Most Video Games Are Too Long

April 17, 2018

Patrick Klepek for Vice’s Waypoint:

Minit knew what it wanted to accomplish, and how long it took to accomplish it. Done. But it also left me wanting more. If they announce a sequel—may I propose Another Minit?—I’ll be there with bells on. Too many games leave me exhausted, as if my dozens of hours have only made a small dent. (This is especially true for open world games.)

I recently played and completed Florence on iOS in 40 minutes. In that short stint, it hooked me, filled me with hope, sadness, and nostalgia, much like Disney’s Paperman short. It left a lasting impression on me.

I understand the feeling of immersion, but even with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — as focused on in the previous post — I was yearning to finish. Many of the most impactful gaming experiences I’ve had have been shy of four hours; Journey — again, mentioned in Lewis Gordon’s ‘The Rise of the Ambient Video Game’ previously linked to — has been the most impactful of all. Another being Dear Esther.

Speaking of both Journey and Dear Esther, see also ‘Why the Two-hour Game is the Future’.