110: The One with the Sticks

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The one thing I’ve brought up most often to contrast video games from other media is the idea of interactivity, but how does that happen? This is where the idea of the interface comes in. There are two large parts of the interface spectrum when it comes to allowing your user to play the game you’ve made. One is the UI, or User Interface, the information the game gives the player in order for the player to make a decision one way or the other about what action to take next. From the health bar, button prompts, a list of available resources, or a message letting them know that the mission is complete to a menu that lets the player control the settings of the experience or start it in the first place.

The other part of the interface is the way you tell the computer that is the system what it is that you want to do, the controller. Through its lifetime the video game industry has introduced more varied ways to physically interact with digital spaces than you can shake a stick at. In more recent years, many controllers have become just that. The Nintendo Wii, PS Move, and HTC Vive literally give you sticks to shake at the media you’re interacting with. We’ve come quite some distance from the roller track balls and dials

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