly sniper shot. Welcome the player with open arms, be an entertaining host. Don’t pull the rug from under them or harass them just because you enjoy that sort of thing.

I admit I’m being selfish. I see so many alluring worlds in videogames. I really want to visit them but virtually without fail, it takes less than five minutes to run into an obstacle that I don’t have the heart to overcome. An enemy, a platform, a puzzle or a simple pit. The game promises hours of exploration but forces me to quit at the very start. These days I spend more time buying and downloading games than playing them. I want to play. Please help!

People —like me— want to see your creation, we are interested in what you have invented. Don’t shut us out. Don’t turn your new friends away. Be nice.