The release of Crazy Taxi has highlighted a split among game players. While most people love the game, there are clearly a few who just “don’t get it.” Typical of the complaints is the remark that “Anybody who thinks [Crazy Taxi] has replay value must also feel that Asteroids was one of the all time replay value games.” While this is an unintentionally hilarious statement (given that that the perennial popularity
of Asteroids makes it one of the most re-playable games of all time), it is most likely literally true. That is, the people who find great replay value in Asteroids are probably the most enthusiastic fans of Crazy Taxi.

To understand this, it is useful to recognize that there has been a paradigm shift in the way people play
games, and video games in particular. Traditionally, the games people play have been “skill driven.” That is, the primary goal of the player is to maximize his score, either in absolute terms or relative to a competitor. This is true of just about all sports, card games, and board games, all of which have simple, repetitive play mechanics. Early video games followed the same traditional pattern, perhaps increasing
in speed or with slight modifications in layout, but always presenting the player with essentially the same tasks and problems.

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