Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Random Thoughts From a Random Guy # 9: Gamer Knows Best

Once a man begins to get up there in age and has been unsuccessful in finding a suitable wife, he begins to simulate the experience of fatherhood by filling his house with his rambunctious nephews.

The experience can be comical- kids tend to run into walls.

The experience can be painful- you can’t watch Cinemax when children are around. However, the experience can also be quite enlightening.

Just last week I was trying my best to keep my cool while my nephews systematically went about destroying anything of value inside my home. I figured the best way to get them to relax without giving them alcohol would be to take them to their version of the local pub, Gamestop.

While we were there we talked ad-naseum about the different games, platforms and what we would do if we made our own games. It wasn’t as bad as you would think. As we were about to leave, we heard some kids get into a debate about Ubisoft’s "Assassin’s Creed" and Take-Two Interactive’s "Bioshock." I will spare you the details and just say that video games are inspiring the kind of debate that movies haven’t since the 1970’s. When you add to the mix that the industry generates around $30 billion in revenue each year, it’s hard to understand why we frown on gamers so much.

When I was a child, my father used to play cricket with friends on the weekends. I used to look down on this because I thought that if you were playing cricket, you might as well just put on a dress and call yourself Tiffany.

What I’m trying to say is that I looked down on cricket not because of it’s athletic merit, but rather because I was looking at it through the close-minded prism of American sports culture. This is the same way that everyone, including myself, views video games right now. We hate the medium because we’re supposed to. So, what can we do about this?

It’s up to every gamer to turn at least two people onto video games. It probably goes without saying, but the games they introduce to people must be ones of very little difficulty. (If I can’t play it when I’m hammered, it’s too difficult!)

The second thing that gamers must do is organize the way movie fans and music fans do. We have Sundance for movie lovers and South by Southwest for music lovers, but where is the equivalent for gamers? (Editor's Note: Yes, we know there is one, and it's called the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Brown Cary Grant was just uh,... checking if you were paying attention. We think.)

I find that we are too quick to dismiss the ideas and trends of the younger generations without giving them a proper hearing. If we continue to do this then everything they say about us older folks being hardheaded and stubborn will be right.

We can’t have that can we?

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