152 Hours. That’s how long the email from PlayStation congratulating me on completing Mass Effect Andromeda says that I played ME:A. I wasn’t shocked as I knew that I had put a lot of time into it, but what was surprising was how much of the time wasn’t utilized well in terms of the story.
Story is important for narratives, be they games, books, movies, or any other entertainment medium that depends on narrative. What I’ve learned with ME:A is that I can’t waste time with diversions in my stories because only about 60 hours of content in ME:A was actually story focused and interesting. If not for my desire to finish the game, I would have abandoned it as YouTuber did recently.
I won’t say that my time was wasted as I can try to store those narratives and repurpose them for my own uses, but I will say that ME:A wasn’t as impactful and engrossing as it could have been–because it was about 70 hours longer than it should have been. 152 Hours isn’t an inconsiderable amount of time and the story- tellers need to make sure that their content matches the investment of time that they ask the audience to engage with their narratives. 152 hours shouldn’t be a marathon, but an adventure!