You all know what I'm talking about.
Nintendogs, Brain Age, Sims and Animal Crossing.
These are examples of games with no definitive ending.
Why do we bother? These games in theory could start before we where born and end long after we are dead.
Perhaps that is the next logical evolution of the ongoing game.
I can see it now
"The RPG where the grind is your life, you only level up once a year on your birthday"
And with each new level perhaps you can equip more violent video games, harder examinations and eventually be able to drive that chocobo.
I know what you might be thinking.
Hey Oli you have it all wrong, we don't want a games that mirror our sad lifes, we want to escape to Huryle or the Mushroom Kingdom and forget our everyday woes.
I'm looking at an altogether different emerging genre. Games with themes that are distinctly normal.
From my EDGE magazine (issue 188, p53) Ben Bell the executive producer of the Sims 3 says:
"It's popularity (the sims) has often been a source of confusion in the specialist press...with its embracing of the ordinary suburban existence doesn't offer an obvious route to escapism"
The game is made personal so that we can connect with our characters and relationships. its not set in some far flung corner of the galaxy nor on in a dystopia future. its right here right now, in your house, in your neighbourhood.
But how many people you know play the sims as if it where themselves in a parallel universe? We all now what the sims is really about. Nothing like a good WooHoo and ritual burning of the neighbours.
"you can tell the story of someone you've never been before" says Bell
Its true the game is still pretty far away from reality. In many ways its a glorified tamagochi.
Maybe when Moores law ends (The number of transistors on a integrated circuit double every two years) and we see a slower steadier climb in tech. We could well see consoles and indeed their software last long enough to make this vision of a game that sticks with you your whole life a reality.
Why would you play such a game?
Much like Brain Training life games could judge you much like your grandmother. Are you doing well in life? are you married yet? where are my grand kids?
Or they could help keep your fitness levels up in a Wii fit fashion. They could be installed on your toilet, in your fridge if your diabetic they could be vital!
They could be introspective or extroverted, where are you in relation to the world? Or are you at its centre?
What does technology think of you?
Dr Kawashima is only the beginning.
This is Oli your local mad scientist of games thought of the day