Earlier this week, Liore posted a guest post that I wrote for her on DLC and why it is dumb and potentially unhealthy. I don’t know that there are a lot of people that read this blog but don’t follow hers, but on the generous assumption that there are, you should check it out.
I read this article on Gamasutra today, and it follows up this one on Destructoid. They both make a similar case to my post on Learning the Language about why things like “Easy Mode” are not actually bad. I think it’s important to remember that, for a lot of us, we grew up learning this stuff. And yes, the number of people who have played games is ever-increasing. But if we really want this passion of ours to be taken seriously – to be able to talk about it publicly without the silly nerd-shame that is so easy to feel – we need to be able to share actual games with other people. This was the magic of the Wii, and being able to play things like Wii Sports and Tiger Woods with my dad was awesome. Even if he never picks up a long-form RPG or joins me in the Borderlands, I think he has a better appreciation for why I might actually find these things fun. And that’s awesome.
Likewise, being able to hand over Spec Ops: The Line or Bioshock: Infinite to a friend of mine that only plays games occasionally – but really appreciates film and storytelling – would be great! I don’t really feel like we’re there, yet, but I’d love to get there. The more I think about this, the more I appreciate things like Twitch TV or Let’s Plays. Even if I don’t personally love watching other people play through a game (mostly because I want to jump in and do it myself because they are clearly making the wrong choices), I think that having those types of things available to people is awesome. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to push through the language barriers that exist. There are already people doing things like making “movie” versions. This is something I would be able to share with non-gamers (even if it’s a little long). And then we could all talk about Bioshock.
Speaking of which, I played through Bioshock Infinite over the last couple weeks. I really enjoyed it! And, more importantly, I keep thinking and reading about it. And not in the SimCity schadenfreude sort of way (oh god it is horrible). I don’t want to talk about specifics just yet, but I think we are planning a spoiler-heavy podcast discussion soon. Many things will be said then, and possibly I will write something up afterwards. Until then, this post is an interesting spoiler-free discussion (the comments are not spoiler-free – DO NOT SEEK THE COMMENTS).
That said, this is the sort of thing that made me love the game visually:
Why yes, that is a George Washington robot with a machine gun.