Not sure which is more important: What DayZ says about gaming, or what it says about modding. Consider:
The lesson is teaches us about modding is obvious. Arma II is old. It had faded from sales charts and for the most part from memory. Save, perhaps, in the minds of its small and passionate community. Then along comes DayZ. At zero cost to developers and publishers, by word of mouth and the desirability of this mod - Arma II rockets to the top of Steam's sales charts once again! The devs spent absolutely nothing to make this happen and are benefiting from it in the extreme. This makes mod support a 100% boon and zero percent risk for developers and publishers.
But even more important than this is what DayZ says about gaming. The other day, I asked my girlfriend and some gaming friends if anyone wanted to play some Dominion, or Ascension, or even some Monopoly. Everyone said they were down for some deck building games.
I then asked them whose turn it was to win, at what point in the game we would let that person begin making all the power plays in order to overtake us and whether we thought we should give them the pretense of challenge at first, or just let them run away with a victory from the beginning. They all looked at me like I was nuts.
"Why would we predetermine the winner, and at what point they 'begin to win?'" they asked me. "That makes no sense," they said.
But we do it all the time, when we sit down to play our video games, I told them. And no one complains.
"Yes, they said, "but those are...different...." then they trailed off into silence. Doubtless, they were wondering WHY those were so different.
DayZ teaches us that video games are not, in fact, movies with some measure of interaction, as many big publishers believe. DayZ show us not only that gamers want to make their own stories, but they want that so badly they are willing to pay $30 for a game with wonky controls, only to install a mod with limited server space, that is STILL IN ALPHA status.
Publishers take heed. Your marketers are telling you that we all want to star in the next Michael Bay film, to push the "make it explode" button when the director yells at us to do so and watch in glee as everything turns bright orange. They are telling you we all want tightly scripted, linear action films as video games.
Video games are games first, not movies or books. When we sit down to play a game, we don't always want to know what happens or how everything will end. We don't always want your script or your narrative. If your writer was a good one, they would write for a living, not for a video game studio.
Just give us the world, a few trappings, and let us make our own stories. Let us, well, play a game.
Stolen from over at PC Gamer - absolutely fantastic post.