Thursday, November 18, 2004

Video Games

I don't talk about them much, but a discussion I had yesterday has had me thinking seriously about a few things.

First, anyone who's played Vice City, or even the new San Andreas can give you testimony on how truly excellent video games can be. I'm not just talking in terms of story or gameplay style, but both of those are a big draw. Especially the graphics.

It seems that companies (and some adult groups who are always looking to censor us) seem to think the GTA games are a hit because of the mature subject matter. Mature is probably the wrong word, honestly it's quite juvenile, and very delinquent, morally bankrupt would likely be the best description. While it's true that those things are a draw to certain types of people, what draws most of its fans (including me) in is the extremely amazing graphics, the vastness of the things you can do, the non-linear gameplay, the exploration of a city that's probably bigger than the town I live in. It's a virtual world, and you cannot find a console game that even comes close to this type of thing.

So why the violence? Why not make a childrens game this engrossing? If you could make a game like this, aimed towards a younger audience, you'd have a hit. Spider-Man 2 comes close, but the storyline falls short of anything worthwhile, and honestly brings the rest of the game down as well. The challenges were exteemely difficult, and finding all of the little bonus coins became ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong, there are some damn fine games out there aimed toward the younger crowd (Nintendo represents that group constantly) but nothing on this level. It's a shame really.

Seems like video games and comics have more and more in common each passing year. Kids are getting left behind for the most part (especially the 5-7 year olds) and without an entry level game to get them playing it's likely they'll never pick up a controller.

Sure, there's always the sea of sports game that'll hook some of them, but not everyone's a sports fan.

So, Bungee, Rockstar, even you EA fellas...what're you gonna do when your audience is too damn old to use a joystick?


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