Skip navigation

By first examining navigation through space as a game/narrative mechanic, I think it is fairly easy to see why this idea of movement through space has come to be considered its own form of medium; a kind of new media phenomenon.

Whenever I play a video game, I always want to make absolutely sure that I’ve seen everything, touched everything, picked everything up (that I can) before I move on to a new area, and the same was true for when I played Myst.  I instinctively sought to find every clickable thing on my screen; nothing could be left undiscovered.  We have an intrinsic human desire to explore new spaces.  Therefore, simply by creating a new world and placing an individual within it, somewhat of a “game mechanic” intuitively manifests itself.  That being said when developing this type of spatial media, the challenge may not lie within spurring explorative tendencies in the subject, but rather in sustaining those tendencies over time.  For some, after 10 minutes of wandering around the opening world of Myst, frustration and confusion began to set in (perhaps even boredom).  There is only so much that can be done by moving through an entirely fixed amount of space, in which only very specific actions are allowed within the rules of the game.  The goal, then, of the designer is to inject a clever mechanic into the space in order to supplant our own natural desire to “move,” thereby refueling the subject after their natural lull in curiosity and pushing the narrative forward.

This innate desire to explore new space makes navigation of space a no brainer in terms of new media forms.  Space as the “final frontier;” well, why not virtual space?