Great post, thank you.
I remembered so many instances (many mentioned in this article) of feeling confined by games. What if I don't want to torture, what if I'd rather let the bad guy go, what if I'd rather do anything other than shoot the final boss 5 times in a puffy orange growth?
While many of these constraints could be technological (how many games could realisticly support thousands of unique interpersonal interactions), I agree with the author in that many of these "boundries" are simply the result of beating something that worked at one time throughly into the ground. Isn't that just the way (mainstream) entertainment works now?
That being said, I think people are begining to expect more from games. Not a shocking statement, I know, but does anyone else remember the outcry at Mass Effect 3's ending? All the choices we agonized over were forced to end in 1 of 3 ways and Tali's face was revealed to be a lazily modified stock photo. The developers decided to release supplemental material to placate their audience. Though the ending remained canned and ersatz, the fact that action was taken could be a good sign.