(re: An interesting discussion with Roberta)
mmm. I’ll have to check this movie out. I loved Memento because of the amount of thought I had to put into it.
I think Roberta’s right on about audiences wanting to know where the plot is going. I always think of it as not wanting to feel stupid. If a movie (or a book, or a game) makes me feel like an idiot, I’m not going to enjoy it. I HATED Mullholland Drive because there was nothing for me to grab onto in that movie — I had no idea what was going on at any given time. In the end, I felt like a moron because the movie was entirely unaccessible — something was happening but I was left feeling too stupid to figure it out. But with Memento I caught on and was able to piece things together, even the first time I saw it.
I think it’s the same with a game. If the main character is making connections I can’t make because the story so far hasn’t supported them, I feel stupid. (Kate Walker in Syberia drove me nuts — she kept saying “I don’t need to do that yet” when I told her to pull a lever — she didn’t even know what the lever did! How could she know she didn’t need to pull it yet?) And if the game reaches a conclusion that hasn’t been supported throughout the story, it’s as if the game’s saying “How could you miss that?!” when in reality, the game hasn’t necessarily led me in that direction. It’s much more satisfying if you have an idea of where you’re headed…