I love the Quick Time Event…and it needs to DIESeptember 7, 2008
Sorry I have not contributed regularly to my Meta-game Narrative series, but now that school has finally started I should be able to set a regular schedule to post. Hopefully I can maintain this blog on a bi-daily basis or close to that if I am lucky. Do not fret, however, the Braid/Bioshock discussion will continue.
So if you have not figured it out from the seemingly dubious title of this blog post: I love the Quick Time Event. For the uninitiated, it is a scenario in a video game where the game goes into a cut-scene and the player must play a game of Simon Says in order to proceed. The design originated from Sega’s Shenmue in 1999 and has become popularized in the game design lexicon through Resident Evil 4 and God of War.
QTEs are the most reductive form of interactivity in a video game and has become the crutch for game design. If an action is too complicated to program for a scenario, low-and-behold, the QTE will likely show up. Of course, for the player that are unaware with the layout of the controller, he is invariably screwed to repeat the cut-scene ad nauseum.
And yet I absolutely love the adrenaline when a QTE occurs. It is both transparently simple and undoubtedly frustration. This may be because it is arguably the most cinematic moment of the game. But at the same time is the the most non-interactive element of the game as well. It is a quagmire existing as an easy out for a scenario to give the designer the utmost control of the player for the intended experience. Having recently played the demo for the Bourne Conspiracy, it wonderfully captures the visceral experience of the films and while being one of the most mediocre game experiences I have had the joy of playing.
Maybe that is the genius of the QTE. Giving the player the ability to feel immersed in what is going on screen yet still technically qualifying as an interactive media. In fact, that is exactly what it is and it is retarded. And though I love the QTE, I am positive my brain activity drops exponentially every time I must execute these simplified repetitious sequences. The QTE is a de-evolution of video games and must be phased out.