Ed: Welcome to iMore's author spotlight column, The Network. Every Friday, we'll be bringing you the perspective and charm of the best and brightest minds in the Apple and tech community. This week: Games journalist and podcaster Maddy Myers.
While walking home the other day with a well-read friend of mine who doesn't identify as a "gamer" — but has an Angry Birds history on his iPhone that would argue otherwise — I brought up BioShock: Infinite. I had assumed, given my friend's interest in activism and politics, that he'd be interested in hearing about the game's attempts at social critique, however ham-fisted. We never got that far.
"What do you mean, it has a sad ending?" he interrupted. "Do you mean you lost?"
"No, no – I beat it," I said. "Everybody gets the same ending."
"That's impossible!" he sputtered. "You should try it again, just in case!"
I walked in a lot of conversational circles as I explained that actually the game was meant to be a very serious narrative experience, and that many games of this type often only give you one ending. Call of Duty games only have one ending, I told him, and everybody sees the same cut-scenes. Same goes for The Last Of Us, and all the Halo games ...
"But when I play Tetris, it's different every time," he said. "If everybody gets the same ending, how is that even a game? Maybe you're supposed to look up a cheat code? I mean... I don't know, I'm not a gamer."
It's hard to say which of us is a really a "gamer" when neither of us would agree on what is or isn't a "game," though, right?