What is closure you ask? Closure in psychological terms refers to a person’s need for a definite, concrete ending rather than enduring ongoing ambiguity. Movies, books and even games have moved towards ambiguity when concluding. With multiple endings, storylines, and endings that leave you to make up your own mind (Inception anyone?), entertainment in recent years has not been kind to those of us who seek closure.
You see, while some of us prefer the ambiguity, which in turn provides discussions, arguments, and undoubted know-it-alls who claim they know exactly what happened, others simply prefer to know in exact terms what was intended by the developer, director or author.
When you finish a game and get your ending you don’t feel like you have missed anything. There are no alternative endings which may or may not be better than the one you just got. That is closure, pure and simple closure. It isn’t limited to endings either. What about the ever present ‘collectibles’ found throughout games? Do you go searching for every last one, or just be happy with those you happen to pick up along the way? How about achievements and trophies? Do you need every last one or you feel something is missing?
Lastly, if you are playing a game which you just do not enjoy, do you finish it anyway? Or perhaps you stop halfway thinking you just cannot go on any further. Perhaps then you read on the internet what happens in the game, or maybe you just leave it as is.
It is without question that gamers of both types exist. Those of us who need closure without fail will perhaps play through games more than once, they will grind out every last bit so that no information is missing. Those same people will also most likely complete a game even if they are not enjoying it. Those of us who don’t care for closure, well ambiguity is our middle name, right? Or maybe not, you can decide that.
So gamers, the question again is… how do you game?