On the one hand, we have the mechanistic part of the game: the things that you do in the game, the systems that support those actions, the environments they take place in. On the other hand you have the designed aspirations: the story a game wants to tell, the emotions it wants to draw out of you, the atmosphere and imagination that it wants to inspire as you play the game.
My earliest childhood memory is of playing Mega Man 2. When I first saw the game, I was blown away by the dual-layers of tech and toys. There was something uniquely special and alive about Mega Man that would act as the catalyst for my interest in the games space. After hearing Garnett’s bit, I now realize that the power of Mega Man was in his simple and subtle “blink” animation. This interest became further perpetuated when an idle Sonic broke the fourth-wall, tapping his foot as he glared directly at me.