Monday, August 6, 2007

Movie Games

My daughter loves video games, although she calls them movie games. This makes sense, I suppose, they are games and you do play them on a television just like movies.

A couple days ago my mother in law was visiting our area and staying in a nearby hotel. My brother in law had his PS2 with him along with his special guitar controller for the game Guitar Hero II. My daughter, after realizing that the instrument was actually a controller with a 'Wow!' said to him: 'You like movie games too!?' This line made me smile instantly. Her innocence and somewhat sheltered life was certainly evident here. She didn't realize that video games make up a huge industry around the world comprised of hundreds of systems and millions of players. She was just overjoyed that her uncle shared this hobby that to her was her own personal thing. To her this seemed a very unique and profound connection.

Of course, upon further reflection, her love of video games reminds me how assertive they truly are and how easily they can become the object of obsession. Of course, she loves board games too, but when Super Nintendo is offered (and even when it is not) it's certainly the activity of choice. With video games, the action comes to the players almost automatically, there is no need to set up the board or keep track of pieces in play. The visuals and controls are simply right there, obvious and blunt yet instantly appealing and addictive at the same time.

I've always liked video games since I was a child, especially the older Nintendo stuff, but this particular line of thought makes me glad I've chosen to pursue board games as my primary gaming outlet. It also drives home the point that what Nintendo I do let my daughter play must be a treat on rare occasions, not an everyday obsession. I feel board games are more constructive, better both socially and creatively. Board games will be the rule, movie games the exception.

1 comment:

Dani in NC said...

Considering that today's games have long cut scenes, I'm not surprised your daughter calls them movie games :-).

Board games vs. video games: I've had the opposite experience with my kids (ages 14, 10, and 9). My kids have been exposed to video games much longer than board games.
Whenever I say, "Let's play cards", all thoughts of computer and Nintendo leave their brains. They jump at the chance to play board and card games. Don't get me wrong -- they love their video games. There's just something about playing around a table with the grown-ups that they enjoy.