Nice observation! I wonder how these ideas would apply to old-school tabletop roleplay?
The longer I DMd, the more rules I dropped. Orks have no hit zones (or make up hits to head etc as sounds fun), 10 hp, and all weapons deal 1D10 unless notably small or big. I do all dice rolls, players just get to hear what happened. Worked a treat speeding things up. The rules even encouraged this sort of thing. Good rules.
Back on topic, great article - really articulates what I have been feeling is wrong with many games. I wanna pootle about, do weird stuff, explore the map, do all sorts of things. Railroading no thanks. It is in that zen zone of just doing stuff just because it is there, where greatness lies. Such as sniping everything even remotely hostile in New Vegas, because the rifle and recoil and stuff felt good. Or just building various demented creations in Minecraft. Gaming where the direction and goal is very secondary, just a moment of fiddling or doing, absorbed, entertained, lost in the nonthought kind of thought.
I really enjoyed this. My understanding of game theory is rudimentary, and play as a noun felt like a good access point.
This also reminds me of a large critique of the more recent Legend of Zeldas: Twilight Princess and more dramatically Skyward Sword, where the gameplay has migrated from open exploration and discovery to dungeon–> simple puzzle–>dungeon–>simple puzzle ad nauseum. I can’t find the most referenced article about this, and I don’t completely agree, but I think it’s an interesting corollary to the OP.
So kind of like “A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer?”
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