Some different types of games…

Lately as I have more time to actually play games, I’ve noticed that:

– The game is either toned down in such dumbass way, that it’s the old ball and cup routine, if you can’t figure out that the ball is supposed to go into the cup – you’re not smart enough to play anything – except maybe the ball and cup:

Cup and BallHere is the cup and ball or ball and cup, either way this archaic looking sex toy would still amuse a good portion of the gaming interested population at least for a minute or two, or until you get the ball into the cup successfully a certain amount of times.  I’m not joking, if I had one I would be just as amused as sitting in front of the TV with an iPad playing Angry Birds, well at least for a little while. Wouldn’t you? Come on, at least for a little while – admit it.

Don’t lie now.

We play games for amusement and whether it amuses us for about a minute (see the image to your left) or for 10 years as you play your next campaign of Dungeons & Dragons our attention spans are up for grabs.

Granted, the ball and cup is supposed to be for a 2 year old learning motor skills (and perhaps that said wooden ball hitting your nose could possibly result in a serious owie) but does it make it less of a game?  Does accomplishing the goal of getting the ball into the cup make the game suddenly boring?

Well I’m glad I asked myself this today. I bet you are too!

When does a game become boring?  (Probably right about here is when you stop reading, right?)

Well before I try to answer that question about being boring, I think this might need to be dissected a bit more.

Why do you play games?

– To compete against others.
– To beat others mercilessly until they cry and never play again.
– To follow the story.
– To take a break from ‘real life’ and forget all your troubles
– To play with other people.
– Because you’re good at them.
– Because all your neighbors are playing the game and you figure you need to as well to be cool.

I swear I could go on and on, but oh yeah that bored stuff.  If you’re still here, what makes a game boring?

– When your friends stop playing.
– When no one can beat you.
– When you are always defeated.
– When the other side doesn’t play fair.
– When it’s too hard, too easy, too much reading.
– When it takes too much time.
– The graphics are ugly.
– No challenges left.
– You finished it and no reason to play again.

I tried to make this as general and non-specific to MMOs as I could.  Just for the heck of it.

Back to the discussion at hand – other things I’ve noticed:

– While some games are ye old ball and cup and you find yourself sticking out your tongue blowing raspberries while going through levels, others are generic.  Just middle of the road, like that radio station they play in stores, just enough so you can hear it but not quite enough to offend anyone.  It’s the songs you all know and have heard 1,000 times so your brain is dulled to the fact that you even hear it.

Okay, Gandalf is one cool dude, but how many games are there out there that are the same as others?  Oh sure the story is different and maybe the colors if you are lucky, but the icons are in the same place the “cool” features from one game are magically in the new one.  It feels like home, it feels like you have played it before…but wait you did.  I’m not naming names but really?  Are you enjoying this because there isn’t a learning curve and that 86th orc you need to kill is just so ugly it deserved to die? (Well yeah, it probably did, but what about the bunnies huh?)

Anyways, good games breed copycat games, the greatest and the latest with all the elements you loved from another game but packaged differently.  Remember that game you played where after the 1076th critter you had to kill to search for some amulet for a quest?  Yup, you get to do it again, but you might not realize it since this time it’s a ring and you’ve only been in whatever forest killing porcupines for 2 hours while in the last game it was 4.

Yeah, you’re caught in the Middle of the Road. You changed games to find yourself in almost exactly the same spot, what will your next game be captain?

Right, the next version of the same thing, or you might go back to the same game you started with because it’s the original right?

 

Heh.

How about those games that no amount of what you are used to works?  I mean who wants to read the instruction manuals when you just want to play the game?  You load up your new game to find out that every control is opposite of what your fingers are used to tapping on the keyboard.  Everything is foreign and makes no sense at all. Gibberish you cry! Why isn’t it working like it’s supposed to?

You think to yourself (or possibly say it out loud to the cat):

– Why the hell is the keyboard controls done this way?
– Come on! My mouse controls are backward.
– Where is the stupid keyboard mapper this is ridiculous!
– What? There isn’t a keyboard mapper?
– /rage quit

I think the days of where computer/console gaming is new is over.  Everyone has their styles, everyone has their ways but it’s no longer new and developers need to make it so.

Surprise us, we’ll love you and hate you for it.

 

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