Game Word of the Week

Parse (v)
To absorb and understand information presented by the game.

Usage: The menu screen threw so much information at the player that it was impossible to parse.

Comment: Parseability is extremely important. It’s one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) that otherwise good ideas need to be thrown out. There are so many cool things we can put in games that we have no way of clearly expressing to the player. It’s the advantage that novelists and, to some extent, filmmakers have over us. They control point of view and flow of time. We control neither. If a film viewer misses a detail, the film continues fine. If a game player misses a detail, they can get completely stuck.

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