Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interesting reading and listening. - Considering the popularity of video games. And a brief ramble about my past online multiplayer experience.

NPR had an really interesting portion on "Talk of the Nation" the other day. I will post a link soon.

A Vet from Iraq just posted this article about gaming:

It was good. However, the real treat was the responses. This was the best one.

"Interesting. Forty years ago, I and my friends would be routinely criticized for playing Avalon Hill boardgames, most of which were wargames. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

— Posted by Geoff "


There was also a response that complained about Guitar hero for some reason and that got me thinking on another track. It said it was nothing like playing real guitar and was just about pressing buttons quickly in synch with a program.

I was watching Youtube awhile back before "Guitar Hero" became popular, there was a video of a Japanese video game where the player hit buttons quickly in tune to the music and graphics. There were a ton on comments about how stupid the game was and how it was just another "Japanese Memorization" game. Yet when you get down to it, that EXACTLY what GH is. Just pressing buttons in synch and memorization.

Take away the gimmick controller and change the music and it's pretty much exactly like any other rhythm game.

So how much is the popularity of games based on how popular they are perceived by society in general.

For a very brief time I played MUDs online through telnet and the Internet. In terms of gameplay I believe they were FAR superior to World of Warcraft. Plus back in 1998 they were mostly FREE. It was all text of course, but you were playing with MANY different people in a very complex world.

Now add some pretty graphics to that and add monthly fees and you have Ultima Online and World of Warcraft. And of course the game gets dumbed down. And restricted. There is less freedom. Yet the same sort of people that would turn their noses at the weirdos playing an elf in a text based game eagerly play WoW.

I personally stopped playing MUDs because there seemed to be no point. They were always adding new content and new people were always joining the game. The only way to be really good in the game was to spend ridiculous amounts of hours playing the game and use a shitload of cheap tricks like macros and keystroke programs. There is ALWAYS going to be someone else who has more time on their hands who will ruing these types of games. In any case I never got into them because I couldn't play with other people because of my busy schedule.

Then came brief interlude with Half Life and it's MANY online game modes like Team Fortress. I got so good at online multiplayer "Action Half Life" I would ALWAYS get the number one slot for kills and points scored. Yet I eventually walked away from that too. I had a decent Internet connection in college and I played a lot. Those were the only reasons I was good at the game.

In fact MOST multiplayer games are like that. "Skill" in the game just means you have enough free time to play it alot. That's when I got more into the single player PC and console games. Looking for a good, fun experience in a game is what matters. It's supposed to be a brief BREAK from work. Not work itself.

Now most gamers are coming to the same conclusions as I did about 6 years ago. It's stupid to spend time and money on games that you can ONLY excel in if you happen to have plently of free time.

This all comes back to the original comment on that Iraq Vet story. 40 years ago people were having the same arguement. Everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

You must look toward the future and make sure that EVERYTHING in your life, INCLUDING games have some sort of real value and are not just the result of society telling you what you should or should not experience and enjoy.

...Wow...I always post the best stuff when I have had an 18 hour day working and only get 4.5 hours sleep...

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