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Haxan avatar 11:14 AM on 12.03.2008  (server time)
Christmas Shopping: Non-Gaming, Priest Dad-Style

What video game do you buy for a priest as a Christmas gift? That question was just posed to me. My ex-girlfriend (yeah, that girl that used to pop up somehow in every c-blog I ever wrote... we broke up. Still best friends though. It's good when that can work out.) texted me a bit ago. She wanted some advice for a Christmas gift for her father. Her dad is a priest of one of those Christian-type faiths that I keep forgetting what is called. Her folks are both very religious, which poses an interesting question or two when they just bought themselves a Wii a couple weeks ago and my ex is tasked with populating their gaming library. Here was the email I sent her in response:

"There really is no win here. Old people that buy Wiis will never play any of the games that are available for the console. They really only want Wii Sports. And they'll get bored of that inside of two weeks, as it is. Animal Crossing could be a decent choice, as there is some incentive to keep playing that for a while. There's no challenge and it's got a nice relaxing pace. But, I just don't see your pops getting into that. And bipedal, talking animals raises an evolutionary question. Knowing him better than I do, use your own judgement on that suggestion.

"I really think that anybody that owns a Wii would LOVE Super Mario Galaxy if they could only devote an hour to it. It's a beautiful game, and nearly flawless. It's got a little bit of challenge, but not too much. The sort of game that you have to put a little bit of effort into, but is constantly rewarding you for it, since the levels are fairly short, and the continues infinite. There's such a feeling of accomplishment that comes from beating a level in a video game (especially in a game where you don't have to start the whole thing over when you die). But, he would have to learn how 3D platformers work and control. I don't see him capable of putting forth that effort. So, maybe not.

"I can't speak for the multitudes of games for Casual Gamers that are out there as I'm not one. Casual games don't appeal to me. They don't appeal to me because they are terrible. Carnival Games is a good example. Super popular. It's sold a ton of copies. It's really shitty, has no replay value, isn't particularly fun, and nobody (even the casual gamer) plays it for longer than a week.

"So, my real suggestion here is going to be a game called "Boom Blox". It's got Steven Spielberg's name on the box (though, he probably had little to do with the game's creation). It's got amazingly solid review scores. My little brother owns it. My mother actually played it when he got it (I still haven't gotten a call for my Animal Crossing friend code since I got her the DS version early in the year). It's a puzzle game that is supposed to utilize the Wii-mote in the sort of way that you'd imagine it would be used for instead of how it's used in 99% of the games for the system. And puzzle games are pick-up-and-play by nature. So, after a short time of learning how to play, he could easily jump in and out of it. I imagaine that it's the sort of game that teaches new skills one plays. SO there wouldn't be a huge learning curve. I think if there's any game that he would both play and would be worth a damn, this would be your best bet.

"Except for Resident Evil 4. Because that's practically a hand-job on a disk."

She hasn't purchased anything yet. What would your advice be for the perfect, inoffensive game for the ultra-religious, casual gamer?

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