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Community Discussion: Blog by Mogg | We gamers should appreciate our Golden Shower of videogames (a quasi-response to Nintendoll)Destructoid
We gamers should appreciate our Golden Shower of videogames (a quasi-response to Nintendoll) - Destructoid

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About
29 yrs old
Attorney
location: Midwest


currently playing:
Warhammer online
Peggle Nights
Dragon Quest IV
Rock Band 2
Little Big Planet
Fallout 3
Gears of War 2
Dead space


Favorite Games:
BioShock
FF III (US)
tecmo super bowl
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Civilization series
punch out
Star Wars KOTOR
Mario golf
Mario Kart (64)
Tony Hawk 3


TV Shows you should watch:
The Wire (best tv show of all-time)
Lost
Battlestar Galactica
Freaks and Geeks

Favorite Movies
Star Wars Trilogy
Pulp Fiction
Children of Men
Roger Dodger
Terminator 2
Quiz Show
JFK
In America






We live in an age were no one understand they are boring. the internet has allowed everyone to voice their opinion and present themselves to the world. While this has many benefits, it also has just as many negatives. the largest being that no one seems to understand they aren't very interesting. I understand that so i'm not going to pretend i am remarkable because I can afford $40 for broadband.

We are here because we share a common interest, video games, so I am going to focus on that. how i got here in terms of video games.

My first video game memories are playing my parent's Atari 2600 Man, I loved that thing. I don't know if it was just because it was so cutting edge or because I was just a stupid little kid, but I would play any game on that thing for hours. I read lists of the all-time worst games and many include some of the favorites from my youth. I would play E.T. non-stop. I didn't mind that it took me 20 tries to get out of a pit because that was all I had and all there was. I would fly around as superman (while wearing my superman underoos) across nonsense backgrounds and enjoy every minute.

In elementary school I finally upgraded to the NES. I wasn't an early adapter. My NES came with the power pad. But that was the beginning of the end. From that point on I was hooked. My dad would often take me to the video store to rent NES games. that was before the days of blockbuster, so we would go to the local mom and pop rental place. That was also the day before the internet, so it was much harder to get info about games to know which were worth playing. I would hunt through the isle reading the back of every box and looking at the pictures. As a kid your sense of time is skewed but it had to take me at least a half hour to choose a game. I would narrow it down to a few and feel the pressure as my dad told me to hurry up. I still didn't have the discriminating taste I would later develop so I was usually happy with my selection.

About the time of the super nintendo, I started to develop a video game palette, which was great timing because that's when games really came into their prime. Games evolved in terms of story telling, gameplay mechanics, and even multiplayer. As a youth I was also an avid reader and this is the time that games started to match the ability of a good book to whisk a curious youth into strange new worlds. FFIII can hold its own against any classic children's book.

Around this time blockbuster and hollywood video stores began to open. My father worked for the fire department which qualified him for a discount at the local hollywood video. Anytime we would rent a movie or game we would get another rental free. no limits. everytime. my god that was amazing. it doubled the amount of games I could rent! I feel like I played everything back then. this was also the time when home systems began to match some of the arcade games. Me and my friends would rent bomberman for the snes, not to play bomberman, but to get the 4 player adapter that came with it. then we would use that and play 4 player NBA jam until the sun came up.

At this time games didn't have street dates. I would call the video store to find out when they expected a new game and then call them every 2 hours from the day the they estimated the game to come in until it actually arrived. thank god caller ID wasn't prevalent then because the guy at the game store wouldn't have answered my calls the week Street fighter II came out.

By the time the N64 was released I was in high school and had a part time job at a nationwide retailer. As I mentioned above, games didn't have street dates and neither did consoles. I was working the day the first shipments of N64's came in. I called my parents begging them to front me the money (hey, i got a 10% discount). That was some advanced stuff. And the controller was so crazy for the time.

My nintendo 64 took me into college. I don't remember much about that for some reason, but i'm pretty sure If i spent the amount of time studying as I did playing mario kart, goldeneye, mario golf, and fifi soccer, I'd have about 4 graduate degrees.

After a long time in school (I did get one graduate degree) I'm now an employed and have disposable income. As a result I have an 360, ps3, Wii, ps2, and DS. I really think we are in a golden age of gaming and games have taken similar evolutionary step as they did between the NES and SNES.

