In years past I have spent hours standing in line at my local shoe spot to try and get a pair of the newest old release that came out 10 years ago that I didn't get back then. I know thats silly. I am well aware of how they keep coming out with the same shoes in a slightly different color and at a higher price and we sheep line up to get them over and over again. But hear me out. In my case, I don't just collect them, I actually play basketball in them. I've got a closet and a box in the garage full of shoes in varying conditions of "new" that I have either stood in line for or in certain cases paid a little extra for. This brings me to my point. I worked at a local game store back when the Wii and PS3 Launched. It was crazy. The owner jacked up the prices, people STILL stood in midnight lines every time a rumor of a certain store getting more in came about. We sold out on a weekly basis even at our jacked up prices. Years later when looking back on it, now everyone who can get to walmart can get a Wii, and the three or four games that are worth playing on it have already come and gone on sale, and are not different than when they first came out. Since nintendo does not do any online updates of any games, chances are the twilight princess glitch that peoples discovered 5 years ago is still there. But here we go again right. New system, new year, OMG I have to go out and get one right now right? Or not. When shoes comes (Back) out, they only make a limited amount of them. If demand is high and supply is low then you can create all kinds of market desire for your thing. So they make 15000 pairs of shoes and distribute them across the nation, then at least 15000 people will buy them, and a couple hundred thousand people who didn't get to get them are probably willing to pay a little extra to say that they have a pair. But consoles are different. Well they should be. I mean, the games really are not that different two or three years after they initially come out, and defintely much cheaper. I don't know. I guess I was just marveling at this past weekend. This is also the first black friday weekend that I have spent as an adult NOT in retail. So I got to watch everyone flock to the stores to get the thing that will probably be there next week at a lower price. Meh. I don't want it. I'll get a Wii U, probably next year when its cheaper. Or smaller. Or has better games. Or is available in another color. Or has some other amaizing new feature that should have been there from the beginning. Thanks Nintendo, and thanks Nike, for showing me that I don't have to spend my money on something that will be there for cheaper later.
So my wife is due in about a week and a half. I've spend the last three months gathering as many old games from my childhood as I could. My goal that I have in mind is to gently easy my new offspring into the world of video games. I am almost deathly afraid of him coming in to the world on the cusp of a new console generation with him not knowing the past of it. I'd like to think of my generation as the best generation for video games. Born in the 80s, childhood experienced in the 90s, young adulthood in the 2000s, and transitioning into my late 20s and early 30s during this wonderful 2010-2020 decade. I've witnessed the rise and fall of sega, the late PS2 vs. XBOX vs. Gamecube wars of the last generation, and the emergence of xbox live. I know for sure that it is quite impossible to replicate that experience. I doubt that we will see the leaps in technology or range of creativity that we saw going from the 16bit era to 3D. Nor do I believe that we will ever see something as overtly against the status quo as the Wii was when it first launched. But I want to believe that I can at least give my kid some kind of perspecitve on it before we inevitably go out and buy him (and me) the newest gaming whatever. I want him to discover Super Mario world for the first time. I want him to make his own judgement about which console mascot he likes better. I want him to play his first 3D game and have his brain blown to bits. I want him to love his new games while understanding the novelty of the old ones. I want him to understand where we came from and what game design decisions that have been made in the past have influenced the way it is done today. Then I came to a pretty dissapointing conclusion. I sounded just like my parents. Not about games, but about life. My mom and dad wanted me to know all about the civil rights movement. They wanted me to know where I came from, what we had been through and to know not to take anything for granted because of where we are now. That is definitely the exact same line of thinking that I was tapping in to. Which pretty much bummed me all the way out. I've come to realize that it is not so much that I want him to experience those things, as I want to experience them all over again. But oh well. All is not lost. Since I have amassed this small collection of gaming stuff from my childhood I'll just sit back and play them when I feel like it. If he likes them he likes them, if he doesn't he doesn't. Pretty simple I think.
Just found out that my wife is going to be having a baby soon. I couldn't be more excited. There is going to be a little incarnation of me discovering the world for the first time the same way I did many many years ago. When I first had that through there was a cold gripping fear that ran down my back. "What if my kid never gets to experience the same games the way I did......what if the outlook that they have on games in tainted because the first Zelda game that they play could be skyward sword instead of link to the past?!?!" What if the first sonic game that my kid plays is unleashes instead of sonic 1 or 2? What if they never get to experience the technotronic musical masterpiece that is the streets of rage 2 soundtrack? What if my kid gets to the points where he or she can't even look at 16 bit games because they will have virtual reality. This and many other silly questions ran through my head while we were at the Doctor's office the other day. My saving grace was the notion that for all of my fears, for a brief period during my kids youth I will be in complete control over what they get to play. If we are only going to play SNES and Genesis games for a year then so be it.
