Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm Just A "Newb," To That Fruit Cake On World Of WarCraft

I am going to expand a little bit on an article that a buddy of mine, Craig Ellsworth wrote, depicting the amusing yet pathetic first-time try out (by yours truly) of the XBOX 360 game "Halo" (something-or-other)- It's the newest one. The full name escapes me but is irrelevant anyway because this rant has crap to do with the game itself. Instead, this rant focuses more on the development of video games and how they have evolved since I last enjoyed them when I was in high school.

I have not owned a video game system since the original Playstation. My brother had a Playstation 2, but that was the farthest my family ever got into video games while I still lived under the same roof as any of them. I played Playstation 2 a lot in high school just like any other kid. I played video games when I wasn't vandalizing, drinking, smoking, or putting my life at risk with stupid decisions. Oh, or playing sports! I was a video game playing, athletic, juvenile delinquent. If it displeases you that I happened to fit into too many of these social categories than all I can say (respectfully) is "Too F'ing bad, you judgmental grease monkey.
I was awesome."
I grew up loving the original Nintendo and Sega Genesis systems (Holla atcha boi if you agree, and show your age). Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, Ghosts & Goblins... man, I could go on all night with this and really blow your mind with some stuff you've probably never even heard of (what do you know about "Iron Sword: Wizards & Warriors II" for Nintendo? Or "Green Dog" for Sega?). Anyway the bottom line here-- before I get lost somewhere that none of us care to be-- is that I like simple. I liked controllers that contained two to three buttons, and games that scrolled from left to right. I did eventually upgrade to Playstation like I said, so obviously it got slightly more complex. But c'mon, not really....

For me it was the "Twisted Metal" series. Me and Craig would play those games for hours, even days on end. I mean shit, how does it get any better than driving ridiculously fabricated vehicles, manned by ridiculously fabricated characters, around ridiculously fabricated arenas, blowing the living crap out of each other with ridiculously fabricated weapons? Every boy's dream, right?  But it was simple. Everything about the game-play was basic, and easy to figure out and master.

Now, you take a former "gamer" like myself who has little-to-no experience with these new systems, and start him or her up on a game like "Halo," "Call of Duty," "World of WarCraft," or pretty much any given sports or competitive multiplayer game, and you are left with... a really pissed off, flabbergasted, button-mashing "newb" who's tv screen is spinning around in circles in attempt to find the little thirteen-year-old pecker head who keeps knifing you and calling you a fag over a headset somewhere in East Cutty Bum F***.

You see, the problem with video games has seemingly manifested itself from technologically complex games, to assholes with no lives, jobs, or poon and with nothing better to do than to sit at home and master these games to a level that makes you sick to even think about playing against them. These games are too hard for the casual gamer, and too easy for thirteen-year-old crater face (or forty-year-old-living-in-mom's- basement... face). And wait, don't think that I am so blind or close-minded to think that you can't be good at playing video games unless you fall into one of these categories. I understand that you can also be perfectly normal and still have way too much time on your hands, and be that good. So there.

Myself, and buddy Craig (who happens to be a game designer) somewhat agree that video games have become less accessible to the average shmo who may have failed to keep up with the times, and are geared more toward the gamer fanatic.

I heard a story about a guy who enjoyed playing "Call of Duty." He was what you would call an above average player. Not a fanatic with no life, but definitely held his own in multiplayer. He got sick of playing for a while and took a couple of months off. When he decided to return after his two month hiatus he found that he was getting destroyed like he was brand new to the game. Two months! Now I'm not talking about 'The Who' here, performing at a Super Bowl half-time show thirty freakin' years past their prime. It's crazy. And how they should go about doing it I haven't the slightest, but designers have a responsibility to make games accessible to everyone, to remove the barriers (Craig Ellsworth). Figure out ways to create constant change maybe, so that not one person can ever get too good. I really don't know. All I do know is that just because I think I kick ass because I can (sort of) hold my own on 'easy mode' in Halo, doesn't mean that I would have any fun whatsoever playing against the giggling creatures on the other side of the head set. And that makes me sad :(  because I remember being able to play Super Mario Bros. and Blades of Steel with my old man, two completely different generations, two completely different skill levels, and still have fun because the games were universal and geared towards all


  1. not for nothing, but most of those kids arent thirteen years old which would bring up a-whole-nother subject about how kids are turning into tomorrows everyday assholes

  2. That is why xbox came out with kinect! More simple and fun!

  3. Well XBOX created the kinect to compete with Wii. The Wii is more of a system designed for the "everybody" gamer, and much more user friendly. The XBOX I swear is specifically designed to REQUIRE the player to spend a massive amount of time playing in order to be any good because it's too damn complicated. I swear I spent about an hour and a half just learning how to aim in Halo because it was bouncing all over the screen.


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