Sorry if this is in the wrong section. I thought it had a kind of psychological component to it.
While playing Neopets, I was thinking about how enjoyable some of the older games were, and how I'd probably be more willing to play those than some of the newer ones out today. Then I wondered why that was, and I figured that most of the earlier Neopets games had a simpler concept and smaller set of controls than some of the more recent games. So then I thought, maybe the simpler the concept/controls, the higher its sustainability.
I could be totally off, but you can see it in games like Pong, Tetris, Snake, and other more classic games that are still around today and a basic staple among the gaming sites on the internet.
Even sports have incredibly simple goals. For track, you just run around a big oval as fast as you can while expending as little energy as possible. High jump is just jumping over a bar, shot-put is throwing a weighted disc, and the triple jump is just running and jumping at as great a distance as possible.
But then again, those simple games have a lot of hidden mechanics behind them, that if left unacknowledged, prevent anyone who plays them from progressing further in the game. Tetris, for instance, requires a clear head and a bit of strategic thinking to clear the lines without getting to the top, especially as the little tetris blocks fall faster as the rounds increase. With track, you have to learn how to pace yourself, know when to slow down, know when to let someone get in front of you, and then when to start sprinting to the finish.
But then again, you have the more overtly complex games like football and chess and even pokemon, that are still popular after all these years (although football and pokemon are considerably younger than a game like chess). And, since popularity goes hand in hand with sustainability, then maybe it's not really how simple a game is, but the strategy involved that makes it last, which inspires a competition between people to see who has the greatest ability to plan out a win.
So, the question is sustainability. What do you think?