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Adventure Game

This post is a few years old but I didn’t see it until now:

I agree but I’d wanna add… an adventure game is a game that’s about you experiencing the game world, doing things in the game world, pawn stance or actor stance or adventurer stance, as opposed to how some other games (including some really really good games) lean more into the experience of being a story-creator, being in the writer’s room, being in the “wouldn’t it be cool if such-and-such” happened.

I’m not denying that there are experience that are huge overlaps between those two categories. You can create a situation with your fellow “authors” but then experience genuine bleed and emotion while immersing into possessing the character who is experiencing the situation. So none of this is to slag on story games.

It’s more that I do feel it’s interesting to also discuss “adventure games”, games where your character enters situations and experiences situations and causes situations. Games that take you to the dungeon or the jungle or a mysterious island and ask you “You are this character. You have this character’s personality, desires, weaknesses, strength. What do you do as this character?”

You can explore, rest, gear up, negotiate, fight, make friends—your interface is the character, your actions are limited to the character’s actions.

This isn’t to say adventure games are better than story games or even to exaggerate their differences and deny the possibilities for overlap or hybrid game forms. But, it’s to lift up adventure games as a worthwhile participatory artform of its own.