Saturday, December 26, 2009

I've threatened it before and here it is!!!!

Before I start delving into games  I want to bore you a little with info about my gaming habits and me. Don’t worry it will be short and only slightly painful.

Games are a huge part of my life and my collection numbers over 1600 titles and spans consoles ranging from my very first Colecovision (which I still own and it still works) to my beloved XBOX360. I don’t have a PS3 yet, but its coming, eventually, someday, probably when Yakuza 3 comes Stateside.

With so many games obviously I have not finished all of them.Finished?! HaHa, most I haven't even glanced at  since I got them. I’m a gaming “jack of all trades master of none” especially these days when games drop 10-15 at a time over multiple consoles. Sometimes it can get overwhelming staring at all these titles.Not to mention the Prices, the Peripherals, The Console Graphics War; and of course no matter how great a games sounds you wont know if it will live up to the hype until you try it. Then there are the Obscure titles that don’t get the big budget ads and therefore no ones plays and a lot of people miss out on a great experience.

There are times that being a gamer and keeping up with the changes makes you long for the days of Missile Command and Defender (But not Zaxxon, that game was a sadist and liked to make me cry).

We Gamers are a hard lot to please. We want a game that's worth the money. But that's a broad statement "Worth the Money"

How is a game Worth the Money?
Well, that's a pretty subjective question.
Some may say  the length of the game. They don't want to spend $60 on a 6 hour game. Who can blame them? These days cash is hard to come by. But on the flip side, does every game have to be an interminable odyssey? Some just want a quick fix of fun. Some have time constraints due to Real Life (Damn that "real life" messing with gaming time).

Another argument that comes up is the look, Graphics. In this world of Hd Tvs and the obsession with seeing an actors blackheads large and in charge it sometimes feels that people are willing to sacrifice fun for slick looks. Don't get me wrong, The Uncanny Valley can be a damn scary place but really are we taking this too far? I don't sit here watching Torchwood or Doctor Who reruns and think "You know what would REALLY make me watch this episode again? If I could count the blackheads on David Tennants Nose or the Mustache growing back on Billy Piper between waxings."

This next one is one that I hear a lot from my husband in relation to movies and I've heard a bit  about it as it relates to games, Ratings.When I say ratings I don't mean review scores (by the way my reviews NEVER have scores and NEVER will.) I mean ESRB Ratings. I'm gonna jump off game mode and talk movie for a moment.

Movie making as a whole has become incredibly expensive. Especially with the amazing special effects needed to keep a crowd interested in a particular movie and to leave them feeling their outlandishly expensive ticket was worth it. Because of this we no longer see many "pure" movies, particularly in the horror genre. In order to recoup the money they invest in a film, movie makers haveto make the movies more accessible to larger demographics and the easiest way to do this is to tone movies down to make them more acceptable to Parents and more accessible to teens and preteens.
My husband is always ranting about all the PG13 horror flicks that are out there. He wants his horror to come with buckets of blood and guts and a fair amount of cursing. Instead we get incredibly silly and unintentionally comedic  "horror" movies like "Drag Me To Hell", "The Grudge 1-3" and "The Haunting In Conneticut".

Back on to games,  we are seeing much of the same. Games being "cleaned up" to pass muster by the ESRB. Manhunt 2 had to clean its act up to scrape up an M rating, barely. And the number of T rated games far outweighs the M rated games.
Now, Don't get me wrong. I understand they need to sell in order to succeed. I get that they need that younger Teen crowd and that mom seal of approval to make bank. I also believe that if a game DOESN"T need sex, violence, cursing, then they shouldn't be in there. But I also believe that Gamers should have the same options that movie goers are given. R-rated movies are not banned, you just have to prove you are of age to watch them. Pornography is not banned either for those that want to watch it either.
So if a game that contains sex, gore, blood, cursing or whatever other objectionable content is Fox New's hot topic this week, shouldn't it simply be rated fairly and put out there for the public to decide.
Oh sure, one step up from an M rating is the AO rating. Developers are free to make an AO title. But what's the incentive to do so?
By slapping an AO on a game you basically give it a kiss of death, no retail chain will put it on its shelves making it hard for those interested to purchase it.  Instead the Developer has to chop, mangle, edit and destroy his original idea to create a marketable one. What about freedom of expression and speech?

Sorry getting down from my High horse took a while. next time I'll use a soap box. (much closer to the ground, easier to climb down with these old bones of mine)

So what was I talking about?
Oh yeah me and my gaming.
I think I'll save that for another time, I have some games to play and my High horse is tired and needs its oats.

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