Tearing Toys Apart

For me, a new video game should always be served as shrouded in mystery. It gets me every time, when installing a game I see the names of the files and subdirectories – which can be very revealing – flashing before my eyes, right next to the progress bar. For instance, there is often a subdirectory like “levels”, in where you can easily see a glimpse of the whole structure of the game.

But, when I’m done with the game, it’s okay to take a look what is under the hood. Like with DVD you don’t watch the extras and making-ofs before the feature itself, do you?

So, when you start extracting textures, geometry or even modding the code beneath the surface (which I’m unfortunately not capable of doing), the game looses in a way its final layer of secrecy. It’s like the stripper’s last garment been taken off before collecting money and leaving the stage (not that I’m familiar with such things).

The thing as a whole is a lot like with kids smashing their toys in order to see how they work, but loosing the charm of the object in the process. I remember as a kid having a toy Pontiac (that KITT -one) with dimmed windows through which you could see the interior very vaguely against the bright light, as a silhouette, if you will. It always boggled me how the dashboard and other stuff would look like without those concealing windows. Anyhow, I later saw the same toy car in my friend’s house with the broken windshield, so the interior was wide open for viewing: my friend appeared to be the weaker one on this matter. But instead of jumping around out of excitement, the exposed interior just looked sad and made my toy car less interesting.

Why do we have this tendency of destroying the things we treasure?