Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gamer Me

I played my first video games yesterday ^ at a friend of bink's house, who very kindly showed me the ropes (for my fandom research and for mild curiosity's sake.)

I played some Mario (platform video game--the characters run and jump around platforms); some 3D Zelda (action-adventure game); and a little bit of a FPS (first person shooter) Zombie game.

First thing I did: Walked Mario off a cliff and died.

Second thing I did: Kept Mario healthy long enough to almost get him to the next level, but then died, thus having to start all over again.

PAY OFF: Instantly understood the kid in the documentary Web Junkie who tried to throw himself out the window when his dad forced him to quit playing just when he was about to level up, thus forcing the kid to lose 4 hours of play and to start all over.

Also, playing confirmed that I have not sought out and played video games previously because my brain doesn't have the required pleasure receptor:
me playing video games is like someone who doesn't a sense of smell eating food. Why bother?

What does really interest me about games is their designers and design:
I had no idea, for instance, that Mario & Co. have shadows, and these shadows move pretty authentically with the characters.

That intrigues me---people sitting around working out how a gameworld can feel acceptably real.

What is "real enough"? 

I was impressed that when I tried to do something that isn't part of the gameplay--make Mario climb a wall--the game gave me some realistic feedback.

I felt I was in some kind of contact with the people who designed that feature of the game:
"Hi," person who thought someone might try to climb this wall. "I did try it, and I appreciate you designing the puffs of dirt that arose!"

So, that was kind of fun, but only for a few minutes. I'm really glad I did it--at least I get the lingo a little better now.


Zhoen said...

Tetris, then Welltris, when I was in nursing school. Played and played, 'just one more' my mantra. Got into a very altered state of mind. May well have helped me retain what I was learning, since I only played after finished studying, and used a different part of my brain.

Haven't played since, can't find either game now, not properly. Never got the idea of the FPS games or D&D type. Just get frustrated and turn them off.

Ok, I'd love to have an analogous Welltris today.

Frex said...

Well, I'll be---I looked up Welltris---had never heard of it--it's a Soviet invention, licensed to Japan!
World history at play.

What you say about it helping you retain learning reminds me of recent studies [I think you may have blogged about this, Zhoen] showing that doodling during lectures helps people learn too.
Always worked for me.

Aren't there many games similar to Welltris today?

Frex said...

I don't know what Tetris is properly supposed to look like, but there's a free online version, no download required:

Zhoen said...

I had the real games, had to put in passwords from the booklet they came with, the names of Russian republics. Long lost, all.