Cascading Information means when text is slowly fed to the player telling them vital information. If all the information is given to the player at once it is most likely that they will have forgotten most of it within an hour or two. If the information is slowly given to the player it allows them to take it in and act on it before moving on to the next information. A good example of this is when games offer a tutorial level that teach the player the controls. The next information only appears for the player once they have completed the previous part.
When you first play ‘Overwatch ‘it comes up a text box allowing the player to choose if they want to do the tutorial or not. The tutorial starts off like any other, showing the player how to move. After this it then continues to give more information to the player such as how to use their weapon, how to switch weapon, how to use the abilities, and finally how to use the ultimate abilities. After all this information has been given to the player they can continue the tutorial by practicing in the ‘Practice range’. The gun range allows them to pick any character and practice using the weapons on targets.
‘Portal’ also utilizes the cascading information mechanic but this time instead of having a tutorial level it incorporates the required information into the story. As the character first wakes up it gives information on the screen telling the player how to move. As they progress further into the level it then shows them how to use the portal gun, but only once they actually pick it up.
I feel like this is a vital mechanic for a video game as the player would not know what they are doing without this or would be overloaded with information and cause the player to not want to play the game. If I was to incorporate this mechanic into a game it would be in the same way that ‘Portal’ has. I would give the player information that allows them to play as they progress through the first level and the story is being told. The player is only told how to perform a certain maneuver when they have to use that maneuver.