I can’t be the only one who experiences a sort of tranquility when playing an action game and everything just works. The rhythm of the play: Running ahead, shooting, dodging, reloading, and adapting.
I often attribute this being in the flow to action games, but I realized, there is a great wonder to it when more quiet games like RPG’s have a flow you can achieve.
It’s when the setting, story and systems coalesce into a sort of everyday-like quality, and I simply play the game as if I live that world, and the life available to me, is enough, because I tacitly accept that the game world is what it is, and isn’t trying to be more.
Playing Fantasy Life on the 3DS and more recently Final Fantasy XV, there is a joy and danger in this.
- In Fantasy Life I would spend time raising the levels of my character in various classes, perhaps sometimes spending a little too long crafting exquisite furniture that I could sell way above market price.
- In FFXV I’ve been living it up in Duscae, undertaking mundane fetch-quests, duking it out with wild-life and mechanical, medieval paratroopers, and trampling the flora with my beautiful giant bird.
In Fantasy Life, and soon I expect, in Final Fantasy XV, my overparticipation in the everyday-like (the quotidian from the title) results in me feeling like the game has presented all it had to offer and I have tasted all I needed to.
It’s definitely a sad experience in games with a larger overarching narrative to complete, but we all play games in different ways, and I definitely feel like it’s a wonderful facet of video games, that they can allow us to have a short taste of different daily life, that might be far more exciting than reality, yet (due to the necessary structure of becoming increasingly powerful and experienced in a gameplay loop) eventually feeling like even the life of a magical god-prince is boring enough to move on to something else.
To eventually become boring isn’t a trait I’m striving for in Sodagirl, but it being a rather quiet game, letting players experience a different kind of everyday-life seems like quite a noble goal.