In the opening hour of The Last of Us Part 2, there's a nice moment with a guitar. You think it's going to remain a cutscene, when suddenly, it asks you to strum chords using the DualShock 4's touch pad and the analog stick to direct what note to hit. It's a simple, but effective interaction.
It's gotten us thinking about other game interactions we've loved in video games. Like petting dogs, or letting off a party popper in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite non-essential video game interaction?
This is a very, very specific thing, but I love when loading screens let you manipulate objects. If it's a start-up screen, even better. Pinching and warping Mario's face in Super Mario 64 was hilariously fun.
I'd have more but honestly, a good deal of these are gamified these days. Super Mario Odyssey had that great jump rope, but it ended up being a way to get Moons. This trend of always being able to pet cats and dogs in games is good though, and I don't think it's been a needed way to progress yet. So maybe those are my two: warping Mario's face, and petting cute animals.
I've sort of fallen off of my Animal Crossing: New Horizons routine (sorry, Mac and Sally), but there's one thing that might get me to sink in more time and open up Nookazon again: the synthesizers. Of all the instruments in New Horizons, the synths are the coolest since each color variant has a distinct and genuine sound. I've only got one so far, but a full collection would be awfully nice...
Almost anything to do with animals. Can I pet the dog? Can I ride the horse? Can I tame the lion trying to rip my face off? Even when games offer low interaction with fauna, I just like watching deer, boar, and bears move around in their native environments, and I appreciate games that go the extra mile to assure you you're exploring a living world. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild went all-out by letting you tame and ride everything from horses to bears to an actual forest god. Not only that, but if you try to stable said bear or forest god, you really piss off (or terrify) the stablehand. It's the little things that make games special.
I love petting animals in games. There's a reason why "Can You Pet the Dog?" took off as a Twitter account. It's because people love to pet cats and dogs! It warmed my heart to see one of the first interactions in The Last of Us Part 2 is the ability to pet a dog in the streets of Jackson. It's nice. I will always love petting the dog (or cat).