Regular readers know that I rarely include pictures in my posts. I am not a visual person. My mental world is verbal and quantitative, and embellishment usually strikes me as willful distraction preluding deception. I write about mechanics and gameplay and seem to be made suspicious by great graphics because what are you trying to hide?
I am unusual in this respect. I have poor vision and am somewhere in the bottom ten percent for mental imagery. Those with better sensory gifts may instead see that “embellishment” as the whole point, with the game mechanics there as a framework for the aesthetic experience.
Meanwhile, I see the mechanics and the interplay of systems while I am playing. The numbers are there like a physical presence, and operational efficiency is to me as aesthetics are to others. Systems designers attest to similar experiences. We may scarcely notice clipping issues with the new shoulderpads, but we know exactly where the developers are coming from when a DoT has its duration increased by 8.6% and its DPS decreased by 7.92%. “Finally!”
The analytical mindframe sees things differently. I analyze the components of an experience while I am experiencing it. I can’t not. A new boss fight is, amongst other things, an exploration of certain mechanics, and you can follow their interplay, see what the developers intend you to learn from this content, and sometimes even see the seams like the slightly incongruous visions of multiple people working on the same project or where one piece of content is intentionally in dialogue with another.
If you have ever wondered why people weight problems differently, different neurology is a factor. We are biologically wired to care about different things.