Books don’t snap shut if you don’t understand them. Books don’t say If you’re not paying attention, you can not continue. I think Dara’s very right there, and I think his point is a good one. Videogames are one of the only media forms we have where the content can be explicitly gated.
That’s not to say, though, that all other art is free of this. After all, videogames may let you muddle to the end if you’re good at replicating a mechanic, or exploiting a trick, but that doesnt mean you’re experiencing the whole thing. Numerous videogames have conclusions or narratives that go completely missed – such as how Hotline Miami has resting at its core a quiet contempt for players that act without caring.
I thought of this as I looked at a song on my playlist, on my iPod as I walked the street this morning. I saw the song’s title – I was only 19, and then the album’s. The Sun Never Sets. A song about PTSD and the Vietnam War, on an album that feels as a reference to The Sun Also Rises.
Achievment: Three Generational Reference!