I bet a lot of you never asked this. Everyone have their own tastes and probably never asked themselves how come they like what they like and dislike what they dislike. So, today while talking at Twitter, I came across with this question. How the place you grow up influenced your taste in games? And come to the conclusion that this have a greater influence than we may ever think.
I am from Brazil, and the Brazil from my childhood was a very different place than it is today. When I was young, life was way harder. My family was very poor, we had to deal with hyperinflation and a country that was generally terrible. This made didn't made Brazilians gather a pessimistic look at life, but a hopeful one. We always spoke about Brazil turning up as the 'country of the future', so we always expected that things would become better. In a way, we still expect.
So, as I was a child, I was growing up on the promises of better days to come. That reflects in my taste on games because I hate games (and any other media like movies and books) with depressing, hopeless ends. I always expect for a good end, and it is specially bad in games when you got a bad end, because you, technically, is under control and should be allowed to do things differently, or at least supposed to be. A bad end, despite all you do, crushes the hopeful view of life I grown to have.
Other things that changed how my game taste is today is that different than many countries, I grow up with a different number of cultures around me. Not only Brazilian culture, but also American and Japanese culture were very present in my younger days.
TV had cartoons and shows made in the US, but also it had plenty of Japanese shows when I was young. I not only grew up with The Smurfs, Disney cartoons, Dungeons & Dragons, Thundercats and other American cartoons. I grew up with anime like Macross, Zillion, YuYu Hakusho and tokusatsu shows like Dengeki Sentai Changeman and Kamen Rider Black. And with Brazillian shows like Os Trapalhões. All that left a mark in me.
I grow up in a multicultural environment, making me more receptive of different outlooks in life, of different approaches and philosophies to the same problems. Brazilian shows usually relayed on thinking smart, not hard work. It makes me appreciate games that offer several ways to approach problems. American shows came into two flavors. You are either a badass to the core and are way skilled from beginning or you are part of a group and following the group. This reflect in my gaming tastes as I always hate games were you are underpowered and to appreciate games were creating a united group is key to victory. Japanese shows usually showed that there is always someone stronger than you, but you should not gave up and must keep trying and specially to think out of the box to surpass a challenge. This make me love games that always allow you to try again easily and games that offer creative ways to solve problems.
Not only that, the reality of gaming in my country changed how I approach games. Games here were always very expansive. That made having tons of games nearly impossible at first. In my Atari and Master System days, I had just two games. I never bought games for them, in fact, just played the ones they came with. So, I played them to death. Not only that, every time I was able to rent a game, I played them the most I could before having to return them. So, I usually don't jump from game to game with frequency (something I am doing a lot this month). So, I would most of the times stick with one game till I beat it. And since games still are expansive, I still do that.
But now with PS+ having some sweet deals, and I having a job, it made me buy more games and play more, yet I usually will play them for a few hours until I find that one game I will keep playing till I got tired of them, which sometimes would take days of playing.
I am, tough, an exception in Brazil's game preferences. Most Brazilians prefer simple games where no English knowledge is necessary, because our poor educational system make most gamers have zero knowledge of English. My own English, as many of you probably know already, is very bad, but is way above average when you compare with the knowledge of English most people here have.
Most Brazilians will play mostly games like FPS, racing games, soccer games, fighting games and nay other genre where understanding what the characters are saying in the screen is unnecessary. Me, on the other hand, prefer games with actual stories and enjoyable characters. This come from my time with the PS1 and its JRPGs, which were in their golden years at the time. Because I grow up with lots of Japanese shows, I also grow up to appreciate the way they made game stories and developed characters.
To this day, I prefer games with stories and development of characters. part of that is because I was and still am a loner. I moved a lot during my life, not living more than a year in a city till I was 14. And even after that, I never stayed in the same school more than 2 years, making creating lasting relationships a problem to me. And games, in a way, helped cope with that, since I could see other developing relationships in the games.
That is why games like Persona and Mass Effect are specially great in my book by allowing me to work out creating relationships. And why I prefer way more games that story revolve around the characters and their relationships with others than games made out of set pieces and epic events. And to prefer games where working in group to win are more fun to me than games based on lone wolfing to victory.
So, that is why I like many of the games I like. My childhood, how I grow up and where I live are all key components to understand why i like the games I like.
And you? have ever wondered why you like the games you like?
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