Will playing games turn your child into a different person?

Let me start with saying that I am not a parent. I do hope to become one some day soon but it is still a working progress. I read an interesting article written by my blog buddy Yvie. She writes that when her son started playing the well known game “Angry Birds”, that her son turned into a different person. He would share stories and communicate as well as he usually does. That he even lost interest in his other toys.

While our technological advances give us new ways of communication and better source of entertainment we can only ask ourselves. Are things really better? I say yes and no to that. Yes because we are not more connected and even studies have shown that playing video games stimulates the brain and self esteem in many cases. Because solving puzzles and feeling good about “saving the world” makes a difference in our daily lives. A sense of accomplishment that is grandiose to say the least. The it comes to the negative part. Videogames, stimulating as they may be, they also isolate us from real achievements in life. Instead of saving the world digitally, how’s about saving the world in reality? Looking outside, I don’t see to many people. It is summer and I don’t see children running outside on the law or playing with friends. When I do, my heart melts because it reminds me of my own youth.

We often think the question “What did we ever do before tecnology?”

I don’t know about you, but I did quite a lot. I explored my surroundings and played outside with my friends. Our games were cowboys and indians, softball using a stick and a pinecone and even played Robin Hood using a home made bow out of stick and rubber. Now that I think about it, the stick was probably my very best friend growing up. I mean it is so simple and you could do anything with it.

I think there can be a happy balance. A great parent know their child and understand what they need. Some children have friends via video games and to those I say good for ya! However, just like we react differently to things, so do children. I believe that we cannot have the same set of rules for all children. My mom actually made that into a point several times that she cannot compare her children because they are all so vastly different. That is why she had to a just the rules to accommodate each child’s needs, which to me makes sense.

I know my children will grow up with video games, but I also know that I will be attentive enough to make sure to take them outside and show them that there is a world out there too, whether they like it or not. That is how I plan to raise mine, how everyone else raises theirs is up to them.

I just hope that my husband wont have them grow up with World of Warcraft. That will be a failure on my part for not supplying them with better options. 😉

One thing they will enjoy will be the motion controls. The luxury of today’s technology is that children do not have to sit still anymore. Imagine all the energy they will burn jumping around like mad! I’ve baby sat so many kids and burning off their energy is the tricky part. I hope that by the time my kid is old enough to join me and my husband in our gaming-ventures, that kinect and motion controls will remain an option. ( Yahtzee had his way, we wouldn’t have any at all). I hope they will not only remain an option, but perfected and made into an available option for all.

I also hope that my example will define what type of person my kid will be. (and maybe his dad if he is nice about it)

A Shame it is

Today I came to a sad conclusion.
I’ve been lurking around various forums throughout the gaming community.
I couldn’t imagine how bad things have gotten with the “female representation” within gaming.

I see so much anger and annoyance from my male gamer colleagues in which how my gender is being represented.
I’ve been saying this for years, gaming is genderless!

Females that play games are not a rarity whatsoever.
We’ve seen various gaming communities attempting to welcome female gamers to be more active in the politics of gaming and in my opinion, have failed miserably (I am talking about the bigger players, smaller communities have done so successfully). I’ve been trying to stay out of this entire gender conflict to the best of my ability, but I am becoming very tired of how me/my gender is being represented. I have under various occasions spoken out my distaste about various female clans/communities that have the wrong idea on how to incorporate said gender into the overall gaming community. I am just one person, one voice that honestly isn’t being taken seriously on several occasions.

I have come up with ideas and suggestions on how to implement new female gaming enthusiasts into the gaming community, unfortunately it has all been in vain.
Right now as it is, to much emphasis is being put on a female being a female, rather then a gamer.

Since people who are supposedly representing my gender don’t have time to read the opinions of the male/female of what they think about their current representation, then let me tell you. There is an utter distaste. On one side there are the females that are representing the female gender ONLY because they are payed to stand there and look “pretty”. It is supposed to be an attempt to get more females to play. The only thing they are is eyecandy for the male audience. They have no idea what they are talking about most of the part. The only thing they know is the brand they are trying to sell, which they do miserably.

The other side are those who sit in a high position in the community, making utter idiots out of themselves. Claiming girl power and how girls are so much better then men. I am all for female power but it doesn’t give you respect from the gaming community if that is all you base your debate on. What does is your gaming portfolio, how you present yourself, how you act towards your audience and how you present your knowledge in set topics. I can sit here, scream female power at the top of my lungs and slap my female comrades on their butt cheeks, it wont give me ANY respect by my male comrades (or respectable female gamers).

The female clans/communities, esp within XBOX community, grab new female gamers, give them a private forum in which to keep them safe. Safe from what you ask? Well, safe from the rest of the community. You see, fragile females such as myself cannot stand the harassment that occurs. So instead of incorporating them, giving them strength to deal with the overall community that you’ve created, you tell them how bad the overall community is. It’s easy to control frightened people. You claim that you do give them strength and sister hood, how come they and YOU are the laughingstock of the gaming community beyond your own forums? You people are a bad representatives to my gender and I am NOT alone in this. I’ve seen testimonials from males and females alike. A lot of them are surprised that you guys keep going the way you are.

I am ashamed. Not because I am a woman, but because of you, people will associate my person along with yours.
Which means That I am either a brain dead barbie doll, or a stupid ass that yells girl power while not knowing the gaming industry outside my narrow mind.
I implore you all. Either leave your positions (which I know you won’t because you either make good money, or you like being in a position of power where you spew crap out of your mouth about how females are poorly treated while grinding other female gamers next to you.)

