Culture

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
time, video games



What's Wrong With Video Games That You Can Finish In Three Hours?

from the that's-not-how-it's-done! dept

Clive Thompson tries to bust apart the commonly held wisdom that it should take 40 hours to complete a video game. He points to a recently well-received game that many reviewers dinged for the fact that it could be completed in three hours. They seemed to like pretty much everything about the game... other than that it was "too short." The standard, apparently (I had no idea) is that a video game should take approximately 40 hours to finish. But Thompson points out how silly that is. For many games, they just start to feel repetitive or stretched out. If you can do everything that needs to be done in just three hours -- why not do it. My guess is that many of the complaints just come from what people think they're "buying" with the game, and that includes "time spent on the game." So a game that seems short feels like "less value" even if that's not necessarily the case. Still, as Thompson points out, the game he's talking about, The Maw is much cheaper than the average 40-hour game anyway, so he's not clear why people are complaining. To be honest, I was unaware of the 40-hour standard, and am a bit surprised that it's apparently so standardized. I'd always just assumed that different games had different time-lengths (if they were "finishable" at all).

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  1. identicon
    AC, 26 Mar 2009 @ 12:40pm

    What a dumb standard

    Any of the NES Super Mario games could be beat in an hour or so without even rushing, but when people are still playing them (and paying for new copies, even) 20+ years later, then $50 for one of them is a better investment than getting a long, boring $20 game today.

    In the end, everybody is going to define value differently, and trying to boil it down to a single number (dollars/hour, or something stupid like that) is a fruitless exercise.

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