When you pick up a book, there’s a finite number of pages before the end. When you watch a movie, there’s a limited amount of minutes before the credits roll. But when you play a video game things are different. How long the experience lasts is not strictly predetermined, there's an element of choice: your choice.
In the recent
Hyrule Warriors for Wii U, to complete the main story, called “Legend Mode,” and watch the credits, the playtime is roughly a mere 10 hours. However, players who really invest in the game will tell you there are hundreds of hours to be found in “Adventure Mode.”
Similarly, the new 3DS title
Fantasy Life has a plot that can be completed in roughly 20 hours, if you stick with just one of the game’s 12 jobs, called “lives.” But where’s the fun in that? Fantasy Life is a much more fulfilling game when you live a little by trying all 12 different lifestyles. The experience is fuller when you try everything on offer.