Personalized video games changing industry

Personalized video games changing industry

Prudence Nowicki, Copy Chief

As technology grows and becomes more capable of different possibilities, a big step in the gaming industry is having more personalized gameplay.

This comes in a variety of ways, whether it be personalizing a character from the shape of their arm to the just right shade of red in their hair, through choosing a class and weapon for a favorite type of gameplay, or, perhaps the most significantly, making choices that affect the story of the game.

As more games come out that have these features, it becomes more apparent that fans love the concept. And it makes sense why: When a game is personalized by choices, it becomes easy to really feel like part of the story.

Many of these games that are ruled by choices come in a chapter or episodic series.

Recently, a popular example of this emerging genre of games, Life is Strange, released the second episode of its prequel series.

Telltale Games is known for making these types of games, some based on popular franchises, such as The Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, Batman, and others. Some other favorites by different companies are Life is Strange, Catherine, Beyond Two Souls, and Heavy Rain.

Other games aren’t so directly about choices but still include some that are less obvious. One game that resembles this is Skyrim, which is hardly a game centered solely around story. However, at the beginning of this action-packed game the player is faced with a choice to join with one side of the war or the other.

While fans crave these games with customization and personalized experiences, there still seems to be a dearth of them, or perhaps the extent of them, in the gaming industry.

While there are more games coming out that allow the player to make decisions that affect the gameplay, it seems a common issue is that all games still end up the same. That is to say, whether the player chose the boat or the car at the beginning of the game, he or she still ends up stranded on the same deserted island in the end.

While some games are effective at making players feel as if their choices matter, others leave a feeling that the choices didn’t affect anything at all. Life is Strange, for example, does a good job making players feel like their choices changed the story through the game, but in the end they are left with the same two drastic decisions no matter what they did to get there.

Players love the feeling of being immersed in the game they are playing, and having a personalized experience makes that feeling so much greater. Video game developers just need to take that next step to make players feel like their choices mattered all the way to the end and they’re not just stuck on the same deserted island as everybody else.