Middle Age Gaming

It all started with my obsession with those fragile weeble-players...

I am very grateful that such quality (HD, 1080p) gaming didn’t exist prior to my college years. I might never had made it through high school. The first game I EVER beat (fairly recently) was God of War: Chains of Olympus on PSP. Just finished Halo 3, Gears of War, Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty 4 on Xbox, and Resistance 2 on PS3. The catch? I used a walkthrough guide for all of them. (Thanks, Brad Russell.) Yes, I am an ultra n00b (n00b/newbie: green horn, amateur, lame-o). My computer/video game ineptness dates all the way back to Atari and Coleco Head-to-Head handhelds. I ALWAYS sucked at them. Hence my concentration/obsession with Subbuteo.
I almost ALWAYS won in that arena-at least among my small circle of friends… Fast forward almost 30 years, and my skills with a game controller haven’t much improved. (Nor has my memory: I am constantly having to refresh my memory on which buttons control what.) Think about it: The kids that grew up in the 70’s may be the first, most marketing savvy generation, being the first to be heavily weaned on television. (Of course, subsequent generations are geniuses in this realm. My sympathies to marketing folks who target them. These kids ain’t dumm.) With 30+ years of mind numbing viewing hours, why shouldn’t we be hungry for something more interactive? And how much more interactive does it get than with console and PC games, especially (online) multi-player ones? As I have heretofore never referred to watching television as an addiction, I refuse to classify my gaming habit thus. I have simply replaced an archaic, one-way medium for a much wider two-way street. I DID find time to compose this post, no? Network viewership dwindling? (Suck it! Get better programming!) Netflix subscriptions declining? I thought it would be a difficult thing to say goodbye to those little Tyvek sleeves and their nice little movie synopses. But seeing how we had the same three (unwatched) DVDs sitting on the entertainment center for 5 months, it was time to call it quits. My wife and I are still navigating through the fog of early parenthood. So any free time is spent sleeping. Beyond that, it’s video games for me…Blockbuster movie rentals may be drying. But they are wising up a bit with game rentals. Gaming (“interactive boob tube”) is the future. When I finished Halo 3 and the Gears of War twosome, I felt like I had actively participated in an epic film. It might be better than actual acting or directing. With games, you immerse yourself in the end product, not the tedious work of actually MAKING the film. (I can attest to this personally: As a professional video editor, I find myself wanting to stay at my desk for post-production tasks, while someone ELSE shoots. Too much prep/grunt work for production…) The end credits for Gears of War read like the end of Ben Hur or Star Wars. These people should be the proverbial rock stars of the future.
Currently, I am immersed in Bioshock, is a gorgeous first person shooter which takes place in a breathtaking art deco underwater world. Every time I play, my jaw never ceases to drop at the set design and level of detail. Honestly, these designers deserve an Oscar as much as their Hollywood counterparts.
On a related note, I have decided to finally part company with my PSP. My iPhone (1st gen, 3G suckas!) is fast becoming my go to device for time wasting, especially mobile (and restroom) gaming.
(On deck after Bioshock: GTA IV and Dead Space. Fallout 3 just did not grab me. Game of the Year: Phooey! No more relying on IGN ratings for my game purchase decisions.)