I hope to become an active member of the destructoid community. I've been reading the blogs for months and hope i can live up to the standard you all have set. If you read all this I appreciate it. If not, I'll understand. It's probably not as interesting as I think it is.
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There has been some discussion around here about the over all state of the video game industry. Specifically the quality of the current videogame scene. Nintendoll posted an excellent piece explaining her view on why it would be a mistake to call the current era the golden age. Her piece was a reaction to an article by Sean Sands posted on the escapist website. (steve sands is a co-founder of http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/, I highly recommend their weekly podcast) While I agree with Sands that we are in a golden age of gaming, I agree with Nintendoll that his piece wasn't very persuasive. I thought he missed a lot of major points, so i'll try to add them.

CHOICES

No matter what your favorite type of game or preferred genre you will be able to find games that meet your needs. I'm the type of gamer who enjoys a wide range of game types so its overwhelming keeping up with all the choices and play all the great releases. Just this week there are 4 excellent games released I want to play, Rock Band 2, Crysis Warhead, Dragon Quest IV, and Star Wars TFU. All different types of games and all appear to be quality experiences (maybe not SW:TFU, but I'll save judgment until I play it). This isn't a rare thing. Nearly every week there are more choices of great games.

This influx of great games doesn't even take into account the other ways a gamer can get to the games they want to play. If you aren't interested in the new big AAA titles, you can get online and find a game to meet your needs. You can download new and old games from Steam. You can find a wide range of titles on XBLA or PSN. If you thought games peaked with the NES or SNES, you can download dozens of those games from the virtual console. If you are cheap you can find hours of great gaming online for free with websites like instantaction.com.

If you are a gamer and you can't find a game to meet your needs you obviously aren't looking.

GAMEPLAY

What good are choices if you are choosing from a bunch of mediocre titles. Luckily the games we get to play have taken great strides in the area of gameplay and how we interact with the game.

Some improvements have just been perfecting traditional gameplay. The actual gameplay of FPS's isn't all that different from FPS of the past, but its better. Now we can interact with the environment which creates a new level of immersion. The AI is much smarter. No longer are we faced with just waves of enemies and monster closets, the AI can start to react to the environment and use tactics. As the devs continue to improve these details it creates a deeper and more realistic experience.

Game developers have also improved how we interact with our games. There are interfaces modifications, like with the Wii and DS. When utilized well, these interfaces improve the gaming experience. Try playing Boom Blox on the wii. A really fun game that couldn't be possible without the Wii interface. But we are also given more input too in customization and story. While I think the one area of games that still is in its infancy is the branching story paths, we are still given freedom with-in the games. An example is Mass Effect. The player gets to choose not only the appearance of their character, but how they interact with others and the how they proceed through the story. It allows the player to tailor the game to their specific preferences.


COMMUNITY

Gamer's are connected like never before to to each other, to information about gamers, and even to the game developers. In the past the best and possibly only way to get info about games was magazines. Now we have numerous websites, podcasts, and tv shows to get info along with the magazines. We have access to information instantly. We can get dozens of reviews of a game before its even released. Soon after a game is released we can find out other gamers' opinion of the game. We have unprecedented levels of info about the games currently released and yet to be released.

We are also able to discuss our opinions and thoughts with other gamers and even the game journalists. The obvious example is this blog here. We are allowed to write about anything we want and a great website like destructoid hosts it and allows others access to it for free. I read blogs here from people all over the world with opinions on every type of game. Plus we can get more instant feedback with message boards and forums. Sure they can be a mixed bag, but its nice to have post a question or comment about a game and have other gamers respond with-in seconds or minutes. Even the game journalists interact with the community. Before this was done in the "letters" section of a magazine. Now they participate in forums and respond to gamers' questions on podcasts.

Gamers are even able to communicate with and influence the people who actually make the games. Good developers listen to their fans and evaluate the feedback. We are actually getting updates to games and new versions of gamers that cater to our desires as a community.

Its also easier to experience actual gaming with others. Every console has extensive online gaming options. People join guilds and spends hours with thousands of other gamers in MMO's. no longer are people forced to game alone.

CONCLUSION

I could write about this non-stop, but I actually want people to read it. I would have also liked to respond directly to some of Nintendoll's points, but that will have to wait.

In the end, I think that this current generation of video games and the video game community is the best yet. If its not the golden age, I can't wait to see what's coming that could be better.



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