Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This Is My World

At the start of my Game History class, my teacher announced that we would be covering pen & paper tabletop war games and Dungeons & Dragons today. This was followed by raucous cheering. Someone held up a lighter.

This type of sentiment is shared by many gamemakers, and I just don't get it. How can I love video games so much and be so disinterested, so repulsed by the things that inspire them and appeal to their creators?

Then again, looking at some of the topics that have inspired so many of the games I most enjoy - childhood wonder and exploration, literature, cartoons, punk rock music and culture, bug-catching, the lives of ants, human interaction, gardening, dreams, pizza - it's clear that the games I prefer tend to be the ones made by the few innovative rebels who defy convention. For those of you who don't much care for video games as a whole, there's your reason, most likely. The field is dominated by a small, nerdy group that absorbs and regurgitates the same nerdy interests. Now, in the age of the Wii, a few renegades have shown that clever, original games can appeal to people who don't consider themselves typical game players. Marketing people demand more and more "expanded audience" games, and the developers have no clue how to make these.

On the microcosmic level, I'm stuck in a sea of people who applaud Dungeons & Dragons. On the macrocosm, I'm surrounded by the same people how either feel the same way but have to fake an interest in other things, or people who indignantly whine that anyone who doesn't like Dungeons and Dragons shouldn't be playing games.

In other news, my Internet connection is still on the fritz, my week of not talking about school or video games is clearly up, and I'm now the only guy in the Shiny Buttons Blog-Off, following the Phil's announcement of a hiatus in the middle of the challenge. That's right, ladies, time to lower your standards. I'm now awaiting invitations to the Shiny Buttons Make-Out.