Reach Out

Reach Out
A Murderer Has Your Email Address

Susan Arendt | 15 May 2007 08:00
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Breaking down the fourth wall can be a tricky way to tell a story, however, as developers have to maintain that delicate balance between being a welcome invader of privacy and an uninvited guest. Players provide email addresses and cell phone numbers with a certain unspoken expectation of respect and consideration. We'll happily accept mysterious text messages or even a chilling email or two, just don't ring us in the middle of the night. We want to be scared, sure ... but not really.

As our lives becomes more and more tech-heavy, it will be interesting to see what other ways savvy developers find to sneak their games into our lives. Perhaps the most popular download on iTunes one day will have a hidden message from a game's secret agent character, or we'll find the solutions to puzzles have been downloaded onto the hard drives of our TiVos.

All of this trickery isn't just about telling a better story, though; it's also about simple self-preservation. As our gaming palates become ever more fussy, our snobbery increases exponentially to the point that any game not boasting the most accurate physics or glorious graphics is frequently dismissed as not being worth our while. For a small game like Evidence to register on our gaming radars, it has to bring something else to the table, something special that would make us look twice at its satisfying, but somewhat antiquated, puzzle-solving gameplay. Maybe Evidence can't compete with Oblivion's graphics or GRAW's multiplayer, but what it can do, just maybe, is make you forget you're playing a game long enough for you to get up and lock your front door. You know, just in case.

When Susan Arendt isn't writing the news at Wired's Game|Life or feeding her Achievement Points addiction, she's training her cat to play Beatmania.

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