I love gaming. It’s one of my favourite things. But when I play a lot of the games that are popular now, I don’t feel like I’ve escaped the real world. Everything is so realistic.
I used to love the days when a small, ‘tached, Italian plumber jumped to break blocks while trying to find the fireball power to help him take out Bowser, or when a speedy, blue hedgehog tried to collect all the rings and save the fluffy animals from Dr Robotnik. And when a little purple dragon beat the odds to defeat Ripto and his minions, Crush and Gulp, all the while making sure he had enough gems in his back pocket to pay off Moneybags when he showed his greedy face
All of my favourite games had, and still have, something in common; they are nothing like real life. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more at the end of a hard and stressful day than sitting down and sticking on CoD and blowing some stuff up. But it doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel wired, like I’ve had a gallon of coffee and I could take the army on myself. The profanities that fly across Xbox Live (and my living room) are the only light relief I find in these types of games.
There is nothing fantasy about the surroundings, no sparkle, no shimmer, no humour! Just plain, old, bomb-ruined buildings to remind us of the very real issues that are faced everyday by many people around the world. I think a game needs laughs. Maybe a smile inducing foe. One that’s quick to crack the jokes, or take a tumble with fantastic comic timing after a huge speech about how they’re going to crush you. And you certainly need a bouncing boob shot, you know the one, as the hero rescues the girl she runs towards him and the camera pans comedically out so you can see her in all her bouncy bosom glory.
Maybe I just need to get with the times and realise that the era of cartoon looking characters with the goal of collecting as many coins/rings/gems as I can while trying to rescue the Princess/animals/Rapidly Deteriorating Dragon Realm might just be coming to an end. Kids now don’t care about the cute characters from yesteryear, they want to pick up a rifle and shoot, instead of doing a quick spin or jump to remove the danger. I probably just need to accept it – but then I think of the Lego franchise. There is nothing about it that is too realistic, it is completely make believe. And even when your fighting someone and obliterating them, the only thing left to clean up is the Lego blocks. And that I like! They have restored my hope that the easy playing, feel good games like the ones of my youth aren’t a thing of the past. They’re as much relevant now as they were then, and hopefully the games companies will realise that there are a lot of people, like me, that don’t want to feel like I’m going from real life to simulated real life. Unless I’m playing Sims, then I’m going from real life to God of real life, which is always good.
I just want to collect stuff and stomp on things. Is that too much to ask?
How do you feel about this subject? Do you love the realistic feel of a game or would you prefer to be delved into the world of fantasy and escape the real world?
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