‘Spark’, that a fire metaphor. Fire metaphors are common for a reason. Perhaps, there’s something primitive burning inside us that is sparked by the flicker or a fire simile, or perhaps it is just similar exemplifies many concepts without rival.
Whatever the reason, let us think of the three things that fire requires: fuel, oxygen, and heat.
Is there anyway that one can fuel an imagination? I say that we can, by giving the player something they can think bout. To think about something requires at least some understanding of at least some of the concepts. I’ve sometimes named a game with random character strokes, but there’s absolutely no fuel there. This might actually be a weakness of the abstract square-based graphics style that I adore too.
Can the imagination use oxygen? Can the brain have some breathing space? Absolutely. It just needs to avoid being spoonfed everything. Spit balling here, but with those uncanny valley animations you can see everything there is to see, while with live-action there are beating hearts and lungs, not to mention, that they’re naked under those clothes.
Is this the elusive explanation for that phenomenon? Ultimately, graphics-wise most games are not going to extinguish the imagination through lack of breathing space. Even with names, it would be near impossible to explain everything in just one title. Examples such as Cut the Rope actually prove that.
Heat, fire gives off heat and fire needs heat. Is that what they call multiple equilibrium? Probably. Once sparked, the imagination should be able to survive on its own roaring and consuming all the fuel in its path to hit a crescendo of all-consuming burning passion.
Yes, this article has been composed entirely out of cliches. But we have to assume, don’t we, that they cliches for a reason.