I continue to think about just how needlessly big AAA games have become in recent years, and I always wonder a part of why games are getting so big beyond the obvious is because one of the few quantifiable ways to measure how much somebody “”“enjoys”"" a game is the amount of hours played.
Steam prominently displays how many hours you’ve played a game right underneath the games title. People constantly add “I played the game x hours” when detailing how much they enjoy a game. I know when I love a game, I want to quantify that love somehow, whether it’s making an ordered list of games, or just viewing my hour counts with a game. But I feel in trying to put numbers to how much I enjoyed something, I miss the point and become more invested in measuring my enjoyment then… just enjoying the thing. I should be able to see my hour count in Destiny 2 and realize “Glorgu, your hour count in this has little to do with your enjoyment of the game and more your enjoyment of hanging out with friends and having something to do while you listen to basketball podcasts.” - and I do - but I still have a desire to measure my enjoyment with something, and hours is the most obvious.
And I’m curious, does this play a part in why games are so dang big now? Obviously that isn’t the only reason, or possibly even a reason publishers care about (after all, capitalism), but I do wonder if hours being one of the few ways we quantify “enjoyment” of a game plays into games getting decidedly larger.
Anyways questions I’m curious about:
- Do you think hours being a quantifiable way to measure enjoyment plays a sizable role in why games keep getting bigger?
- Where do you think the desire to measure enjoyment comes from?
- Are there any papers I should be reading on this?
- How should I measure my enjoyment of a game?