I don’t know what it is about having your own space in a game, about putting my potted plant in the corner and not those trashy default ones. Filthy potted plant plebeians, ruining all my good work. Owning my own house and decorating it in reality sounds like a lot of money and work, so I suppose it would make sense you’d get more fun doing it in a virtual world. Surely it would feel novel and the joy would fade then, however I stand before you having spent hours moving posters on walls. Infernal grid based item placement will be the death of me.
I noticed my odd love for the mechanic or any form of it when I was messing around in a little rhythm game on the PS3 called Hatsune Miku Project Diva:F. There is a novel mode of interaction with the characters where you can set up the furniture, arrange it and even fully change the aesthetic of the room. For some mysterious reason, I had a disproportionate amount of fun to what I was doing, I was just moving figurines around on a shelf and messing with the wallpapers, on a first glance it would seem mundane… but I was getting into the game more than ever through decorating.
Having a home or something similar has an odd sense of ownership in a digital space, I think it gives a sense of stake in the world. Having a home means this isn’t just random adventure with protagonist A to save B from C lest it fall to ruin as I go into peoples houses stealing their things “for the greater good”. Now I am a resident in this universe, I have things to hang up and a whole wall of poorly placed accessories that exists for the sole purpose of showing them all off. I guess I could go the Skyrim path and just use it as my storage centre, dumping a bunch of my stuff here and then surfing on it like a bed of money….made of swords. I could also tidy up and start a family that I can come to hate and divorce with extreme prejudice, a home is potential.
What I usually love about some sort of house or land in a game is when it does what Assassins Creed would do: have a display area of all your things. I play a fair amount of Monster Hunter and I gotta say, I wish they weren’t all just icons in a box. Well actually I like having them as icons in a box for functionality but it would be nice to also see display cases or a walk in closet of all my stuff. Imagine seeing your gigantic greatsword collection, dozens of blades in a row as a showcase of all the things you killed, made into a weapon and killed something else with.
With this joy of a home in mind it makes me remember that announced Animal Crossing decoration game using the card Amiibos. While I think it could have an audience, I gotta say that audience will not contain myself as I find decorating both for another and under a theme/requirement to feel too much like a job. Not to mention, I have no idea what kind of homes they want, if they ask for a contemporary apartment I’m just gonna fill it will junk and run away as fast as possible. The joy should be in making everything simply work with each other, more importantly with things you procured yourself through slaving away at the beach picking up driftwood to sell among other things.
I think there is a lot of fun one could have it just expanding the small things someone could do with a home or even trying to find a home. Playing a game where you are a trained assassin? Kill the daughter of the woman who is bidding on that house you wanna buy. Invite the mayor to your gaudy abode and add a dash of cyanide to his drink. Hell I might just buy this biggest amount of land in the game, turn it into a bunch of garages and store expensive cars there, the options are nigh endless.
Look, I don’t really care about making a game world seem closer to reality in the feeble ways, graphics and those coveted “real time beards”. I want something small in gesture and grand in impact, somebody thought they had it with the addition of cellphones in my video games and it didn’t change a damn thing for me. Give me a home though? An abode to call my own? A plethora of things to do within it and with it? Well I’m sold already, I’m gonna make my very own murder house with a big old basement and a creepy attic.
Not to mention a fucking fantastic porch, solid oak with a swing and….blackjack and…..hookers.
What games have houses that you love to mess around in? How much of a customization junky are you, do you just love tweaking your own home to your own tastes? What games do you think would be fun to have a big old display of all your achievements and rare collectibles on a wall in? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.