Dead Space was a revelation, and I’ve heard amazing things about what FFXIV has been able to accomplish on multiple levels. I also think about this stuff in terms of how long, cumulatively, you spend inside the interface instead of playing the game. I think the best games minimize this time spent, which is why, on the HD “remaster” of Skyrim, I remembered why I never beat it the first time. Oops, time to hit B again, fingers crossed it doesn’t autosave.
I think my ideal game is the one from the film Her, in the scene where Joaquin Phoenix is playing alone in his apartment. It’s an AR interface controlled by gestures, and he, the player, runs into a little gremlin guy in a glowing green cave. The gremlin seems hostile, and curses up a storm at the player, until the player gives him a “fuck you” back, at which point the gremlin becomes friendly. Emergent gameplay is my favorite thing to experience, and I love how games can use UI, or lack of UI, to challenge you on a conceptual level.