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!