Investigating For Clues Can Be Fun and Can Be Laborious

Posted: February 11, 2013 by mbchesler in Uncategorized

This entry attempts to explore how the rules of L.A. Noire can make searching for clues laborious, leaving the player feeling bored. I want examine what types of rules might make this experience laborious for some, and see if it’s the combination of the type of player and the rules could make the game boring.

A crucial aspect to L.A. Noire is the game of finding clues. It is so intertwined with internal workings of the game, that it is built into the narrative and genre of the game—investigation is key to a detective game. Most games do not making the search for objects key to the game. For example, unlike this game, one usually can just look up where objects of interest are, such as extra lives, and it would not negate the role of the player and would not defeat the purpose of beating the game. However, if one wants to cheat in L.A. Noire, such as finding all the clues from advice online, it ruins the illusion of taking the role of a detective. Most of this game’s time consists of you finding these clues, which usually bring the player to the next level somehow. Dedicated players might want one of the main tasks to be more than just walking around, waiting for chimes to sound, and picking up objects to see if they are clues. What seem to create more fun, or displeasure, are the implicit rules about searching. One implicit rule is the game will indicate whether the object you picked up is a clue or not. The fact the clue can be anywhere in the scene of investigation, even outside in the garbage, which complicates the game of finding clues and could make the game laborious.

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The operational rules also could add on to the lack of excite the player might feel, which includes looking around with the joystick, pressing ‘A’ when the game chimes, and moving the left joystick around when inspecting it to get a better look. This definitely differs from the usual tasks the rules conjure, such as surviving a shoot out. The game of investigating for clues becomes a laborious one or a fun one, depending on whether the player is looking to play L.A. Noire to play L.A. Noire, or playing L.A. Noire to play a videogame.

For me, finding clues is a fun activity. To be honest, L.A. Noire was the first game I purchased for myself since maybe freshman year of High School, and I would consider myself a mix of a standard player and a cheat—I cheat when it does not ruin the main task of the game, and just enhances my ability to face it. I wanted to play L.A. Noire because it is not a typical video, which usually puts sensationalism first. I think I liked to find clues, and did not want to cheat because I wanted to experience the role of a detective too. I do not knit, but I believe that the same reason people enjoy knitting is the same reason why someone would enjoy finding clues, constantly thinking to yourself, ‘I just have one more clue to find’ or ‘I just have one more stitch to do’. Just because you are into textiles, does not mean you should be into knitting.


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