When talking about uncanny valley in video games we usually refer to animations or 3D models being so close to reality that even the slightest difference makes us feel that something is "wrong".
But nowadays, isn't there an uncanny valley in gameplay?
The big studios spend a lot of resources on the writing, characters, dialogue, setting and environment, creating a very believable game world. And then when we encounter a very "video game:y" solution, like a very conveniently placed platform, lever or trigger we're smacked in the face.
It does at least ruin the experience somewhat for me. Overall I'm very good at accepting the premise in both movies and games, but I do often think "How convenient..." in games like Assassin's Creed and other realistic games. But I never think like that when I play Mario, because there it all makes perfect sense within the game world.
I think that when working with a believable setting, you have to think long and hard about the context for in which the gameplay takes place.
Just a quick post.
I'm currently playing Assassin's Creed 2 after having played through the first one a couple of days ago. The first one was a decent game while the second one so far has been superb.
But the thing I wanted to comment on is how well the developers have listened to the feedback from the players. If you want to know what's better in #2 you can read a review, but there's one thing I'll mention.
In Assassin's Creed, you use the X-button (PS3) to "Blend", which is to walk even slower than normal walking to blend in amongst people and raise less suspicion. I found this boring as hell, as normal walking was slow enough and I don't really want to pretend to be a snail-assassin.
In Assassin's Creed 2, you use the X-button to "Fast Walk" which is to keep all the perks from walking, but doing a little bit faster and being able to pick pocket while doing it.
Voila! They did a complete 180 and did the exact opposite which made the game a whole lot more fun. Thank you for listening!
Other games, like Deus Ex didn't have that luxury. The first game is excellent, being one of my all time favorite games while I don't like the second one very much at all. The developers themselves even admitted, although much later, that they kind of screwed up there because they listened too much on what people didn't like with the first one to fix that, but they missed on listening to what we DID like with the first one. One of the designers tells you this in Warren Spector's Master Class of game design. I don't have a link for it at hand right now, but I'll be sure to get it and post a link sometimes. It's G R E A T!