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Old 06-25-2008, 02:48 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by MoriartyL View Post
I've observed that games aren't worth replaying unless they evoke strong emotions from moment to moment. The second time through, getting from point A to point B is no longer any motivator at all. But if I'm really enjoying where I am at the moment, I'm going to want to keep going. Gameplay gets old and stale, but a good emotion will always be worth going back to.
I think you've hit the nail on the head there, Moriarty. This is probably also why certain books merit re-reading, and others are perfectly fine to get through once but not worth picking up again.

It's the people who really like books who re-read particular favourites. Some people are Dickens buffs, for instance, or Hardy-philes. There are some who make it a special point to go back over A Dance to the Music of Time every few years, or perhaps Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the more historically minded.

You'll notice that these are all big meaty works. Nobody bothers much going back over paperback romances, airport thrillers, or teen fiction. In fact, romance readers tend to go through their novels like popcorn, reading each one once and moving on, which is why publishers churn them out in such quantities.

Solid complex literature can never be completely absorbed in one reading, or even in a lifetime of reading. Anyone claiming to get every morsel out of every book they've ever read the first time round is either deluding themselves, or else has only ever read light trash. (Now, I'm not knocking light trash -- I read tons of it myself -- but you can't live on junk food forever, mentally as well as physically.)

Movies are much the same again. I'm not much into them myself, but I appreciate the fact that there are classic movies that are as deep and complex as literature, and merit re-watching and discussion without end. These are the films that give cinema a claim to being an art form, far different from the summer blockbuster froth that is quickly watched and soon forgotten.

And the same applies to any type of art. Good paintings can be viewed every day for the rest of your life, and you'll never get to the "end" of them. Good music can be listened to over and over, and will always be new and interesting. And then there's the black velvet pictures and pop chart hits.

So why should games be any different? If you argue that gaming is in some way an art form rather than a mere consumer industry, then there must be at least a few classic games that merit serious consideration and re-appreciation.
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