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June 14, 2013



This rockin' geezer's perspective:

Part of the popularity of the original gaming systems was twofold.
1)An extension of the pin-ball experience that, although at that time not sophisticated or as visceral, gave the player a sense of achieving something whether it be point totals or "kills".
2)Besides early remote controls, it was the VERY first time that viewers/consumers had some kind of "control" over what was happening on the screen.
I think the current popularity is due to these achievement/control factors being jacked up on graphics juice to a point that (for some) is the ONLY time they feel in control of ANYthing in their lives.
What else do we know of that can make somebody feel that (albeit FALSE) sense of control? Drugs maybe? And we all know how that story goes.

Don't play anymore.....the slaughter/rape/pillage factor has gotten WAAAY out of hand.....and you are correct to be concerned. Best of luck.

James Taylor

My little brother owned a PlayStation and a PlayStation 2. The only games I ever enjoyed were soccer-related, particularly those that attempted to accurately replicate the beauty of the real thing (some came close, all failed). I remember spending some enjoyable moments indulging in FIFA'98 and NBA'98. But this undoubtedly has more to do with my love of sport than interest in video games.

I've never understood the appeal of video games that are marketed like movies and have a "plot". I mean, who cares?

Rick Schindler

I didn't know you were a recovered PlayStation gamer, Alex. I have two PS3s. They're excellent Blu-ray players, but I game on them too: Grand Theft Auto (deeply anti-social but witty and technically brilliant), Red Dead Redemption (gorgeous, violent Western RPG), and for the last year or two, Skyrim, an RPG in a Game of Thrones-like setting). I also like a good racing game like the Need for Speed franchise. For quick, mindless gaming, I also like pinball simulators (Zen Pinball has some really cool Marvel Comics-themed tables, BTW) and a PS3 port of Bejeweled, which Mrs. Schindler and I take turns on. I like an artistic RPG and I enjoy the cut scenes. As for the violence, I guess for me it's the equivalent of exploitation films like the "Saw" series -- I just don't take it seriously, but I wouldn't let small kids play them.

Rick Schindler

As for hitting the screen in frustration, I reserve that behavior for the workplace where it belongs.


I enjoyed an Atari 2600 back in the day - for an hour or so at a time - never for hours/days on end - and I have never owned another system since.

I watched my now estranged little brother turn into a near-zombie with his Mario Brothers, etc on his first Playstation and he grew more addicted with each successive new gaming system he purchased as he got older, spending entire days pushing the controller buttons yelling at the "enemy" to get a higher score or more kills as the violence level in games increased over the years - a Pointless pursuit in my estimation. I have no contact with him for the much of the past decade and a half (other dysfunctions not related to gaming) so I don't know where he's at with gaming now - I hope for his teenage daughter's sake he's found something better to do with his time.

I know some people - friends - co-workers - it's all they can talk about - their "level" or whatever latest "weapon" they've acquired on their latest game.

And I watch , usually in some lightly agitated dismay as my wife games - thankfully not these psychosis-inducing reality shooter games - but even the simpler less violent games seem to trap the players into endless hours of clicking a mouse clicking a mouse clicking a mouse - shoot the blocks - solve a puzzle - whatever. I hate seeing entire generations of people lose their creativity to "I just need to finish one more level." Very sad to watch someone you love or even just like descend into this behavior. And as far as the really violent games - yeah...I don't seem to remember these mass casualty school shootings happening before the advent of these "games" that train the player to think tactically to kill in any number of ways - a sick kind of "entertainment" if you ask me.

So no, I guess I do NOT care for video games much at all.

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