"it refuses to tell you its basic ground rules"

Games Lately, my game of choice has been a poorly designed but usable Mahyong thing I downloaded from the Chrome stores. It's pretty tedious, but just the thing to stop me falling asleep when listening to a podcast late at night when it's still too early to go to bed.

 I'm pretty much done with most other forms of gaming having spent many, many years fighting but failing against the tide of complexity. Films, television, radio and books still feel like more active media, even if the muscle that's being used is my brain.

This Slate review of some new instant classic pretty much sums up my objection:
"Dark Souls takes so long to play because it refuses to tell you its basic ground rules, then kills you over and over again for failing to understand them. As a player, you proceed not by thinking through problems but by randomly trying anything and everything until something haphazard sticks. The game is teaching you, but it's not teaching you anything worth knowing. In roughly 40 hours of reading, Tolstoy covers the range of human existence: love, premature death, villainy, class, the limits of friendship, the crucible of debt, the idea of humans as helplessly caught in the tidal forces of history. Dark Souls leaves you with the intimate knowledge of when to roll out of the way of an ogre's club swing."
I know there are some games which do take time to cinematically set up characters and take the player through an emotional journey.  But I'd be interested to know if the final outcome, the moment of completion, has the same exhilaration as a something which is generally considered to be more passive, other than a basic sense of achievement [via].

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