Thoughts on Skeuomorphic Menu Systems
Charlie Deets

I’ve been thinking about a skeuomorphic menu design that I really hate using: the SEGA Mega Drive Steam Collection

It’s a literal room from the 90s.

While certain skeuomorphic game menus do invoke a sense of immersion in the game, I think this does nothing of the sort for me because it’s completely unfamiliar to me, its animations are incredibly slow, and there are too many incessant objects (there’s even a bed) that doesn’t do anything.

Items are split into arbitrary classifications (what am I supposed to expect from “room settings”?!) and an incredibly inefficient and outdated way of loading games is utilised. To play a game, I would have to go to the shelf and “load” it to the console(didn’t I just load this game from Steam?!) and to perform simple actions like save or quit I would have to, once again, head to the console. This just causes too much friction that only serves to frustrate and prevent the user from fully enjoying the game. Not to mention that all these effects and room graphics causes lag while playing a game from the Genesis era.

I would argue that all these effects actually does the opposite of promote immersion into a game. What it tries to do is use nolstagia to immerse yourself in the past, but does so by taking the worst aspects of that dated period and forming a completely unintuitive interface that gets in the way of you playing the actual game.