I was ranting earlier about what I consider an unfair policy at Mobygames, the uber-popular online, user-generated database dedicated to gaming. Over the years, I'm sure many of us have found it to be quite helpful, especially all of the screenshots and box scans.
It seems to be a common assumption that males prefer violent games, whereas females prefer games that are more social in nature (Second Life, Wii games)--and particularly ones that emphasize nurturing (The Sims).
As I was playing Dungeons of Daggorath again this morning, I was struck by how much clever audio can enhance a game, more than making up for simplistic graphics and the like. I think we have a tendency to strongly underestimate the power of sound for suggesting certain emotions and sensations.
I've often been struck at how central maps are to gaming. I say "gaming" there instead of "videogames," because we all know that maps are also critical in tabletop games such as wargames, role-playing, and of course boardgames like Risk.
Lately, I've been doing lots of reading and have been trying to work my head around some ontological questions as they apply to videogames and virtual worlds.
I've been doing lots of research lately for a new book and came across a passage from the designers of Facade, a fascinating "game" that for many shows the way to the future of gaming.
It seems that outside the hardcore gaming community, many people still think of games as simple pastimes; casual activities with little redeeming value. Relatively few I've talked to consider it a legitimate hobby or craft.
Rather off topic here, but do you know how sometimes you're talking to someone - let's say about a television show - and the conversation organically turns to discussions of life, the universe and everything, seemingly out of nowhere? Well, obviously with all the blabbing we all do on the Internet, sometimes talking just to ourselves, sometimes catching the ears of others, it can be a bit jarring to confront real issues in this generally anonymous place we colloquially call the Internet. Now, I've made my opinion on Internet anonymity clear before (i.e., I hate it, that's why I have been and always will be me, "Bill Loguidice") - and that's not what this is really about anyway - but after commenting on a blog post, Teen Self-Esteem Builder, at one of my favorite sites to visit, Awful Library Books, which points out library books in active circulation that need to be weeded (removed) from the shelves, the conversation turned very organic and very, very real. You see, as I'm often wont to do - whether it's warranted or not - I often inject my personal mantras/life lessons/lessons learned into my discussions on the Web.
Matt Barton and I were having a discussion about mass market, or more mainstream popularity, and specifically how that applies to journalistic coverage (articles, videos, books, etc.) of videogames and how popular said coverage becomes. My theory is relatively straightforward and - on the surface - fairly obvious: The more you skew your coverage towards the best selling platforms and games - and naturally the latest and greatest games - the more interest you'll generate. This can be further expanded by saying that the more specific you get - to a point - the better. For instance, if you cover all things Nintendo you get that enviable combination of nostalgia and present popularity, but if you further targeted your coverage to just Nintendo puzzle games, you will lose a not insignificant percentage of that same audience.
Also, there are far fewer people like me who consider themselves videogame and computer agnostic and have a genuine passion for anything and everything related to the subject. In other words, it might be a tough sell getting a large number of people interested in videos covering videogames and computers from all eras and in any context (gaming, productivity, etc.) as it would be if you just focused on say Apple iPhone apps. In short, though I believe what I believe and like what I like, the reality it is not representative of how most people think of or like things.
Let's look at the total system sales over the lifetimes of a few major platforms:
* Atari 2600 Video Computer System (1977 – 1992), ~30 million
* Commodore 64 (C-64) (1982 – 1994), the best selling computer of all time, up to 30 million units (though some argue as few as 17 million units)
* Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom (1983 – 1995), ~61 million
* Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) (2001 – Present), ~140 million (and counting)