Game Feel

“To many designers, game feel is about intuitive control.”

“Even without a specific goal in mind, there is this intrinsic pleasure to control.”

Usually, the interaction of the objects you see on the screen on television and films is passively perceived. Leaning back and having a cognitive interaction is what experienced rather than leaning forward and have real-time control. However, by computers, interactive storytelling allow users to live active perception that gives an opportunity for exploring a simulated space using real-time control. Many new technologies enable documentary makers to create a game feel in their documentaries.

One of the oldest examples of interactive documentaries Aspen Movie Map by Andrew Lippman produced in 1978 under the Arpa sponsorship has this game feel.

By enabling the user to take a virtual tour through the city of Aspen, Colorado (that is, a form of surrogate travel). It is an early example of a hypermedia system and its game feel.

Today many projects were produced by 3d cam, or projects were enriched by Google technologies such as Project Night Walk gave us the clues about game feel in the new forms of documentaries. Participants gain an experience of flaneur in the digital environment. Having a touristic tour by having the sensation of control, learning the gestures of the movements on the screen and syringe them with your own perception makes the documentary more appealing and engaging.

Game feel is also supported by little achievements in the new interactive documentaries. For example; checkpoints in the Project Night Walk are designed to increase the attention and excitement in the participation.

Steve Swink mention about the five most common experiences of game feel in his book called Game Feel. (2009) These are;

  • The aesthetic sensation of control
  • The pleasure of learning, practising and mastering a skill
  • Extension of the senses
  • Extension of Identity
  • Interaction with a unique physical reality within the game

What we can see is that these experiences of game feel does not limited itself by video games. Many platforms and forms of the storytelling including interactive documentaries have these qualities.

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