To: The Game Industry
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: Save Me!
Date: Apr 2007

How long do you frustrate a player before they give up and trash the game? What satisfaction is gained my making players go back to some heretofore decided save point and to repeat a section of the game? I've heard discussions about a game having too many save points. Don't want to save – don’t. How about making them user defined? Even the Nintendo DS has enough capacity to accommodate that. The parsimony of saves has more to do with the macho/macha attitude of – earning a game, and my feeling about that is that if a person has paid for the game – he/she has already earned it.

Now learning in a game is an acceptable activity and can best be done by using saves to focus on the difficult parts without coupling it with parts already learned – boring is right up there with frustration. Incidentally, boring is killing things over and over. What's with you guys? Killing is making something dead. Dead is dead, Jim, let's get on with it.

While I am on a roll, I don' wana to do no tests!! Test – bad word, training session – just a dressed-up phrase for test. It's my game and I want to get into the good stuff right away. Trust me – I'll learn on the job. I have been traumatized by not being able to get into a game; by not being able to pass the test; and "Failed!" is a non-starter for a fun activity.

I think that gamers are becoming more picky. Games are getting to be more expensive than books. That is, except for the piddling prices asked for PC games – under $20. Of course then you need a machine and game cards powerful enough to power a 747.