With Summer here, Call of Duty Ghosts announced, and new platforms coming, it is good to reflect on our excitement for new things. One thing we all love to do is look forward to new things: New Year’s, birthdays, new updates, new games and yes, new consoles. Last week Xbox One was announced. When the Playstation 4 is unveiled we will have a whole lot of new content to look forward to. But what is that going to give us?
Games arose thousands of years ago largely out of a way to improve personal skills and practice for future events. A game’s popularity and following hinges on two very important elements: re-playability and growth. Rarely do we play a game again if we play it very poorly or if it reveals all of its secrets too soon. Though in the case of something like Risk or Chess (two favorites of the team), the board and opponent can be the same every time—but we can grow in our skill at playing.
Rewards and Growth in Gaming
Video games developers today—particularly with the Call of Duty series—have focused their talents on re-playability through variety. They unlock weapons, reticles, camouflages, perks, and other features. Xbox Live prides itself on introducing “Achievements” to campaign gaming. Why do we keep playing the same game over and over again until the next version comes out? Re-playability.
But where does growth come into play? Completing challenges and unlocking cammos does not make us better. More importantly, it tells us that we slogged through 250 or so kills—so really, these rewards are all weighted towards re-playability, not growth. Growth comes from the realization that playing is getting easier, or that the people who are killing you have to be better that the people who used to be killing you.
Growth comes from taking the time to figure out why your kill death ratio, or your score per minute, or your time to complete the level is where it is, then improve on it. Whatever you plan on doing this summer, consider that going through prestige after prestige should be a growth opportunity as well as an opportunity to level up over and over again.
We will be here to help you grow this summer. So keep working on your skills, we will be.