The man in games

It’s common those days to have a initial phase in games that is kind of a tutorial, teaching you the main controls, how and when to use them.   Commonly, this phase have someone saying what to do, giving instructions, tell  your errors apart from your hits. In Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, for example, there is a training stage in which Big Boss get involved with rookie training and the instructor keep guiding the player throw the controls as if he was teaching rookies with Big Boss assistance. If you get it right, the instructor go on tho the next move, but if do it incorrectly, he’s going to explain again and make you redo until it’s you get it right.

Most games don’t use this instructor metaphor, but there in those tutorials there is always someone’s voice telling you what you should be doing. This voice can be a direct speech or a indirect one, like signs or smalls pieces of texts. The voice owner can be a character or some kind of 3rd person narrator. But always, or you get it right, as it’s being said, or you don’t go on.

Those structures are a kind of authority reinforcement, so as players kind of get used to obey someone that seems more experienced. Obeying is important in our society; we have a bunch of laws, written and unwritten, that should be respected in order to we live in social way. But sometimes, obeying seems wrong or out of the question. That’s why self-criticism is so important.

So games are making us passive? Not at all, they question our reality all the time!  But this questioning generally is made elsewhere, in the game narrative. I, personally, had never saw a game that make you question the tutorial mode. Had. This weekend I was presented to Depict1 and I just love this new perspective. Your “instructor” suggest controls and explains you the game set but… oh.. If only was true. So, most of times, you have to test all buttons and every new object in scene to know for sure what they do. It’s a good manner to keep attentive when playing.