GIVE THANKS, FOR CHOICES
So, I get a message one day from Adam that we should all write articles about what we are thankful for in video games. I’m thinking “I love video games, and I’m thankful for them. This will be easy peasy lemon squeezy.” But once I started thinking about it, I realized that I am thankful for a metric shit ton of things. Mobile games, 3D, the technical teams, story, competition, online, the fact that I can sit my PS3 vertically or horizontally, and a ton of other things.
I was about to write about how cool sports games are, but it was hard to sit down and explain why when there were so many other great genres that I loved. And then it hit me like a buncha sacka rocks.
I’m thankful for choice, and dammit you should be too!
Don’t like sports or shooter? Try JRPGs, MMOs, or RTSs.
Refuse to pay for the Console Man’s drug habit? Try out PC or mobile gaming.
Wanna be Batman? I’ve got a game for you.
Choices man, choices. And within those choices are even more choices. It’s like if a matryoshka had sex with Inception! The way I manage my team in FIFA is up to me. I can just sign only talent I’ve recruited OR I can sign ALL OF THE PLAYERS!!! In Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto, I can just run around murdering people with no regard to the story. I can strive to get all of the achievements, or I can just do the minimum to get by.
We are living in a great time, and we are truly spoiled for choice. Often times we take for granted what we have.
NES. SNES. N64. Gamecube. Wii. Wii U. Gameboy. Gameboy Color. DS. DSi. DSiXL. 3DS. 2DS. Hell, Virtual Boy.
And that’s just Nintendo.
Those shady Chinese knockoff 456-in one game things.
You’ve got genres: FPS, RTS, MMO, JRPG, RPG, Tactical RPG, Tactical JRPG, Sports, Action, Adventure, Action/Adventure, Puzzle, Fighting, Puzzle/Fighting.
Want to be super nice and help everyone? Go for it.
Wanna straddle the line of moral ambiguity? Make it so.
Got a hankering to be an asshole and kill everyone? 1.) Why wouldn’t you want do this? 2.) The world is you oyster.
YOU CAN MAKE YOU OWN CHARACTERS!!!
Lesbian Lizard woman? Yup.
African American wizard? You got it.
White basketball player who can dunk? That’s pretty silly, but I mean, it’s your game so have at it buddy.
That’s not even 1/100th of it, and I’m about to orgasm just thinking about all of the possibilities.
There was a time not too long ago that there was no such thing as a home console. Now they are everywhere. Gaming on PC required you to literally type in pages of commands in the DOS prompt; and gaming on a Mac? What are you high? Now it’s so easy a baby caveman could do it. You can pretty much play what you want, where you want, when you want. We are living in a time when you can play VIDEO GAMES on your PHONE on an AIRPLANE. HOW CAN YOU NOT BE THANKFUL???
So I’m not thankful for one thing, I’m thankful for all of the things. Other than those choose your own adventure books, video games are unique in that you get to directly influence the outcome of the events you are involved in. Even the most linear of games has a small bit of freedom that allows you to tackle problems your way. And that is what I love. I’m thankful for the freedom to make decisions and to choose how I want to experience my games. I’m definitely happy about it and I think games are better for it. The fact is that we live a great time of technological innovation, and as such we have so many choices. As technology continues to advance we will continue to have even more choices until we have holodecks. At that point I’m sure reality will collapse because once you can play cards with Einstein, Newton, and Stephen Hawking, you’ve got nothing else to live for.
So whether you are going to play Bioshock Infinite, Need for Speed, or Divekick on 360, PS3, or PC, or you’re going to curl up with a nice game of Walking Dead on iOS or StarCommand on Android; if you want to OBJECT-ify some laws in Phoenix Wright on 3DS, or want play as the world’s first Black Jewish midget soccer player from the Dominican Republic — just be happy you have so many choices.
And be thankful.