By Gamer_152 12 Comments
It is Sunday 28th November, and as the rest of you converse about your GT5s and your turkey over-consumption, it’s once again time for me to set my word processor to stun and produce another “thrilling” weekly blog.
Last Week’s Blog
So as some of you reading this may know, last week I posted a blog on the stigma surrounding video games and what action each of us can take against it. I think it’s fair to say it’s been by far my most recognised blog on the site. I’d like to thank all who contributed to the debate following the article, and give a special thanks to ZombiePie for putting out word of my blog over the GiantBombSquad Twitter feed and featuring my blog in this week’s Community Spotlight. I didn’t think it would get anywhere near the attention it did, and I was very happy to see so many reading and commenting on my weekly piece.
As a number of you commented in response that blog, the stigma surrounding games is largely a generational issue, and as those who would cast a slightly wary eye on video games steadily become part of an older crowd, and a new wave of people who’ve grown up with video games take their place, we’re probably going to be see a world in which playing a video game will be an activity in the same vein as watching a movie. However, I’d like to stress that in many ways I still think the behaviour of a lot of games enthusiasts out there is slowing the process, and causes a whole host of other problems. Another thing I learned from reading those comments was that a number of you simply don’t care about getting rid of the stigma surrounding video games, and I can understand that viewpoint, but there’s still two points I’d like people to take away from my post for the sake of ensuring better relations between games enthusiasts.
Civil Discussion of Video Games
When you discuss video games with other people, behave in a civil and at least somewhat polite way, “It’s just the internet” is an excuse I’ve seen used too many times for not caring when a conversation or community is steered in a direction it shouldn’t be. Giant Bomb is one of the most intelligent and accepting video game communities on the internet, but even here I’ve seen people behaving in an offensive manner to others, and it doesn’t make people look good when they do it.
There’s also no need to turn your hatred towards “casual gamers” and “casual games” simply because they’re “casual”. I know this has been a vague theme of a couple of my blogs before, but I think it’s an issue. Pre-Wii the situation was always that when a video game, console, or peripheral was released, the people who were already fans of video games were the audience for these products, and their opinions were relevant to consumers of the game, and to an extent the critics and industry. With the wave of gaming we’ve seen for a new audience, with the Wii, the Move, and the Kinect there’s now a whole new kind of video game just not aimed at the traditional consumer, and there seem to be a number of people who are having trouble adjusting. Granted, even when talking about what’s aimed at the “casual” crowd there’s the good, and there’s the bad, but if you just don’t like motion control games then you just don’t like them. It doesn’t mean that the point repeatedly needs to be rammed home that motion control isn’t popular with most players of traditional video games, and there’s no reason to look down on people who do enjoy casual games.
Poker Night at the Inventory
Now we’ve gotten our weekly sociology lesson out of the way it’s time to talk about what this blog was made for; video games. Despite a slightly annoying delay on the release of the game, this week Poker Night at the Inventory dropped out of Steam and onto the hard-drives of hundreds of people, including me. As far as poker games go Poker Night at the Inventory is one of the best, if not the best poker game out there. A pretty big prerequisite to playing it is that you do know the characters in the game, and while I’m not too familiar with Strong Bad, I was rather excited to hear that Max, the Heavy and Tycho were going to be in the game when it was announced. The game does a great job of capturing the personality of these characters and listening to them chatter away is always entertaining, and often amusing, especially when they’re communicating with each other, providing a bizarre and yet brilliant clashing of fictional worlds.
The game doesn’t have multiplayer and occasionally the dialogue of the characters will get in the way of the game, but the game is much more about the characters than it is about the poker. The poker and the AI definitely work, but if you’re just looking for a poker game then there might be better places for you to go. Otherwise, for a £3.25 game Poker Night at the Inventory is very good.
World of Warcraft
After some time of working out how best to clear 4GB off of my hard-drive so I could install a 113MB patch, I was ready to boot up WoW this week, and jump straight back into the game to see how Azeroth was looking after its timely apocalypse. For a while I’ve found the concept of them completely resculpting the most well-known persistent game world out there fairly mind-blowing, although I must admit after seeing the new Azeroth, it’s hard for it to really sink in that the game’s new environments are here to stay for the rest of the life of the game. I was never the biggest WoW player, but I still felt like all the areas of Azeroth were very familiar to me. I’ve still got a massive amount of the game world to explore all over again, but none the less, the new content looks like good stuff so far.
While I’m typically someone who reserves most of their play time for one specific character in MMOs, I have been thinking of creating a new character for another run through the game, although I feel like there are two real barriers to this for me. The first of these is just whether I’ll have the time and enthusiasm to work my way up to level 60 again, and the second is that I’m rather disappointed that if I do try and work my way through from the start, there’s no WoW EU guild out there to share my adventures with. I know there have been people asking about an EU guild before, and there have been some efforts to set one up but it’d be good to see a group of people on one server we could all drop in on regularly and just play WoW with, but I digress.
Lord of the Rings Online
While we’re talking MMOs I might as well give my two cents on Lord of the Rings Online which went free-to-play in Europe not too long ago. After my first hour or two of the game I wasn’t feeling terribly impressed with it, and after putting several hours into the game LoTRO still isn’t doing it for me. I don’t know what everyone else’s thoughts on the game are but I feel like it’s one of far too many games out there with generic MMORPG syndrome. It’s not an exact copy/paste of WoW, but it’s really not far off, and the phrase that kept returning to my mind all the way through my play experience was “A poor man’s WoW”. That sounds a little harsh, and if you’re not expecting too much from your MMO, and you want something free to play, or you’re a fan of the universe of Lord of the Rings, then you get some good game time out of LoTRO. For me though, I think I’ll be holding off on returning to Middle Earth for a while.
Duder, It’s Over
That’s another recap of the video game pursuits and loosely connected thoughts that have made up my week. Thank you for reading and to all you dear community members I say, get the hell out of my blog. Good luck, have Banelings.