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  • Writer's pictureRock

Replay & Value

"(On average) It takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials."

- Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers: The Story of Success"

I'm a master at Video Games.

There has been some debate over that number, and what it means, but what is certain is this: The more you practice something, the better you get at it.

Video games have come a long, long, LONG way from when you used quarters in an arcade. Nowadays, there's not only people who make a living by being game journalists, but there's critics, reviewers, hell, there's people that make their whole living playing video games! (Take that, Mom and Dad...)

So it's not just a hobby, not just a way to pass the time these days. Oh, there is that too, it's a form of entertainment, but it's also a multi-billion dollar juggernaut with fans that will be willing to draw lines in the sand over which console is best. (Hot take: Just get all of them. Or join the PC master race, your choice.)

But there's something more here when you look at it closely. When you have punishing games like Cuphead and Dark Souls, when you have people speed-running games that should take days in an hour, when you have people putting arbitrary limits like seeing if you can play a game like Fallout or Skyrim without killing anyone or anything, then you're fundamentally changing what the game designers had in mind. Video games are the most interactive form of entertainment I can think of, which leads me to the point of this article: Replayability and Value.

Those speedruns, those arbitrary rules, they're not just for bragging rights, it's also because those people LOVE the games they're playing, with a big ol' capital 'L'. You don't want to put them down, so you come up with new ways to keep playing them, make them harder, make them interesting. I've always said that, dollar for dollar, a good video game that you love gives you the MOST value of any medium. I mean, you can re-watch a movie or re-read a book a few times, but most games you can play just a little differently, build a different way, find something new to do, every time you play them.

Take your favourite game on Steam, divide what you paid for it by the number of hours you've played it, then consider that value. NOTHING else comes close. It's one reason why, especially during The Bad Times, the video game industry made more money than either the movie industry and every major North American sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MBA, NHL). COMBINED.

With that in mind, consider Midnight Suns: with so many characters, a wide selection of cards for them, combos for different sets of heroes, and (for the first time) a fully customizable Marvel hero of your very own, is it any wonder why I am so f***ing STOKED for this game?!?! AND it's by Firaxis, who absolutely EXCEL at making games that you can play over and over and over again. I mean, it's the perfect alignment for not hours or days, but literal weeks and months of playing time.

So, by that 10,000 hour rule, I’m sure I’m not alone in being a ‘master’ at multiple video games and I am looking forward to Midnight Suns adding to that number.

- Rock

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