Over Analysing Can Remove You From An Experience

If you want to be a game designer, writer or musician… etc… it’s often important to be able to analyse other existing material to deepen your understanding of what works and what doesn’t. It’s actually quite a difficult skill to learn as the very act of making an analysis can take you out of the experience. I think this is something that I’ve managed to master while playing a game as I tend to have many ideas about what I felt and why after finishing a play session. I think analysing too strongly however, can ruin the experience because it blocks you from being able to get into it naturally.

There have been times where I’ve been told that I shouldn’t like something because it doesn’t apply to certain rules. As a consumer who knows nothing about certain fields of expertise I can only judge it at a basic level of how it makes me feel. For example, ‘you shouldn’t like this song because they lack talent in playing guitar.’ – The thing is I couldn’t tell but I enjoyed the song regardless.

As an example, I’ve heard multiple writers making complaints about J K Rowling. I enjoyed most of the Harry Potter series, but I do agree that there are many other fantasy books out there that are just as good if not better (The Inheritance Cycle, Black Magicians Trilogy and Study Series to name a few.) Yet it can’t be denied that no matter what J K Rowling might have done wrong her work is immensely popular and successful. I think it’s therefore important to understand what it is that made it popular rather than just criticising it from your own perspective. I have to admit that as someone who enjoys game design I have often been bemused by the titles that have become overly popular when all I can see are flaws.

Certain rules are only there as guidance and many things have become a quick success despite the fact that they stray from certain methodologies. Sometimes the people who became successful aren’t necessarily the best at their craft, they just came up with the right idea at the right time or happen to be really good at marketing. What we have to remember is that consumers often lack the same deep theories and knowledge that we’ve been taught. Berating them for not understanding what makes one thing supposedly better than another is unfair (See ‘If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It.’) There are so many reasons for why they may like one thing over another.

Sometimes analysing too deeply can only take you further away from understanding what makes an experience great. I think it’s important to not only consider how we personally feel, but why others with a different background to us may feel a certain way too. When I play a game for the first time I don’t do so with the intention of analysing it. I prefer to allow myself to get lost in it first and then to consider it more deeply later on. Of course I can later come to appreciate my films, games, books and music even more so by looking into them more deeply, but analysis shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying something. Often I know a thing I love has flaws and yet I still enjoy it anyway.


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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

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