When ranking the most ‘fun’ video games of all time, several variables come into play. As a consumer, we must think about graphics, complexity, difficulty, and, of course, how much fun was experienced while playing. According to Brian SuYon-Smith, “Play is fun so we feel better about being in this lousy world. It’s a lousy world cause we’re all gonna die and there’s accidents and there’s all these worlds and all the rest of it.It’s crap!” I agree with this almost completely! I say ‘almost’ because I see the real world we currently live in as a game itself.
Needless to say, my definition of ‘fun’ is anything that can distract my mind from the idea of work without becoming something repetitive. There must be continuous excitement, or some sort of continuous stimulation or suspense. I was not very enthusiastic about playing the google version of Pac-Man, but to my surprise, this actually ended up being more entertaining and ‘fun,’ to an extent, than I expected. Although the design of this version of Pac-Man is fairly simple, something about the game itself makes it fun for the player. First of all, the game itself is relatively easy, which allows it to be played by just about anyone. Realistically, all that is needed to know in order to win is how to move with the arrows up, down, left, and right, collect all the power pills on the map, and avoid getting touched by the ghosts, unless you have eaten the big power pill, which allows you to eat the ghosts.
I believe the simplicity of this game, along with the graphics and sound effects, is what makes playing the game a ‘fun’ experience. The fact that you are able to win, even when trying different routes or techniques, expands your options and creativity as a player. For example, the first time I played, I was not focused on points, or the time it took to complete the level, but rather just on finishing the game without getting killed three times. As I played, again, I then began focusing on more specific goals in order to make the game a little more challenging for myself, as well as add to my list of objectives. Within a couple of rounds, I went from only trying to survive, to trying to pass the level without losing any lives, collecting the most points possible, and trying to complete the level in the shortest amount of time.
Each time I would achieve a new objective, I would gain a sense of accomplishment that not only made me want to keep playing, but also encouraged me to want to play better than the previous time. I kept this routine going over and over until I could not possibly improve any further. Inevitably, once I had cleared all of my objectives, and could not beat any of my highest rankings, the game began to feel repetitive, and I noticed I began to lose interest, as well as that sensation of accomplishment. Nevertheless, I am convinced if this version had more levels I would still be hooked.