Game Mechanics Revolt


This past week, there was a rumor going around that an official game reviewer position was opening up in Factory 7. Mechanics had not been spending enough time playing and rating each other’s games, and they needed someone to show how it should be done. When I first started studying to be a Gamestar Mechanic, I was told that an important part of a mechanic’s job was to visit Game Alley regularly to play and review games. The idea being that it would encourage diversity in games created by sharing and evaluating ideas from the community of mechanics. Game reviews would also help the community make better games through constant feedback and a strong support system.

However, it seems the mechanics had failed to understand the importance of this task until now. I think it’s sometimes too easy to get lost in our own individual lives and forget about the Factory community at large. The rumor of the new position created quite a buzz on the streets. At every corner, it was just about the only topic of conversation! The thought of just one person having the final say on rating games was quite disturbing. Of course, everyone realized they had no one to blame but themselves. But it might not be too late, I thought. A rumor is just a rumor. If we mechanics got together and decided to make a change in the system, we could.

I decided to take the lead and came up with a list of criteria to help mechanics rate games and give feedback, just in case this was what had been holding them back. It was pretty simple. The main things to think about when playing the game were: What was fun about it? What was challenging about it? What parts were not working so well? What are some ideas that could make the game better? In the days following my post, there was a huge surge in activity in Game Alley. Everyone took time out from their day to visit and play games—you had to elbow other Mechanics out of the way! Eventually the idea of hiring an official game reviewer was abandoned. Not only that, the Factory started making so many great new games, inspired by mechanics rating and sharing ideas with each other. We hadn’t seen so many fun games since the Golden Age. Tonight there’s a big party in Town Square to celebrate, and I can’t wait to go—just let me finish this game review I’m working on.