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EC recently made a video about the barrage of video games players find themselves buried under these days and he made the point that having this number of overwhelming choices is always better. I don’t think more is always better. In fact, having fewer games is probably a good thing.
A while ago I saw a TED talk by Barry Schwartz where he talked about the paradox of choice. In fact, he has a book by that title where he proposes that having a lot choices isn’t better. He doesn’t really doubt that in a general sense, it’s good to have options. However, having too many can cause paralysis and in the long run make us unhappy about the choices we make (because we’ll always think there were better choices).
I had a sense of this before I heard his talk but hearing him explain it really confirmed it for me. I don’t know if having more is always better, but that seems doubtful. The analogy he used during the talk was going to the store for a pair of jeans. We all know the dozens of different kinds of jeans one can buy in a store and Barry compared this experience to how it was in the past. He’d go to a store and they only had one or two kinds of jeans. H’ed pick his size and go home. Today, he has to know so much more about jeans to even know what he needs.
It feels like we miss something important when we’re bombarded with too many choices. How many things can a human reasonably consider? Surely there’s a limit to this and if there is, then that means that there’s a point at which having more choice is bad for us.
We can have too many games. I already think I do. And what its done is ensure I spend less time on any one of them as I spread what time I have across the lot of them. Consequently it’s difficult to know every development studio behind each game and therefore difficult to know as much about my games as I want to. There’s a trade of for having too many choices it seems.
Do you believe there’s such a thing as having too many games available on the market?