Blog Archives

Right in Front of Your Face

Elitism still is the big divide. It’s the biggest obstacle facing games today. Elitism is the belief that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views are the only ones that matter.

We are that elite.

Many of my friends resented when Nintendo positioned itself as a beacon to attract non-gamers (including some of my non-gamer friends, interestingly enough). Now, after piling them with shovelware for years, we see our dusted Wiis and state “The Wii Is Dead” in a dismissive tone that implies “See, we were right all along. You shouldn’t have abandoned us. We are the ones that get it, not them”.

Because (OMG!) gaming is art. And we are (obviously) the only ones who can see it.
Some pieces of art are difficult to understand or appreciate. That’s why the elite is the elite; and have Bach playing on the background as they discuss the peasant situation. The thing is that while there is only schooling and experience in the way of turning the Average Joe into H. E. Pennypacker, for gaming there is also the issue of skill. How can grandpa even start to appreciate games when just comprehending the controls is bound to take more spasmodic accidents than his patience and time could afford?

Yes, folks, this is my Omnitopic entry!

No matter how unapproachable a book or a movie may be, one can always get through it. The same is not true for gaming, as the skills it requires are primarily related to manual dexterity – which is not a trivial thing to acquire. It’s mostly an aptitude after all. Gaming is built on progression and not matter whether this progression if linear or open ended, the plot is not. One cannot skip to world 8-8 if one cannot even pass world 1-1 (and the first warp zone is hidden in the world 1-2, mind you). This is troublesome. It’s like buying a movie without knowing how to read it.

I find this unfair, especially now games are maturing into a narrative driven medium. Read the rest of this entry

3DS, Seriously

The Wii? Nintendo is okay with you not taking it seriously. I mean, your grandma might be playing that thing. Her idea of a crazy day is getting a 300 in Wii bowling. And the DS? Your little sister probably plays that thing. She probably puts a Hannah Montana sticker on her hot pink DS–mine does. None of these things paint a serious picture at all.

But the 3DS? Now that is a system that Nintendo wants you to take seriously. Speaking to Nikkei, Saturo Iwata said that Nintendo is working closely with third parties to enable the 3DS to “expand into elaborate games targeting serious gamers.” Succesful or not, it’s commendable for them to be so aggressive with third parties…we might buy Nintendo consoles for the Nintendo franchises, but it’s nice to have a something new every once in a while. Like maybe Persona 5.

So, then, things start to get confusing when Gamespot says “Iwata went on to suggest that the current DS and its software only caters to those who do not play games; something that he hoped to rectify with the 3DS in terms of advances in graphics and gameplay.”

How many times has Nintendo gone on record saying that they are not ignoring the hardcore/gamers with the Wii? No one’s playing that thing for the graphics, but not it seems as if they are saying that graphics are necessary. So is this Nintendo admitting something, that their current approach in the gaming market isn’t actually all-inclusive, that their approach has to be different for us “real gamers”? If so, it’s probably a good realization, and it makes me a little more faithful in what the Wii 2 might look like.