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Education Feature: 'Story Mechanics as Game Mechanics in Shadow of the Colossus'

In today's education feature, USC student Ben Sherman examines the gameplay mechanics of Sony Computer Entertainment's Shadow of the Colossus, focusing on how the...
In today's education feature, USC student Ben Sherman examines the gameplay mechanics of Sony Computer Entertainment's Shadow of the Colossus, focusing on how the actual gameplay mechanics, rather than the written story, evoke emotion in the player, as glossed on in this extract from the essay's introduction: "Under normal game design principles in the current business atmosphere, what tends to occur is a plastering of story upon previously constructed mechanics. What makes Shadow of the Colossus's mechanics interesting is not so much that they were not previously put in place as most games are, but rather that they were specifically designed to maximize certain emotional responses from the player. Much as a screenwriter or film editor will use the medium to build tension or create character, so are gameplay mechanics used in Shadow. The mechanics are not used only to tell a story. The mechanics are used to elicit emotions from the audience." You can read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, but for those who haven't beaten the game, beware of possible spoilers in the article (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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