On 100% Complete

I stumbled on this neat little game called 100% Complete today. The basic gist is that you’re a little cube thing who has to reach a door to complete the game. It is very easy to reach the door — when you start, it is right there.

When you go through the door you see this:

100 complete2


There’s a great gap between what the game presents as complete and what complete really is. In reality, you have done all you need to finish the game — you have, in the language of the game, beaten it. But you haven’t exhausted it (in a Deleuzian register). You have not taken a full account of the potential of what this videogame body can do and then performed all of those actions. In 100% Complete, the things you can do are hidden behind walls, in chambers behind pushblocks, or at the bottom of pits. They take the form of collectible pizzas or bouncing basketballs. They are at the same time totally irrelevant and absolutely essential to any feeling of pleasure that could come out of the game.

I’m a big fan of these games that lay contemporary gaming practices bare. How different is 100% Complete from a Tomb Raider or an Assassin’s Creed in any way other than scope and scale? How much of those games are about going through the motions of plot completion — forward momentum — in order to get to a moment of a pure collectathon sublime? And is the desire to get to a [feel-good state of game, a post-flow, a dull hum of breadcrumbed grins] the core of what he are offered now?

The busywork of games in the ludic millennium.  

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3 Responses to On 100% Complete

  1. And then you’ve got the hellish version in form of Achievement Unlocked (and its sequels).

    To this day I do not know why you would do that.

  2. Z? says:

    For me, games have never been about beating them anyway. I really like the playing the game part, exploring crannies and finding new ways to play the same old excellent games.

    Achievements are the abominable extension of % completion. I do not pay attention to achievements, and I think they are bad for gaming in general.

  3. Joel says:

    I’ve never been a completionist. I have a game on my Vita right now where the only thing I have to do to get a platinum trophy is to play one round of multiplayer and I haven’t done it. I just don’t care if there’s more to be done in a game, once I’ve gotten my maximum enjoyment from a game, I put it down. To each their own, I don’t begrudge completionists, but I do have a problem with people acting as though a higher gamerscore or more trophies mean you are a “better” gamer than someone else.

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