10) How many zany furry animals can Sony and Nintendo actually come up with?
Sooner than later, the reality of wildlife behavior and pet sensibility sets
in, leaving gamers sad with real animals' lack of longevity and apparent lack
of humor. From hedgehogs, skunks and bunnies, to Italian repair men, super heroes
and everyday Joes, the concept of electronic character development has neared
its formulaic extinction.
9) We read that a particular driving game does a very good job of simulating
the responsiveness and feel of a real car, yet I'm disappointed, because the
car I drive in the real world never feels anything remotely close to the lack
of feeling I receive from the video racing experience. As real cars fail to
match their virtual counterparts in performance characteristics, gamers find
themselves constantly pushing the limits of the Hyundais and Mazdas in an effort
to match what they think is the "real feel." Much more than just a huge psychological
letdown, this has also helped drive the massive growth of the aftermarket high
performance auto parts industry.
8) First person shooters leave players thinking that modern combat is little
more than a series of walls and objects to hide behind. Since Doom and Duke
Nukem, the concept of walking through labyrinths blasting enemies has proliferated
the gaming market. True, there are more advanced versions requiring greater
control over details like ammunition and communications, but the fact remains,
you can't duplicate 360 degree sensation. People who master these games master
mathematical probability, not the ability to manage enemies in a maze-like environment.
Ask any marine returning from street combat in Iraq -first-person shooters are
little more than a modern update on an old idea: the shooting gallery. Gamers
beware: first person burnout can cause tunnel vision.
7) Games like Resident Evil do an excellent job of infusing a menacing storyline
with more traditional gaming techniques, but their promises never deliver true
results. Horror games always fall victim to their own genre, failing to deliver
enough supernatural wickedness or game playing intrigue to make them worth their
time, thus leaving the gamer with entertainment mediocrity. The fact remains;
the gamer knows that neither the game action nor the horror are anywhere close
to being good examples of either genre, thus negating the experience and sending
the gamer back to Blockbuster.
6) You just can't duplicate the smell of Monopoly money, nor the tactile quality
of little hotels and houses stacking up on Boardwalk. Long live the board game
and long live the poker face.
5) Sim games may represent the ultimate in vicarious living, but they make
a false light of real life, leaving players disappointed with reality. Visit
a real book store, club or theme park. The experience is nowhere near the same
as the pop-top view into the sim world, but at least you'll have the chance
of rubbing shoulders with flesh and blood, instead of pixels. At the very least,
your chances of getting lucky are substantially better than staring at your
4) No matter how you roll the dice, strip poker via a high-speed connection
or virtual players is exactly that virtual. No matter how good the resolution
or graphics, you can't see up close and personal nuances like wrinkles on slouching
tummies or the glisten of an embarrassed complexion. Strip poker is meant to
be stripped down to the real minimum. Wannabes need not apply.
3) Pretending to break into houses and carjack innocent victims eventually
loses its appeal, because the reality offers too many social pitfalls to make
it worth taking out of the virtual world. Crime-oriented games eventually succumb
to the fact that they cross an instinctual boundary between what is fun and
what will give you ten to life. 95 percent of players just can't hack the reality
and thus shun the virtual. Someone tell Rockstar games, their parent company's
stock price keeps climbing (NASDAQ: TTWO).
2) Replacing the NFL's best players with fat couch potatoes will never happen.
While many people invest endless hours in front of the television attempting
to master Drew Bledsoe's on-field performance, when they rise from the sofa
they suddenly realize there's absolutely no value in their exploits and that
they're still Jonsin' to see Bledsoe do it live on FOX. Controlling a real person
in a virtual world often sends gamers into a state of negative self realization
where the feeling of inadequacy overpowers their desire to play. Avoid the slump:
get off the Lazyboy and do something real.
1) Virtual gaming and video games will be and always have been a virtual creation
of something that truly exists or that someone wishes truly existed.
The fact is, you just can't duplicate life or unknown life and when
you take someone beyond reality, they eventually have to come back.
And when they do, it isn't always a pretty picture. Once the mind
is clear of gnashing aliens, lumbering lineman and secret agents,
the speed and intensity of the real world just can't compete. Gamers
are left feeling cynical and misunderstood. To best enjoy the benefits
of electronic gaming, treat it like any other addiction: all good
things in moderation.