In response to "Kill Your Darlings" from The Escapist Forum: I'm a dissatisfied gamer. Games are getting stagnant. Surprisingly though I couldn't disagree with this article more.
To use an example Will Wright uses when talking about game design, the overt metaphor of 'Sim City' is a city planning simulator but the underlying game is more akin to gardening. The game plays by choosing where to plant your buildings, watching your city grow, and weeding out slums or anything else you don't like. This discrepancy isn't a flaw of 'Sim City', the point being made is that there is a difference between the premise of a game (the overt metaphor) and the gameplay itself (the underlying part of the game). To put it very simply if you remove everything that doesn't affect the mechanical decision making process you are left with the gameplay.
The thing that bothers me reading this article is you can't have a great game without both an overt game and an underlying game.. Figuring out the game and improving your gameplay exercises the same part of your brain you used as an infant when you tried to figure out how your toys worked. Taking the health bar away is murdering the underlying gameplay in order to get a superficial improvement by making the game look more realistic. The value of immersion is misunderstood anyways. While I do get a sense of fun when I pretend I'm actually the main character that illusion is almost entirely due to my imagination - not more realistic appearances - and moreover that sense of fun is *not* a game.
In response to "Kill Your Darlings" from The Escapist Forum: There seems to be a lot of talk about immersion in games of late and I just wonder if maybe I missed something in what immersion should be. In my experience of games (RPGs being my favorite) stats and health bars etc weren't really detracting from the game or my own immersion in it. They were just displaying information that was required for me to make a decision which in fact immersed me even further in the game.
In Response to "Sound Off: Where Will We Be in 2020" from The Escapist Forum: I honestly think we'll have a more unified gaming front...
We'll be able to play a "game" on the console, but then we'll switch it into standby mode and download the portable engine to a handheld device. We can then focus on the same game on the handheld, lowered graphics, but it will allow us to gain power ups/certain minerals throughout our GPS range.
When we get to work, we can plug in our handheld to the work computer, and occasionally click something to continue mining/crafting/etc.