Today’s video game industry has learned to stimulate addictive responses in players through the employment of cheap gathering mechanics and reinforcing “achievement” of things that really aren’t difficult: this is escapism for millions of people who lack agency and power in their real lives. Of course a game like No Man’s Sky – which at its core is about “letting go” – would be hated by those masses who don’t expect video games, but expect “holding on” simulators.
The gods of consumerism would have all humans believe: “I am not fun. My toys are fun.” No Man’s Sky reverses this in both theming and gameplay, and creates a beautiful and unique experience of wandering. People have complained: “Why can’t we build? There’s no point to go back,” but are deaf to hundreds of in game interactions and text logs that explain an alternate view of reality.
How has the industry bent over for the masses who decry a creative indie game for failing to deliver “What they expect from a game.” Perhaps a strike is in order.