The most obvious thing to say about all this is that playing the narrative of a game like Stardew Valley is more like being a novel than it is like reading one. And I’m surprised by how engrossing I find this. I’ve been playing Stardew Valley for a few months now, and I still feel a part of that world. A good novel is over too soon—you’ll blow through it in a day or two or three if you’re really into it—though of course you can read it again. A good novel gives you a new experience each time you re-engage with it, but even still, the words are always static on the page. In real terms, no two people can have the exact same experience of a game like Stardew Valley. That is to say, it’s dynamic. There is a finite and fixed set of things that can happen——but depending on what you prioritize and how you spend your time, you will encounter things at different points than someone else will, which affects how you feel, influences the decisions you make, and gives shape to your experience.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
… How Green Was My Valley – Notes on Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)