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Gamer's (Illusion of) Freedom

The qualities of a computer game that capture a gamer's attention cannot just be as a simple list of ingredients worthy of inclusion. It is not necessarily that the more you add to a dish, the richer the dish will taste. Adding more of something often means taking away from something else. Many gamers desire for an unattainable mix of conflicting qualities when they imagine a perfect gaming experience. They want the game developers to constantly push the boundaries of how close a game can get to simulating total reality and freedom in a virtual world. At the same time, they do not wish the gameplay to get clogged by the boredom of everyday life activities and complications.

Both desires are understandable. Books and movies can entertain on the basis of retelling some determined, linear but larger than life events. Games, however, have to entertain by incorporating their audience's decisions into the action. The only solution to meet these involved opposing needs at the same time is to create an illusion of freedom in the players' minds without allowing it to be actually true.

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