obliv.jpg So, Dave Long's latest column over at GamerDad raises an interesting question about overly expansive video games, specifically brought up because of Bethesda's immensely popular Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Long comments of Oblivion's extremely open game style: "...for all [Oblivion's] attempt at immersing me in its world--and let me tell you, I've been super immersed--the moment I get into the main plot and see that I can simply walk away from those events with no penalty, returning whenever I like and finding that time simply stood still, that immersion goes right out the window."

Of course, there's a logical fix for this, suggested by GamerDad: "So the question becomes, what if the world did go on without you? That brings up better and more intriguing possibilities, but a whole lot of extra work for the developers and designers. Walking away from a big fight should result in some kind of good or bad outcome of that fight. Without you, the townspeople should maybe lose the battle you decided was too heated for you, thus causing bad things to happen."

Or, playing devil's advocate, is that the kind of thing that you wouldn't expect to happen in an RPG, so it shouldn't? All we know is that modern games are complicacacacated.