Thursday, 15 March 2012

How do I find a good game?

Recently I have been on something of a 'Flash' binge. I have read literally every Flash book since 'Rebirth' right through to New 52 Issue 6. That last sentence won't mean allot to you unless your pretty 'into' comics. This is the thought that this blog is fleshing out. When I decided to start reading The Flash I actually had to do research  to find out the best place to start reading the series.  As pretty dedicated gamers we assume that knowing what to play is a natural thread for anyone but like my problem of what Flash comic to read do 'new' gamers know what to play? 

My logic is this... some one who is just getting 'into' games would naturally have a starting point. lets assume our fictional new gamer is called Todd. Todd is 25 and married to Tina, she is a brain surgeon by day and stripper by night and..... no wait, I'm digressing into a whole different sort of hypothetical situation.

Todd gets a PC/PS3/Xbox (pick one) for his birthday because he hears that Skyrim is awesome. He, unlike the rest of us jaded gamers chooses his next game by simply walking to a local retail store and looks for 'something good' knowing nothing about games other than that he quite enjoyed Skyrim would leave Todd as likely to pick MW3 as he is "Hyper action adventure 4: now with waggle guns!" (not a real game) how does Todd know the difference between a good game (or at least one he will enjoy) and a mass produced converted flash game with no depth of fun to it? - the answer is simple, he picks something he may have heard of from friends, advertisements or even other gamers in the store. 

Where as jumping into the DC universe of titles left me a little irritated by the lack of simple guidance Todd would be as perplexed about something that is to us bloggers/blog readers/obsessed masses a simple processes. 

So lets assume Todd is a neighbour of mine ans asks me the very question "How do know what's good?" I would answer "Visit Kotaku/Rock Paper Shotgun/Meta-critic/Massively/Eurogamer and play anything that Valve develop."this seems simple to "gamers" but Todd would answer "Where are those stores?" and I would probably punch him in the head. 

To us "gamers" we always know what's good or bad just by listening to the Zeitgeist of the internet but to some one who just wants to play something the chances are they will get lost. 

Just like I was simply lost in a sea of potentially bad comic books Todd would be lost in a sea of bad Motion games and flawed PC conversions. people.

What if Todd would love MUD's or MMO's but hated FPS's and due to bad advice never gets to find his the genre he would one day love.  

Do we need a 'hit list' of multi-platform games to 'induct' new gamers. I think I would tell Todd to Play Minecraft, TF2, a WoW trial and Pokemon on his DS. I'm sure one of those would stick.


June S said...

I believe it's a responsibility of older gamers to teach newer gamers about the ins and outs of gaming. It isn't just out of altruism we should do it either, as the future of the industry and player base depends on how we influence it. After all, you can often see veteran gamers complain about young gamers, but how often do you see them correcting their mistake?

Hex DSL said...

@June S - I agree however gaming is a strange form of entertainment, its time specific.

Movies, music, comic books they are all just as good ten or even twenty years later but with the way games evolve both artisticly and technologically getting a younger or newer gamer to play an older game and see its charm is almost impossible.

for instance when someone finishes Skyrim would they get the same enjoyment from morrowind as i did at time of release?

this fascinating really but your right we should teach them to at the very least have a respect for the art form rather than just run about trash talking and shooting things.

June S said...

If we distill our gaming experience and pick out the real gems that are essential to play, I think we better convey what it means to be a gamer to new generations. The hardest part is separating things that are just nostalgia or too niche for most to enjoy.

I agree that other art forms do have it easier in terms of aging. However, only the best of each era survives year after year. We haven't all heard lesser known composers like Verdi, Auber, and Berwald, but Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner remain heard. It is up to us to determine what games share the same persevering legacy.

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