Lately, I’ve been thinking about game … I dunno even how to describe it - tourism, sight-seeing, relaxation? Basically, there have been a rash of games lately where players are somewhat encouraged to just … immerse themselves, and ignore the other systems in the game. But sometimes those systems are pervasive in other ways, so they’re difficult to ignore. Some games let you disable those systems, some don’t.
I’m thinking of - for example - fishing and hunting in Far Cry 5, or touring Egypt in AssCreed, or just cruising around in NMS. Hell, there are moments in a bunch of the better made “survival games” where sometimes it’d be nice to just kick back, appreciate the simulation, and maybe do a little sightseeing. But in those games, I’m also freezing to death, starving, and oh shit a bear.
I’m not sure there’s an explicit market for a game comprised of just those features, though. I mean, sure, hunting games have always been popular, but I think people prefer the “nature” simulation of the titles where more stuff is going on. Whether that nature is animals bein’ animals, or humans walking or driving around a virtual city, I think players want the chance to interrupt the simulation and do something. But I know they also sometimes get annoyed when the simulation interrupts them. I know I was sometimes aggravated when I was trying to do something fairly relaxing in FC5 and suddenly a plane was crashing into that nice man near me and now everything is on fire dammit.
I expect RDR2 to be similar. I have a feeling a lot of folks are just going to walk away from the main story at some point and just … exist in this world.
I pretty much have zero point to this post, other than to highlight this emerging behavior with players, all due to the increasing fidelity and depth of system interactions implemented by modern developers. I think it’s cool.