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The feeling of detachment in video games and falling into a loop

Gamingtodaynews1b - The feeling of detachment in video games and falling into a loop

Something i have noticed is that many games make you feel sort of… detached after some time of playing them.

Let's look at Diablo and other so called "hack and slash" games. I have been playing them a lot lately. Many of them make you feel detachment. Let's look at Grim Dawn by Crate Entertainment. My current build is based on health regeneration and Blade Arc (a powerful skill that knocks the enemy back and causes bleeding, dealing a lot of damage). Unfortunately, Blade Arc has a rather long cooldown, during which i am not very dangerous. So my strategy is:

Hit the enemy with Blade Arc – run away and wait for the cooldown – hit the enemy with Blade Arc – run away and wait for the cooldown – hit the enemy with Blade Arc – run away and wait for the cooldown

And so in circles. No fight is original, surprising, or requiring a chamge in strategy. With me, every enemy encounter is the same. I have been using the same tactic and never changed it. Every boss encounter includes me hitting them with Blade Arc, running away, rinse and repeat. Nothing out of order ever happens. I have fallen into a loop. I have got detached from the game. Instead of immersing myself, all i do is spam Blade Arc. The game has detached me. Now killing enemies isn't unique, since they all get Blade-Arced.


Let's look at some less niche games. In Fallout 1 and 2 you didn't have quest markers. You couldn't immediately tell where you needed to go. In Fallout 3 and 4, as well as New Vegas, they introduced quest markers. Now you don't need to THINK where your quest target is based on conversations and intuition. You don't need to THINK about where you are going. All you need to do is look at your pipboy, check where to go, and set off. And yes, i know you can turn quest markers off in most games, but in reality they are often built in a way that expects you to use them. An example.of it is the Witcher 3. Yeah you disable quest markers but how will you tell what to do if it isn't said or written?

The one game that doesn't detach you is RDR2. Every action has an animation. The flora and fauna behave realistically. You character pants and groans as he's being hit. Your horse behaves like an animals, not a car. Every action like walking, shooting, swimming, hitting, jumping, has a PHYSICAL, FELT IMPACT. You FEEL a part of that world. You FEEL your character's pain when you ride into a rocm and he falls off, and now you need to re-stow your skin on the horse and reequip your hat. You don't just WSAD, LMB, R throughout the game. When you shoot an animals, it feels like you are shooting an animal, a living being, not just a hitbox.

The feeling of detachment can make a very good game boring in the long run. Once you fall into a LOOP, the game doesn't hold your attention. You dod things because it tells you to, not because you feel there is any meaning to that.

Thus, games should introduce more animations and fewer quest markers and the like to increase immersion.

What do you think? Do you disagree?

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