In this 2011 GDC session, game designer Randy Smith examines the idea of player expression and how and why players project themselves into your game.
Give your players a great single-player game and they'll play for a month, or maybe two.
Give them room to express themselves (via robust character creation options, cosmetic items, etc.) and many of them will keep playing your game for years, wringing every ounce of enjoyment out of it.
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