Earn points peacefully as the world opens itself up to you.
Games often ask us to have some sort of impact on a world. They reward us for doing things and imposing change upon a system. Oftentimes though, this forcefulness overlooks a violence that is done by the player onto the system. It also pushes us into action where we otherwise might want to wait. This is the central issue examined by Wait, one of several games from a series titled Critical Gameplay. Wait explores an alternative to a common structure within games of rewarding action, and players earn points within the game by not moving.
When a game of Wait begins, the player’s surroundings appear to be a bare valley, enclosed by rock walls. Over time, however, trees fade in to the picture, followed by flowers and small animals – like cats and butterflies – converting the space into a rich, beautiful environment. If at any point the player moves, the surroundings will clear away. If the player continues to move, everything will disappear, and the player will be lost in a blank expanse.
Wait does not encourage simple inaction, but rather a studious passivity. After the environment has been exposed, the screen will fade out and the game will end if the player does not move to a new location. The game encourages the player to explore the space, but with respect for it. The player cannot gain access to all the discoveries possible in the space until it has entered into the contract of waiting with the space. Every time a new layer of objects is revealed, a tone will sound, signifying that the player has earned points. Once the player decides to fade from the landscape, the points he/she earned over the course of the game will be displayed, giving the game a non-violent, competitive aspect. Wait is part of the Games for Change 2013 Festival Babycastles Hall of Fame.
Games for Change 2013 Festival Babycastles Hall of Fame