Blog #4 – Video Games and Writing

We’re all told growing up that life isn’t easy and the same thing applies to old video games. It was quite an achievement to finish a game when I was a kid.  Bragging  to all my friends after ‘wrapping’ an NES game was half the fun. After finishing Ninja Turtles 2, my neighborhood friend and I felt like kings. Developers build games now that are meant to be completed with as little sweat as possible. The struggle is how to create a game that is easy but feels challenging. It doesn’t seem to ever work out. I understand their perspective on the matter, a lot of work goes into their titles. It would be a shame if a majority of gamers weren’t  able to experience the outcome of their years of effort. It’s a business after all, money needs to be made. The only achievements to brag about these days are,  well,  achievements.  The ones that come with points.

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There was such a camaraderie with 8-bit games that no longer really exists in our grown up gaming world. Not in mine at least. I’m not talking about hanging out at the arcade either. I remember the older kids on my block one would all congregate and someone play The Legend of Zelda. I knew this because I was actually invited over once, just once. They were exploring Hyrule as a team. I was always playing my games alone. There was one guy reading a book that told players what to do and he was telling the guy holding the controller what to do.  I never had that game growing up and I just wasn’t into it. As exciting as it might sound to see a group of gamers progress further into an all time classic game, I was just woozy from boredom. But hey, at least I have a Legend of Zelda memory. The point of my reminiscing is that kids aren’t getting together to watch someone play Skyrim in the year 2017. No one needs their friend reciting the strategy guide anymore. It’s over. I know we got Twitch, but it’s not the same. Gamers always had the stigma of being loners but now we’re actually living the stereotype.

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I play a lot of old games and I like to write about them to the point where I would even dare to call myself a writer. Not a good writer, just someone who knows enough about the language and has a pen and a notebook. I will confess now, recording my thoughts is a very selfish one. I will let you all in on a secret. Anyone can do anything they want in life, no matter how frivolous or ridiculous it is, if they write bout it. All anyone has to do is learn to put a sentence together and they get a license to go out and enjoy themselves despite what anyone thinks. For example, let’s pretend you really like water slides and all you want to do is ride as many as possible. However, the people in your life start questioning your sanity. Well, start a blog and ramble on about which ones you liked and which one’s sucked and now instead of being a bum who hangs out at pools all day, you’re doing ‘research’. Why? Because you are an expert and words are meaningful.

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No one likes being told by a loved one that they play too much video games. I have a small child and a girlfriend and I understand priorities, but come on. No one gets shit on for reading too many books. When I was a kid TV was the devil and now it’s perfectly acceptable to check out for the day and binge watch the newest shows on Netflix. All I would hear while I was growing up from my dad is that I play too many games, now I hear it from my girlfriend. Nothing ever changes.  Maybe I should be more of a grown up, perhaps they are right. But I don’t read,  I play video games. Now that I started writing about them I don’t get judged, and I don’t have to feel bad when I put in 6 hours straight of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic because I may write about it. So please keep reading.

 

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Once again I play video games. Old ones or new, I don’t discriminate. A good game is a good game because video games are timeless. An Atari 2600 title can be just as good as a brand new Xbox One X game. If anyone disagrees they are wrong. I am now free once again to sit down and enjoy – or detest, whatever the game may be. I fully encourage everyone to give it a shot, the world needs more writers. It’s a much different world now compared to that time when the kids on my block would huddle around to play a near bird’s eye view of Link saving the Princess. If more people would enjoy the things they love more often and then project that joy and passion into the universe, maybe there would be little less darkness.

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Whatever you do, just keep reading my stuff!

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