"Game creators who’ve spent any amount of time conducting playtests have learned that playtesters’ opinions aren’t what a playtest seeks to elicit. Playtests aren’t focus groups, in other words. Playtesting a game is useful if you want to see what kinds of experiences are produced from playing your game; those experiences can be just as varied as individuals are, but the more vocal about opinions someone is, the less likely they are to communicate about the rawer levels of their own experience, their own reactions."
"This player’s view of games is a familiar but I’d like to articulate in a slightly less familiar way: it’s a portrait of a game as a machine that a player cranks in order to generate certain types of expected gratification: challenge and mastery, less a matter of learning useful or transferable skills than an inculcated feeling of having improved and overcome; novelty, the sensory experiences of something he hasn’t seen, heard or read yet; acknowledgement in the form of reward. It’s not a stretch to imagine that these are the payoffs he was look for. On top of that, he extends his preferences in games to All True Gamers; he declares that developers who don’t cater to these preferences are disrespectful, gouging, worthy of anger."
The one constant in all the years, Ray? Baseball.
- Metagaming Journalism