Single Status Update
Recently I visited my neighborhood shopping center and stopped in Target to look around and hypothesize gift ideas for Christmas. I'm not one to actually pick out gifts at stores that are what the person would most likely enjoy, but instead look around at the options to get myself to think. I usually prefer to scope out each person's specific interests and come up with some kinda memorabilia to reflect that interest.
But anyway, I was walking around in Target and it didn't really strike me right away, but I was looking around various sections of the store and this obscure observation started to accumulate in credibility as I wandered about. It was something I wasn't really accustomed to growing up. The electronics area of the building occupied almost a quarter of the entire building. This isn't much of a surprise with all the new TV's and movies and the desire to have the best living room, but I noticed a lot of electronics related things seeping into other sections of the store. Around the literature section where they had a list of best selling books, I came across "The Halo Encyclopedia." among the many vampire themed books. When I was looking around the furniture section I walked in on an assortment of "Gaming Chairs" which are chairs that are comfortably laid back and allow for adjustments based on your mode of play, a lot like the driver's seat of a car. Also around the clothing section, I came across a bunch of Call of Duty articles of clothing such as T-Shirts and pajamas, overhearing a couple gazing at them exclaiming "Oh, Jeffery is gonna love this!"
As I was growing up, video gaming wasn't very popular and when I tried to talk about video games to kids at school, or anyone really, they were never really interested. Video gaming seemed like it was something to be ashamed of. I've grown to accept the fact that if I wanted to meet new people, I would need things more interesting to talk about than my favorite video games. I still regret the several years I spent strictly playing the video games I couldn't care less about now that I should have spent doing something productive or memorable. I came to that realization when I entered the work world and became aware of my lack of common sense due to having so few experiences in the real world. I don't think I'm a bad person now because of it, but I think I could have been better if I had realized it much sooner.
Today, it's almost as if habitual gaming is welcomed. I find this to be pretty disgusting. Not that kids are able to openly admit they play video games and talk about it on a regular basis without looking like an outcast, but because as a man who's been predisposed to playing video games growing up, I know there's nothing good that can come of it. Especially with how stupified games are these days, they communicate to the gamer like a fucking moron, spoonfeed them directions, and make multiplayer always fair and balanced, regardless of skill level. This virtual reality doesn't reflect anything in the real world. I don't think video game developers have a duty to fill in a parent's position, but I still think it's wrong to market video games like it's something people can be proud of being addicted to.
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Captain Red said:
But what are you rewarded with by finishing Contra without taking a hit over finishing say, half life 2 on the medium setting? Some good twitch skills? an interment understanding of the layout of q1dm4.bsp? What?
Pride and bragging rights. Something that newer games today lack in terms of skill. Since the average modern fps has been watered down (autoaim, slow speed to offset slow character turn rate, regenerating health), accomplishments just don't mean what they used to.
Think of it like a conversation.
A:"I killed 5 guys in one life"
B:"Dude, that's awesome!"
A:"I killed 5 guys in one life"
B:"Yeah, so? I got 5 with Intervention, and then my UAV got another two"
Which is more exciting? A roller coaster consisting of a few small hills, or the Man of Steel?
One thing I have learned over the years is that people care as much about your 5:1 kill death ratio counterstrike as they do for the intricate details of some fat guy's part in a 20 man raid in World on Warcraft. Video games are video games. Video game "bragging rights" are at best impressive to one or two of your friends for a few moments, but are more likely to just make you annoying to talk to.
Captain Red said:
Video game "bragging rights" are at best impressive to one or two of your friends for a few moments, but are more likely to just make you annoying to talk to.
But that does not mean the bragging rights themselves are weak. You're referring to the use, I'm talking about the accomplishment.
And speak for yourself. Me and my friends love trash-talking each other with our displays of skill, invented or not. Primarily because we keep trying to get better and better at the game and top each other. That goal becomes gradually meaningless when you factor in stackable killstreacks and regenerating health.