Sunday, 7 November 2010

Dropping The Controller: My Gaming Journey

So, I’ve written a little bit about my own history of gaming and how I got started as a kid, but I’ll go more in depth today, as I need a break from raking through gaming history. As a gamer, I’m not very competitive, or even very good. For me, gaming has never been something that I am very aggressive about. For some, the most important thing playing games is being the best and beating everyone else, but for me it’s more about relaxing and letting go for a few hours than getting the highest score.

When I was younger I tended to go for games that were more about simulation and relaxation, something not to be taken too seriously. Mostly as a kid, I stuck to games like Creatures 2 and The Sims, and spent the rest of my time watching my sisters play Tomb Raider and Super Mario World, mostly because I just wasn’t good enough to play myself. Eventually once my sisters had grown up a bit and stopped gaming, I decided to try the more “serious” games, moving on from Spyro onto greener pastures. This went pretty well, apart from the times I would freak out, pause the game and run off, but I eventually got good enough to start appreciating games properly.

My most memorable game is probably Creatures 2. When I look back on it now, it looks pretty terrible, but at the time I loved it. Since I played it when I was so young, I tended to kill my creatures a LOT, but being able to explore this imaginative world and get into the environment and story was really exciting. I don’t even remember progressing that far into the game, but I remember it blowing my tiny tiny mind.

The other game I remember playing obsessively as a kid was the Walking with Dinosaurs game online[]. It wasn’t even that good, but I played it because being a dinosaur is AWESOME.

In the future, I’d love to see games culture and the games industry open up and become much more inclusive and diverse. Right now gaming in general is very much a “boys zone” and you can find a LOT of sexism and racism in games and the gaming environment. A recent example is the gender of the main character in The Last Guardian, developed by Team Ico. That they chose a male lead, while disappointing, isn't unsurprising, but what makes it incredibly insulting was that they were going to have a female lead but decided that a young female child would have less grip strength than a young male child, and perverts might try to look up her skirt, so a female character wouldn't be worth having.

What? That must be the weakest excuse I’ve ever heard. If they had wanted to create a female character, they would have done it, instead of giving up after some half assed attempt, and dishing out some piss poor excuses. Worried about perverts? DON’T MAKE HER WEAR A SKIRT. You can even put her in clothing that makes it impossible to take a look at her underpants. Do Nintendo worry about perverts buying their games endlessly searching for that perfect upskirt shot of Link? No, because they gave him some damn leggings.

That’s the ticket.

Right now I'm looking forward to playing Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Fable 3. I haven’t really had time to be playing games at all, but I’m hoping in the future that I manage to get some time with BGAE2. I missed out on playing the first one, so I am excited about being able to (hopefully) get to play the sequel. A strong female lead character who isn’t there to be some campy piece of eye candy? HELLS YES.

I’m sure the gaming world has a lot in store in the future. Technology has now advanced to the point where gameplay can be achieved without a controller, freeing up the player and immersing them in the gameplay. As for whether the games using this technology will be any good, only time will tell, but the future is looking pretty bright. My own ideas for the future of gameplay? Just plug me into the matrix baby.

These textures... they’re so realistic!

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