Sunday, 17 April 2011

Quick Whinge

Now, I know I'm going to sound like a mix of the grandpa in the Werther's Originals ad and Victor Meldrew himself, but when I were a lad (sorry) we 'ad t'video games that were actually games. You could load it on your computer and play it on the telly in the living room. Some intelligence had been applied in the writing of the game, and the games were therefore attractive to play because they were a mental challenge as well as a test of co-ordination and reflexes. I'm thinking of games like Elite.

Modern games seem to just compete on how gory and horrifying they are. With a very small number of honourable exceptions like (say) Portal, they are all basically the same. You view the world down the barrel of some kind of weapon and kill what you see. The only competition amongst game writers seem to be to make the most vivid scenes of (basically) murder and torture that they can.

Which means that every few weeks, Master P and I have a conversation which starts "Can I have this game please, I know I'm only 11 and it's a 15 but its alright, honest". I agree to look into it, do some googling, and come away with a varying degree of revulsion. On one occasion, I did in fact feel physically sick at what I saw on Youtube. Then I have to say "no", and we have the "all my mates have it" whine.

Why can't they drop this pointless dead-end format of the first-person shooter and think of some clever games?


  1. I agree, I'd like a game or two to play myself. My physical reactions aren't what they were, but I like to think that my brain is as sharp as ever, even if it is a bit forgetful. A modern version of some of the old games where you had to apply logic rather than speed would suit me fine.

  2. There are good games out there - MMORPGs can teach co-operation, strategy and sim-type games can teach resource management (and patience!).

    The advantage is that, being less popular overall - at least when compared to the flashy FPS games - they are cheaper, often ending up on 'budget' titles within a few months of release.

    They are - mostly - PC games, though some are available on console.

    'LA Noire' looks like a pretty good game for the PS3, with mixed action and problem-solving. Mind you, I'm also waiting for the new 'Sniper' on the PS3 too, since that looks like it might reward stealth and patience, rather than run 'n gun tactics.

  3. Try him on German whist.

    Tell him he can have the next gory computer game only when he can consistently beat you in 10-game sets.

    Best regards

  4. I am totally with you on this.

    I am tempted to do some black ops myself, on his PS3...

  5. There might be good games out there, Julia but which ones will kids go for, especially if they're promoted?

  6. Very bored of FPS.
    But if you are a games designer, there's always another 11 year old along in a minute.
    Trying to appeal to adults is much harder.

    BTW - X3 universe is supposed to be like elite.
    Much more modern of course. And getting old itself. Pick it up for £10 odd.

  7. "There might be good games out there, Julia but which ones will kids go for, especially if they're promoted?"

    Oh, they'll go for the ones all their mates have, of course! But then, that'd down to their parents to control, isn't it?

    The ones who play WITH them, rather than ignore what they are doing altogether, will at least have a choice.