Videogame Ghosts

Lack of interactivity is something I’m noticing more and more in games. It’s not that the worlds used to be more interactive – it’s that as the detail in games has increased the level of interactivity has not kept pace. So while the Paris of Assassin’s Creed Unity is a really amazing thing – I’ve spent house exploring it – after a while I felt like a ghost. So many games we move though these amazing worlds without being able to really reach out and touch them.

Perhaps these lonely avatars wandering though Paris or Chicago of Watch Dogs are a metaphor for a lonely generation. Unintended of course. But I want to be able to give money to a beggar in Watch Dogs, or just talk to someone in Unity, tell a busker they are great, hold someone’s hand.

So many games with amazing game worlds and the only time we can touch them is with a blade or a bullet.

Children & Violent Videogames

Do you ever just read something and hold your head in your hands in despair? I did when I just read some online debates among tens of parents on whether they let their children play games rated for adults. Seemingly intelligent and well educated people can be seen trying to justify allowing their children to view the most violent of content. These people know how violent the content is, they can’t even plead ignorance of that. Yet out of some misplaced pride in their child’s ability to function as an adult or perhaps a typically modern and lazy aproach to let their little darling have whatever he wants they would attempt to justify their reckless stupidity.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Many years ago – before I began a career writing about videogames – worked in a videogames store. We would often have parents walking up to the counter with a violent game intended for their child next to them. In such cases we would point out the nature of the content. In many cases – thankfully – the parent would be shocked and it would be clear the child had lied about what was in that game case. In all too many cases though – especially among the educationally bereft – the parent would reply that they didn’t give a toss (or something stronger). And in those cases we wouldn’t sell them the game either.

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Videogames Are Rubbish & It’s Your Fault

Today marks the start of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo – otherwise known as E3. This massive trade show in California sees the big platform holders and publishers announce new wares to get the industry, retailers and gamers excited. I’ve attended the expo in Los Angeles, played the games, asked the usual questions, been given the same bullshit PR-okayed answers, drank the free drinks and flew home again. And you know what? The whole thing was a complete waste of time.

Attending the expo is pointless for anyone who thinks they are a videogames journalist. There are no stories there, no scoops. There’s nothing you will read over the next few days that is anything other than carefully managed ouput from the PR department of major electronics and software companies. For the fanboys there will be some excitement, yes for those who somehow pin their self worth on a major corporation, but when all is said and done E3 is just glorified multimedia press release.

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