Video-games have great value when it comes to wanting a fun time, and from experience and knowledge of many genres of games scattered throughout our world. I too have found myself accustomed to certain genres in which I find them usually, very fun. That is not to say that I am closed to what genres of games I want to experience, as one can never truly figure out if they find something fun until they try it themselves. So, when it comes to video-games, many people have all sorts of fun based on many preferences such as genre, graphics, platform, device, and many more preferences. Although, when it comes to fun in a literal sense, what is fun? Well, fun is defined as enjoyment, amusement, entertainment, and even pleasure. Although, this definition still does not give us a full grasp of fun, as the described words nothing but vague words that show us that someone is happy. In video-games, I think these words are something that help to convey but not give us a full understanding of what fun is. Fun in a video-game, is something that you find entertaining for a long period, and many people have all sorts of fun depending on many different genres. There’s fun found within competition, aesthetic, music, repetitiveness, accomplishment, and possibly many more “kinds” of fun.
However, today I’m not here to talk about the many kinds of games that offer a variety of fun, I’m here to review a certain nostalgic game that all of us are to have heard in some point of our lives, which is, Pac-Man, an arcade maze video-game released in 1980 that quickly grew to be Namco’s first biggest selling game in history. The objective of this video game is to survive if possible while trying to naturally accomplish the highest score in the arcade’s scoreboard.
So as soon as I launch up this old style I game, I am already greeted with the nostalgic 8-bit music, and the many sound effects in 8-bit which I found pleasurable at first, but not as some number of minutes have passed. Then you simply jump right into the game’s objective, where most people should find all the key functions in the game within seconds. Whilst playing, you are simply moving left, right, up, or down to avoid the enemy ghosts and collect items to increase your score. The game’s functions come naturally once I’ve figured the symmetric map layout, as well as what the items do. Then I finally start to feel the repetitiveness of the game once I’ve completed the level, as I am sent back into the same map layout. Quickly this game something because something effortless and boring due to its constant and simple nature. Going from Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun for Game Design’s deeming of what is fun, which is pleasure, or source of enjoyment, and a saying that “fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug” (Koster 40). Going by what Koster has said here, there should be no fun from this game that is gained. And with this notion I do agree here with Koster, as there is few to little mastery and learning because of the simplicity, and for the most part, the repetition of this simplicity. Overall the experience of Pac-Man was fun at first, but quickly grew to be something that was too straightforward to be entertaining for me. The experience of the video-game Pac-Man is a nostalgic one, but from my point of view and experience, something that is too be looked at in its own time. Because of the vast number of video-games released today that contain a variety of genre and uniqueness, Pac-Man is something that cannot really be considered fun for me when you have experienced video-games today that grow greater and greater each year.
Source: Koster, R. (2005). A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Scottsdale, AZ: Paraglyph Press.