For movies, it’s said that there is a “10 minute rule” of sorts, which dictates that a film has just that amount of time to convince you of whether or not it’s worth your attention. Usually in that first 10 minutes, you’re kind of like “OK, I’m not sure if I’m feeling this talking dog”, or “those lovable sidekicks better solve that alien mystery”. You know, normal movie stuff. The interesting question though, is: how does the 10 minute rule apply to video games? This is the very idea that a new feature on Gamasutra discusses, titled History, Mystery and Story. It’s a cool look at how games tend to try and capitalize on this concept, and that it has to differ from story games to games in other genres.
It seems to me that while the time in minutes would have to be different, the general idea behind the 10 minute rule would be largely the same. Whereas a movie is just a 90 to 120 minute experience, games typically range anywhere from 5 to 50 hours, depending on what you’re playing. So does the 10 minute rule scale up because of the longer nature of games? Or is it about the same? When you think about the way modern games work, the first 10 minutes places you right in the middle of a boring tutorial. It’s interesting to think about the idea that maybe the majority of people lose patience and make up their mind that early on. Honestly, the only game that had me convinced within 10 minutes in recent years would have to be Limbo, which grabbed me right from the get-go and still hasn’t let go, months later.
So what is your guys’ opinion on this issue? How long does it usually take a game to grab you? Are you typically more or less patient? How long will you give a game before you throw away interest?
Source – Gamasutra