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If you visit my site regularly, you may know that I’m not a gamer. I don’t pretend to be one and I don’t play one on TV. All the game consoles I ever bought ended up at my brothers’ house. The most I ever got into a system was my first NES simply because I was addicted to Tetris.
I have a roommate that does have a PS3. It’s a great little machine and it’s video rendering sometimes amazes me. Tonight when I couldn’t think of a Quickcast topic, I decided to go downstairs and play “The Force Unleashed”, which just came out. I am a big Star Wars fan, so I quickly got into this game.
It made me remember the games of past and how things have changed. It made me realize what I gamed back in my childhood is not how they do it now. Have we evolved as gamers?
For me, gaming started on a Vic 20. We would get Compute! Magazine and we sat in front of that machine inputting all the code to make the cool new game in the end. It really got me working on my typing skills.
The big game that I got hooked on though was the Ultima series. This was back in the 80’s when you played a monochrome sprite that walked on a 2D world. You would attack monsters and turn treasure chests into walls of gold to keep the orcs, Cyclops and hydra at bay.
Like I said, I got my first NES system with Tetris. It wasn’t an easy task because I had to bike to my bank, which was a few miles away to get the money to go to the store to get the game – you get the idea. When I did get it…. Well, I had to go to work. But afterwards, I played Tetris for what I thought was 3 days straight.
Then I moved on.
Of course, gaming turned a corner around that time. Games became 3 dimensional and very interactive. The characters need to look so real you have to hire actors to record the movements so the 3-D characters have something to go off of. The controllers are not “Up, down, left, right, shoot” anymore. You have to maneuver the character not only forward and back, but you have to make sure you adjust the view so you are looking forward so you don’t walk off a cliff.
There are 2 joysticks and 12 buttons all on one controller. Some controllers you can dip down and the system will sense that and move the character in another direction. And best part is it’s all on a wireless controller.
Now I’m not talking about this to stroll down memory lane or sound like the old guy from the Saturday Night Live episodes who likes to rip bark off of trees because they liked it. I really started to realize how gaming has evolved and what it takes to actually play a game nowadays. There is an A button, a B button, a C button and so on.
Even with the Wii and the nun chuck controller we have a totally different experience in playing a game. More interactive than pushing chicklet keys and throwing the square controller across the room only to get stopped halfway by the wire tether.
I have also seen some cool technology where you the controller is a helmet and you can think your commands. Not totally out yet, but I could see that in the future.
Of course you don’t need me to tell you where I think this might go in the future. Real life gaming is something most gamers strive for. Of course, there is also being able to tell a story and maybe turn it more into a movie with interactive scenes.
All in all, I got lost in the game for a couple of hours. Not bad for someone who doesn’t normally play games. It was a refreshing change of pace and it focused me to writing again. I also got to kill some Stormtroopers, which is pretty cool.