I am a gaming snob

Come on, admit it, so are you. So many of us are after years of games playing. We sit there and can’t help but gasp when new gamers are in awe of games that we’ve already dismissed as derivative crap. But by doing so, are we missing out on the joys that we used to experience as a new gamer? When everything was fresh and exciting, when every puzzle wasn’t a matter of ‘oh it’s one of those like they had in soandso’, the excitement of finishing a level at last. I believe we are.

This article’s come about thanks to my mother. She’s been gaming off and on for much of my life thanks to me. I got her into the Gameboy and it came to a point where she was playing it more than me, always Tetris. So she moved onto a Gameboy Advance and then a DS. We now own a DS each to stop any chance of fighting! She’s never been the quickest of gamers physically due to a disability which has made the choice of games a little more restrictive but her enthusiasm has always been high for them. Due to recent events, she’s had a lot more time for games and a much more urgent need to keep her brain occupied. The DS puzzle games like Bust a Move and Gunpey helped keep her busy but didn’t really keep her mind off things. So along came me with the suggestion that she try a few new games as I’ve always found them great stress relief. As we had a recently acquired Wii that was fairly untouched, it made perfect sense to start there.

We picked up Zelda:Twilight Princess. Great game, she loves it, only problem is she gets stuck very easily. So I bought her the guide, problem partially solved. All that was left was the awkwardness for killing monsters in it as sometimes her arm just couldn’t cope with it. Plus some bits are a little frustrating as she’s just not used to the gaming conventions we all have engrained in our brains after so many years of the same concepts.

So she thought she’d go a simpler route, which made sense. Start at the basics, just like where we used to be when we were first gaming and work your way up. She’s now currently downstairs from me playing Casper and The Ghostly Trio on the PS2, a game that I would be embarrassed to go near and a game that appears to have gone under the radar due to mediocrity so much that I can’t actually find a review of it! But I think if there was one, it’d be a pretty low mark. I’ve watched her play it and wondered just how she can manage to play it for more than 30seconds without discarding it with disgust, but she loves it. And you know why that is? Because currently, she doesn’t know any better. It’s all new and exciting to her, and when something is new and exciting, you want to get your hands on anything remotely connected to it and not let go until you’ve had your fill. Something that I suspect many of us cynical gamers that have been gaming for over 10 years or more, have forgotten about.

That’s not to say that I don’t have any plans to re-educate her in the world of what counts as a quality game in my eyes of course 😉 As soon as I reckon, she won’t be scared off by them, I’ll be trying her with some RPGs. I think she’ll love them once she’s understood the basics. Gaming is just like anything else, you need to learn to walk before you can run. So don’t go confining your parents or your grandparents to the casual gaming world of Wii Sports and Wii Fit, get them into some real games. You may well be surprised one day!

3 thoughts on “I am a gaming snob

  1. borandi

    Heh and yet I wonder how she might cope with say, Eragon? 😛 That being said, I love Surf’s Up.

    It might not necessarily be a case of ‘starting them with rubbish games’, but maybe some of the old classics or basics. Psychonauts is a great one to use – I once saw a gaming granny swear blindly at it for a good few minutes.

    RPGs are always good, more JRPGs than others, as they dont often require strenuous arm movements but an active mind. Final Fantasy 7? 🙂

  2. NokkonWud

    I know the feeling, my fathers friend once brought his two little ones around and they played Xmen 3, for me one of the worst games I’ve played in over a decade, but they loved it. In fact, the last few times they’ve come round it’s all they want to play, which staggers me.

    Then again, all these games dismissed as ‘rubbish’ all have a market else they wouldn’t get made, even games like Pippa Funnels Horse Jumping or whatever it’s called. I’m even guilty of liking these ‘crap’ games, Olympic Soccer for example is one of my favourite games ever. The amount of fun I had playing that with friends goes far and beyond what many AAA titles have done for me. As Borandi said above, Surfs Up was pretty decent, certainly one of the better movie tie-ins (like Harry Potter on the Xbox360, another game I thoroughly enjoyed – though I did get the glitch).

    I would say Final Fantasy 7 is the one to get her on though. If you need the biggest excuse in the world to get a PSP and a PS3 you could use that, then she could play it on the go (as long as she’s in a Wi-Fi hotspot) ;).

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