It's been a while! I've been busy working on starting my thesis so I didn't do any updates last month. I think the blog is a powerful research tool and I really don't want it to become neglected as this project continues. Because of this I'm going to try and get things back on track by keeping up with the posts.
Super Press Space To Win is described by the author as an 'Action RPG' and is ultimately a parody of RPG convention, dealing with many of the tropes of the genre through a simple system of interaction which utilises only a single button (the space bar). RPGs have been criticised for some time about the repetitiveness of certain mechanics (battling monsters, collecting items) so this game plays on that repetition by using one button to do everything. Additionally, the linearity of a lot of these games is highlighted, SPSTW will doing things like ask the player a yes or no question but since only a single button is employed, there is no way to choose a different answer.
I think the game is interesting because it's one of the best examples I've seen which demonstrates the illusion of control on part of the player. The only way to 'oppose' the games mechanics is to simply 'not' press space. The frequency between presses and time spent reading text affords the player more agency than the game perhaps realises. I wonder if it would be possible to make a game where the player has literally zero agency in the progression and manipulation of game space but still perceives themselves as having some sort of control.
Also, the game has quite cool, over dramatic voice acting!