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Will Wright on gaming and time travel

Jennie Lees

EA's Will Wright recently gave a talk at When 2.0, focusing on the interaction between players and time in games, and a video of the talk has been made available. According to Wright, games become a form of time travel--you can always restart from the beginning, starting with exactly the same state.

This is an interesting point and applies to most games, but what of multiplayer gaming (where mistakes are made and forgotten in a heartbeat, or remembered by your opponents for years to come) and MMOs (where your character gains levels, but never loses them)? Repeating the same game again and again in multiplayer games is akin to an eternal Groundhog Day, whereas in MMOs you can always start a new character, but we do lose the ability to wipe the slate clean every time, to roll back to a save point and to play out multiple "what if?" scenarios.

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