The video game scene of the 21st Century is almost bursting at the seams. It is an industry expanding with an intensity mirroring the film industry. Yet in the video game, the audience is not sitting back and interacting with a linear, predefined experience. The gamer actually interacts; he defines the experience. He looks for several things in the synthetic world he will be working through for the next 15 hours to perhaps as much as six months. Much of his time will be spent in the pixellated universe, and the experienced gamer has seen other virtual worlds to elevate his expectation of this one. In the early days of video games, quality was purely in the gameplay, and this was okay, as the gamer would not be spending too much of his time in front of the screen.
But today, the virtual environment is expected of being similar to the real world. A small glitch will have gamers flocking to it. A glitch can really take the gamer out of the immersion the game brings. The next thing a game should do is sound great. A major-motion picture soundtrack should subtly be supplementing the game to bring a surreal experience that compels the gamer to stay in the synthetic world he has chosen to be apart of. But, a game with amazing graphics, superb sound, beautiful special effects and gameplay quality means little to the gamer who intends to sit down for several hours committed to a fantasy world. He is looking for a story to carry the gameplay, the beauty, and the stellar main character (of which he embodies) into uncharted situations. He is looking for challenge. He is expecting to be tested.
The experienced gamer will maneuver his way through a typical campaign in a matter of 12-15 hours (depending on difficulty). This may take him a month, a week, or a single evening. At this point, if the gamer still enjoys the experience the game has offered him, he will perhaps attempt the game at a harder difficulty, or (more likely), move into the game's multiplayer mode. If the game was not worth playing though again, due to restrictive maneuverability, or linear level design, the chances are the gamer may give up on the game. But often is the case with many games being developed in the current market, multiplayer is enough to keep the gamer hooked for months – especially if achievement points and level-ups are awarded. It is the potential for glory in us that keeps a gamer committed. This element actually demands a gamer to execute his virtual abilities with excellence.
The Screen has attracted much of the eyes of the Y and Z Generations. The screen is a medium for imagination to come alive as the book did for the person in the 19th Century. Yet, the screen has now brought the ability of imagination to the audience in a visually satisfying way. The gamer has now been equipped with construction tools, meaning he can create his own perception of the world he has been immersed in for public spectacle. The screen has enabled the gamer to embody almost any field in all of society, in a virtual environment, and control the virtual self with physics-predicting software. The hearty gamer has then typically an expressive personality, though often acting out what he knows is only fantasy.
The typical gamer is quick to name what is not working in a game. He knows what is good, and what is bad, utilizing not only his experience with other video games, but real-world experience to expect realism. A typical gamer has seen so many landscapes and environments, that he would be able to claim to be a virtual explorer legitimately; And he is.