So, I'm not that great a writer, but I am going to try and articulate my point so it can stop distracting me while I'm at work. - The article about the Fighting Game Community thing that went up a day or two ago hit a string with me that I'm pretty sure it didn't with that many other people. I kind of understand what the guy Aris was saying about it being a trial by fire kind of community and his fear for losing it to the mainstreaming of it. It was especially clear after I listened to the dudes discuss is on the bombcast. But I thought of a a parallel that most dudes in this community probably don't think of. - I play a lot of pick up basketball. Its probably 60-40 with playing games.....or more like 80-20, but at one point I was really big into going into the arcades when I was younger. The attitude described by the dudes on the podcast of paying your dues in the arcade is strikingly similar to the attitude you could find at any pick up court or gym that takes the games seriously. I mean, there are people that come to the arcade to just play around, and there are people who come to take it really seriously and bet money and reputations. There are people that play pick up ball just for fun and there are people that take it really seriously and put their reputations on the line. - The point that Aris was trying to make was that he felt the thing that made his community so great was the competitive nature of it and not wanting to lose that . He chose some pretty poor words to try and describe that, but I get it. When new dudes come to the court we don't want them to win. If they do win, they have to beat our best teams or else we don't want them at our court. The difference to me, is that at some point in pick up basketball's history, someone or some people said, "Ok guys, we have to be resonable about this. We do want this to grow, we do want to be taken seriously, we do want to have semi pro leagues and we do want people to enjoy the thing that we enjoy so much.....so we have to stop being assholes." I don't doubt that the guys that were assholes still played, but I know at the varoius courts that I have been to and the leagues that I have been in the assholes were slowly phased out. The feeling was that there was no place for that extreme bigortry if we were going to let other play. And at least in my experiences, those people who were so stubborn in their ways just didn't come around us anymore. The dudes that were so stuck in the ways that it was that they couldn't or didn't want to grow up about it and let the game grow weren't picked up or invited to play, no matter how good they were. - I don't know if I articulated that analogy all that well, but I feel better now that I have typed it out. Thanks internet, you're the best.
I'm pretty sure that everyone knows one or two of these people. “That Gamer” is the person to me, that makes me feel a little uncomfortable about saying that I play games out loud to other people. The person that makes me feel like I shouldn't belong in the same group of people as they do, even though I do. Finding out that I have the same gaming interest as “That Gamer” makes me kind of sick to my stomach. “That Gamer” is loud, unashamed, brash, somewhat vulgar, fanboyish, and at times way more than annoying. “That Gamer” is the person that gets way too excited at work when they pass by your desk and see that you are playing some random emulator on your company computer. “That Gamer” then goes down the hall expressing how cool it is that you have a SNES on your computer and then gets you in trouble for wasting company time. “That Gamer” also finds out that you have a 360 and immediately says, “Do you play Call of Duty? Dude, I swear that's the best game ever. I play ALL THE TIME!” Then goes on a thirty minute rant about how “broken” the game is and how not fun it is (But you play ALL THE TIME), out loud in their outside voice, while inside. “That Gamer” is the person who knows everything about every game that you mention, but at the same time somehow doesn't know anything about those games. “That Gamer” is incapable of expressing themselves in any other form other than bad game analogies and anecdotes.
I strongly dislike this person. They make work annoying, they make social situations annoying, they make a lot of things annoying. And yet somehow I always find myself knowing this person. In particular, I have a co-worker who is “That Gamer”. He is always talking about the games he plays, and when I bring up games that I am pretty sure he hasn't heard of he somehow comes up with some kind of way to relate to it. “Oh yeah, I played the hell out of Chrono Trigger, man when I was like 6 I played it all the time.” So then I asked him what he did differently the second time he played it and he goes, “No I only played it once cause I ended up not liking it half way through” (If you've ever played through Chrono Trigger, you know for sure about the new game plus of sorts that was available, but since he didn't really play through it he didn't know). Yeah, he probably wanted me to think he was cool and all, but really I don't care if you didn't know what I was talking about. This same guy also always relates something to Call of Duty. I often over hear conversations with customers about “Destroying noobs who use the noob tube in CODBLOPS” (Using his words). -___-
That basically irritates me. I guess I sympathize with this person. For me, a large part of the adult world looks down on gaming, or dismisses it as some kind of childish pass time, or weird hobby. So, these people are ridiculed and shunned and they are clueless to this. Then I came to the realization that I am probably someone's version of “That Gamer”. The gamer that is kind of ashamed of gaming and hides their love for gaming for fear of ridicule. Well that just sucks. I don't want to be “That Gamer” for anyone.
So, my wife is a gamer. She isn't the go out on day one and buy the newest system and or game that interest her kind of gamer. She is the "I love this franchise and therefore will play my favorite games from my childhood over and over again". Specifically, the legend of Zelda games. Christmas of 2006 I lost her for three days as she played straight through Twilight Princess to completion. I had never before seen her dedicated to a game this much in our lives so I was excited to try and give her new Zelda experiences. I was never a kid that had a Nintendo system when I was younger, and as an adult I only bought a Wii for my wife, but I had heard of a few Zelda games here and there that I was pretty sure she would fall in love with. So I went out one day a few weeks ago on the hunt for all of the Zelda games that I could come across for all platforms. I got a DSi XL (Cause its hella cheap right now), and was actually able to find Windwaker, Spirit Tracks, and got Ocarina of time for the virtual Console. The problem that I ran into with getting all excited and going out and getting all of these games it that she doesn't like the different off shoot Zelda formula games, and was only excited about playing the games that were basically exactly like Ocarina of Time. Thus, my trek was deemed a failure because while trying to get her into other kinds of Zelda games, (And hopefully eventually some other kinds of games) turns out that she only wants to play what she wants to play. She did however completely enjoy watching me play both Okami, and Darksiders twice. So........maybe there is hope for this. Wish me luck.