Obviously, the game is fun. But what makes it enjoyable? First and foremost, Battle Royale designed to be a blank slate for vivid personal stories. Once inside the game, it’s easy to be swept up in the travails and adventures of your avatar.
Every time that bus cruises over the island, a hundred narratives unfold. Some of them are as forgettable as “I opened the door to a house and someone blew me apart with a shotgun.” Others are more textured. When I achieved my first Victory Royale, I couldn’t stop myself from recounting the whole story to my entire family.
It helps that the game is eminently shareable. The flowering of Twitch streams is only part of the story. As a console game, it favors collective couch play. My kids and I sit together in our gaming den and take turns playing. Watching one another play is almost as much fun as actually playing ourselves.
The perfectly parceled span it takes to enter a game, start playing and then die (or win) is conducive to this sort of social dynamic.
Players can feel a great sense of personally directed achievement, even when they don’t win. For some, getting into the top five is enough of a goal. Others are happy to find the sniper rifle and take out as many enemies as they can, before they’re found and eliminated.