Friday, 11 July 2008

Modern Life is Rubbish. Part 2: Gaming

If you’ve just spent the last five minutes searching around for Part 1 then let me be the first to tell you that you’ve just wasted five minutes. It’s not here. I lost it. If I remember correctly it had something to do with organisational skills. Clearly I don’t possess any.

So, on to Part 2: Gaming

Gaming (as in video/computer/etc) is, by its very nature, a modern phenomenon. The ancient Egyptians had their own games for sure, but there was a severe lack of Wiis and Xboxes. This is down to an equally debilitating lack of mains electricity. I’m quite sure that if the Romans had a healthy supply of games like Halo they might not have felt the need to conquer other nations and the world would be a very different place. BBC programs would have 2008 at the bottom of them instead of MMVIII. Less confusing but not so impressive and intellectual looking.

As far as I can tell there are three types of gamer…

The would-be professional: These people (probably the least likely to be married or have social lives that include going outside their basement homes) tear through a new game in the smallest time possible, probably not even noticing if the game is any fun at all. The object of the game, to them, is to find out the quickest way to get to the end and then post their findings on a website so that anyone equally not interested in playing to have a good time can race through just to be able to tell their mates they “did it in three hours”.

The second type buy a game to play it and enjoy it. They don’t mind taking their time over their game just so long as they get everything out of it. They’ll spend months if they have to on one game just to get to the end without checking a cheat site for a tip on how to get the last vital clue that leads to the final completion of the game. If they do resort to the cheat website they feel dirty for several weeks and probably don’t go back to the game for a while to let the smear of cheating wear off before starting all over again as a kind of penance.

The third group is generally populated by the older generations of hapless people who don’t know what the words ‘opposable thumb’ mean. This type of person will have a go at a game and laugh at themselves the whole time as they barely get a grip of the controls they need to use to make their character walk let alone perform any useful tasks. Gamers in the second group choose these people as their opponents in multiplayer games so they look good and get a chance to win most of the time. The flip side of this opposable-thumb-challenged group are the people incapable of laughing at themselves. Their games of choice are usually puzzle games that they can do in isolation with no fears of people laughing at their feeble attempts to get used to a piece of technology that doesn’t have a simple stop/go function.