Friday, October 07, 2005

The Games People Play

What other thought-provoking ideas can I come up with on this lame-ass blog....?

Ah! I bought the game FlatOut the other day, some British racing game using faux muscle cars with the added joy of propelling your anarchist, leather-clad driver out the windshield (or is it windscreen?). It was fun for a week or so, but now it's just another racing game. The older I become, the less these games mean to me. Or is it the more jaded I have become due to my age and the fact that I have been playing video games since Donkey Kong was unveiled at the local Flipper Flapper Fun Co. and enough is enough already.
Any game that you can find can be classified into four categories, to wit: FPS (First Person Shooter), RTS (real time strategy), Simulator or Adventure game. And while the craze with MMORPG's is starting to table out and descend on our imaginary graph of 'cool', I put those games in with their respective categories, i.e. mainly adventure (e.g. Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars) but sometimes RTS (e.g. the Battlefield and Warcraft series).
And after playing one after another for years on end, they have just become too predictable and, dare I say it, are they becoming less original and more lame as time goes on? Is this another rant of a pissed-off, overaged, adolescent wannabe? Perhaps...
But more than that I am just upset at the lack of surprise that used to take hold of me during the 'golden years' of video games (1981-1986). Games such as Joust, Battlezone, Asteroids, Defender, Crystal Castles, Q-bert, Disks of Tron, Space Invaders, Tempest, et. al. Every time a new game came out it wasn't an improved version of the same idea, it was a totally new idea altogether. And each game differed from the others not just in sound quality and graphics, but in the game mechanic itself. Playing Centipede was not the same as playing Tempest though each used a rotary paddle and a fire button.
Perhaps all the good ideas are gone already? Perhaps there is nothing new under the sun? I doubt it. Where humanity and art are concerned, there are bland moments, but only moments; soon a new revolution emerges from the boring ashes of the old. But, my God, how long must I wait for it?


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