The Open World Phenomenon

Frontier. What does it mean? It means somewhere no one else has gone before. It meant the Anglo-American expansion into the west in the 1800’s. Now, it means possibilities, discoveries, and a thrill to become the first to explore something, something new, something exciting.

It’s a concept that video game producers have been making massive amounts of money off of.

Video games, such as Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Minecraft, allow their players to immerse themselves into the game by creating the idea of an “Open World”, where the player can travel wherever they want in-game, and discover all the various new locations. It is as if New York City or Florence has become the new western frontier, and that it is up to the player to to explore this new land of opportunities.

Do you believe that these “Open World” video games constitute the definition of the Frontier, or is in fact the idea of the frontier something different entirely? Could a game be both “Open World” and yet not count as exploring a frontier?


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