Hi, you might know me from such video games as everything that was released ever, and you’ll know I simply love video games. All of them, even the one’s that aren’t very good. So when I say I fucking hate video games so much I could scream you might wonder what kind of bi-polar point I’m trying to make.
In 1996 I was playing Ninja Turtles on NES. We weren’t a wealthy family and I think the game was bought second hand at a pawn shop by my parents as a joint present for my brother and I. It was the most fun ever, so much fun I’m fairly sure we finished it. Just like the old Wizards and Warriors
Sword and sorcery which I can’t find the game for, I can only remember the tune, it has stuck with me over a decade. These were by today’s standards terrible games, lacking in content, colour and graphics the kinds of things we take as common, even required in modern games. Why is it I poured hours of my youth into these games and refuse to spend another fucking minute playing Call of Duty: it’s not racist if they are terrorists 6.
Quality over quantity, which is an odd term to give to ancient games which may have been bad by their then equivalents. It wasn’t the game that defined my experience as a child, pouring sweat over a small grubby controller as I played Docter Mario desperately trying to prove my Tetris skills against my brother. It was the entirety of the shared moment, including the screaming at him when he turned the power off and lost my Wizards and Warriors game (you can’t save that shit I’d been playing for 3 day’s before and after school.) We shared a portion of our childhood with these games and they act as a signified of the time spent, like remembering a place by smell or recalling a book from the music you were listening to at the time. All that emotional heritage is linked to the experience of the game and the people I shared it with.
So when I play modern games what is missing. Firstly the personal interaction with the people whom I am playing. They aren’t my neighbors, they aren’t my family and if they piss me off enough I certainly can’t give them a dead leg and run to the protection of my mum’s skirt. As games have increased in quality, expanded with the underlying technology of graphics and sound and the increased monetary budgets offered to them the idea of sharing that moment with someone in an intimate space or way has fallen out of sync with reality. Sure you can get married online but… well seriously who expects that to work. These new ‘lesser’ mode’s of interaction, social sharing, and limp wristed competition simply don’t reflect the moments I shared as a youth. They are somehow less real, less vivid and most certainly less worthy of my time. Surely some people are out there making great use of the new interactive space offered by modern games and the gaming culture but I can’t see it working for me, or the vast majority of people existing IRL space.
So modern games offer a quaity of technological experience and quantity of social interaction where older ‘classic’ games offer a quantity of technological experience and quality of social interaction. Gee thanks technology.
Still, that’s only part of it, not all games where multi-player and I still spent a majority of my formative gaming years playing solo, Civilizations, Settlers II and Dune 2 (Wow how many hours did I sink into Civ 1 and Dune 2).
to be continued …