I ask the gaming industry one thing. Bring us a female gamer, a real one. One that has had a passion for games since early childhood, someone who’s variety in gameplay is equal to the intelligence in which can be competitive with our male counterparts. They are out there, doing what they love the most! Playing videogames and talking about them with great passion.

I don’t want to read more threads about how the current representatives make complete asses of themselves. Have some dignity and present yourself in which this industry deserves, with professionalism and character.

Also, please don’t give me the old debates of how females are harassed, All genders/sexualities and species are harassed, the strong ones stand up and can with intelligent conversation overcome any verbal abuse. This segregation must stop. It only gives females within gaming a bad name. If these woman in these respectable positions cannot act as the representatives females deserves, then leave. Make room for someone that does have a genuine interest in representing my gender without sounding like a complete moron and making a total ass out of themselves during events and interviews.

Also these types of group claim they have the majority on their side, thinking like them. Then please, make a search on google and have a look yourself how the REST OF THE WORLD feels outside your little controlled haven. There you will find the real opinions of people who do not support the representation we are stuck with

I will not voice my shame after this post, I have before and it never made any impact what so ever. I will just sit back, knowing that airheads are ruining the image of female gamers. If things won’t change, I will seriously consider a sex change operation.

/Letter from a very disgusted gamer

End of online gaming

Games I keep returning too.

The gaming industry supplies us with more and more games each year. It seems to me that there is less and less effort put in to the titles being released. I remember those days when there was a great game coming out once in a great while. Because lets face it, there were barely any games coming out at all in those days.
I do try out new titles, I download demos all the time on my ps3 to check out the latest hubbub. Nothing has really impressed me. There are few new games that grab me to the point that I want to complete them.

For example, I got the 80 gig ps3. I got it for the backwards compatibility to later find out that my version wasn’t the backwards compatible one.
I should be playing the great and beautiful games for the ps3 and yet I go out of the way to find old titles that exited me.
I mostly play PSone and Ps2 titles and THAT is very very sad.

Same goes with the xbox, I haven’t returned to one single game and I barely even touch that self exploding deathtrap.
Nintendo had a few titles that I for a month returned to, but then it sits there sadly collecting dust in a dark spider infested corner which is the living room.
I don’t know if it’s just me that is getting older and find flaws in everything, but I do try to keep an open mind.

I played the Ghostbuster demo for the PS3, sure it was somewhat entertaining but it didn’t grab me.
Maybe now that my generation is growing “older”, we simply don’t have the time to play halfway through a bad game just to be pleasantly surprised that it ended up being pretty good and captivating. I notice that if something doesn’t grab me right away, I just don’t bother with it again.
(And yes, I do know that sometimes a demo doesn’t represent the game very well, but that is what demo’s are for. Capture my attention, make me buy the game. Even when I bought full games, they didn’t catch my interest. I grew tired of buying full titles that I only played once and then never bothered with again)

Here are some reasons I can think of that developers have ignored my generation/audience.

1) Online game killed the single player:

More and more games are now focused on online play. How many times have you had this discussion?
“The story in this game sucked ($%^$#^#$%^%$^)!!!!!”
“Oh, but the online game justifies it!”
I don’t always WANT an online game. I don’t always want to depend on other people to have fun. I am a gamer, a loner! An antisocial prick that rather talk to my invisible collection of Sephiroths nut sack ornaments then depend on other people for my amusement!

While online community in gaming is tending to the new generation, my needs are being ignored! I feel like I am married to myself and ignoring myself emotionally and physically!

2) The new generation of so called “gamers”.

Lets face it, with games being so expensive, little Timmy’s allowance only covers 2 games a year. So they get games that they has longevity, online play do accommodate that need. They do have the need to furiously with their crackly voices yell at other people because their lives are SO bad. I am sorry that you have two alcoholic fathers.
What developers seem to have forgotten that the old generation (me) have a bit more money and are willing to pay for entertaining games that are worth the play. Thanks to the huge online market, offline games are being sorely neglected, hence developers are cutting the more important part (story) and replace it with capture the F^%&cking flag.
Online communities spread the wisdom and the promise of good online gaming , leaving the offline part in the shade.

3) Quantity is better then Quantum ,…Quack.

The volume of released games have increased over the years. Not because there are more creative good titles coming out, but only because some things in the games have jeopardized. They are happy to cut things out and make it available to download or to be purchased as an expansion pack. So lets face it, I pay good money for half a game and have to buy the other half at a later date.

4) The sad part is..

The only game released in the last 4 years that I keep returning to is Loco Roco. It constantly keeps me entertained enough to ignore my fiance and it looks like its been created by a bunch of smurfs on dopamine… THAT is sad.

Conclusion:

I don’t know. Maybe I am to narrow in what i want to play. Nothing has exited me since Soulblazer, a link to the past, Mario world, Secret of mana, final fantasy 3, 5,7,9, kingdom hearts 1, 2. Every time I got exited about something was because of online hearsay. It made me stop listening to people because I kept getting terribly disappointed to the extent where I was about to jam my foot into the icebox. Maybe I am just a picky player, or my generation is to old to cater to. However, I still feel saddened by the realization that the end of great offline games draws near.
Which means I’ll have to pick up gardening.