05 Jan 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

Case Study: 1993

Ground-breaking games Doom and Myst.

Use this space to discuss general issues that arise from your observation of Doom and Myst.

The graphics of Doom are, of course, very simple... but what would you say to someone who judged South Park or The Simpsons solely by the simple animation style?

The Myst video capture doesn't record the mouse pointer, so if you haven't played this kind of game, it may not be obvious that the way you play is hunting for buttons, levers, doors, and hidden objects on a rich but static screen -- more Where's Waldo than World of Warcraft. Since Doom shows you the level of real-time graphics that computers were capable of at the time, these richly-rendered, realistic images were all pre-rendered media clips, assembled in clever ways.

(I think Susan mentioned Choose Your Own Adventure books the other day -- stories that let you choose a path, assembling a narrative from chunks of pre-written stories. Not the same thing as making up as story as you go, but more interactive than a static novel.)

One more thing to note... if we were studying novels, or sculpture, the method for viewing older works would be pretty much identical to the method for viewing contemporary works. But as you can see, unless we have a room full of old computers for you to use, our options for viewing older games are limited.

So... what did you think of our trip back to 1993?



Just an observation, but I guess they call classics for a reason, don't they? Even though I was only 3 when these games were released, I still remember playing them throughout my childhood, and occasionally we still hear about them by video game media, such as G4, the gamer's network. Even though the graphics for both of these games were very simple, for whatever reason, it's pretty easy to look past those graphics, because both of these games are extremely addictive. I mentioned in both of my blogs about these games that they seem to be the archetypes for modern video games. There are a lot more games out there today like Doom and even like Myst than games like Mario and Zelda...What do you guys think?

I think that's because more people are into games like Myst and Doom. Mario and Zelda are really simple. They are not challenging enough. Zelda and Mario are classic games. Game makers have stepped up the process with a more realisitc approach.

In 1993, I was 11 years old and remember both of these games although I did not own or play Doom. The Doom graphics were definitely more rudimentary than Myst’s graphics, but it was easy see beyond the graphics because you tended to be more focused on your next target. I would think that you would try to comprehend the maze layout of Doom than the blocked walls. In Myst, the graphics are the key to creating the effective atmosphere of the game. Even though I became bored pretty fast with these games, I can appreciate their significance and importance in video game culture. Now, let’s move on to another decade.

I agree in that the graphics of games like Doom and Myst are what made them so popular in the early 90's. I don't remember Doom much, but I do remember Myst and the atmosphere it created. It was one of the first games to create essentially another world and to allow the player to enter and get involved in such a world. I think this escape is what made it so popular.

People who remember having good experiences with these games will likely go back to them at one point or another. For those that have missed them completely when they were originally released, they are just classics to play once or twice to see what everyone is talking about.

I was only 4 years old back in 1993 so I was never able to personally experience these games when I was younger. I do remember my brother playing Doom alot and I always used to stand by him and watch him play. I agree with Beth that the graphics of Doom and Myst is what made the game such a great seller. These games were the best thing because of the graphics.

I had a similar experience, Keith. I was 3, maybe 4 years old when these games were popular. I vaguely remember my dad playing Doom while my mom played Myst, but it wasn't until I was older that I began to experiment with them myself. I don't think I really enjoyed Myst when I was that little, because there were a lot of puzzles that required reading and comprehension, something a 4-year-old wasn't the strongest at.

Unfortunately I was one of those to judge solely by the simple animation style. Although I didn't judge it the way Jerz mentioned above. I went further into depth by explaining that when something seems more real to you, it can do many things. It can help you stay connected to your character, it can help you put two and two together, and get further, it can do many things. But when you have things that may not exist, or don't look the same as real life, or not even close, then sometimes it may be a bit more difficult to understand the game, find what you're supposed to do and so on...

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Keith Campbell on Case Study: 1993: I was only 4 years old back in
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