I'm a Human Inbox

Monday, June 13, 2005

Nintendogs, Game Design Review

Lost Garden has done a really interesting review on Nintendogs. Instead of reviewing whether the game is worth buying, it instead tackles whether the game was well developed and designed.

Although I'm not very interested in Nintendogs in a gamer sense, as I don't think it's really my type of game, I am excited in the theory and commercial success of it. I think more games like this should exist, and I will definitely try it out. I am excited by any game that will get middle-aged women buying DSs.

It turns out that Japanese folks love dogs, but due to their cramped apartments they are rarely able to own them. Every child dreams about owning a dog, yet very few ever will. There are actually dog renting services that let you walk a dog just for a little while so you can capture the thrill of pet ownership.

The designers of Nintendogs recognized that if you can build a game that lets people experience the joys of owning a dog you can tap into a market rarely touched by traditional games. This is a very different thought process than "Let's make a game like X except better". Instead, it requires game designers to go out in the field and understand how games an be applied to broader trends in their culture. The designer of Nintendogs asked the simple question "How do games apply to the world outside of me?"

Link (via Kotaku)