In today's main feature article (free reg. req.), Strange Adventures In Infinite Space
co-creator and former Looking Glass Studios and Ion Storm employee Rich Carlson highlights the benefits in both making and playing short games, cutting away from the normal wisdom that video games must be lengthy to be relevant.
Carlson starts his essay by asking the question:
"Which would you rather play, a computer game that takes forty hours to complete or one that lasts just a few minutes? Don't be too quick to answer. The former asks for a serious time commitment. The latter says come and go as you please. One is a ball and chain. The other is a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Well, it's not exactly that bad but considering all of the things you have to do today, which type of game do you really have time for?
Also, isn't it peculiar that when you complete a complex or lengthy game you rarely want to replay it, yet short games are often endlessly replayable? After you finish a long RPG or story game, the box goes back on the shelf to gather dust and remain unremembered until the next garage sale. A short game, if it's good, usually doesn't suffer that fate. It stays on your hard drive for years."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject (free registration required.)