Friday, January 3, 2014

In-Between Discussion: "Is it worth it playing old games?"

Why haven't you gotten with the times?

I am often asked by friends "Why are you playing that OLDER version of the "X" franchise? Can't you see that the next generation of graphics and gameplay have so much more to offer?" And my response to them is mostly to bugger off, and fiddle with their online multiplayer that's full of over hyped 12 year olds eager to prove that they are the king of the proverbial mountain. I don't enjoy games as they come out often, and when I do want the next iteration, I often don't have the time.
Now this is some action I can get with.

Being a father and a working adult comes with it's fair share of responsibilities, as I'm sure many of you realize. This leaves little time for gaming when you have a wife, child, career, and education to attend to. So when the latest Military Shooter or Japanese RPG comes out and I have to choose between dropping $60 on this version or going with the 1 year old shelved version (with a bit of dust on the cover) I tend to save my money, and spend it instead on books, flowers, toys (for my kid) or any number of other things that may need my attention in my daily life.
This means that unfortunately I won't get to that latest release of Car Theft Madness 5, or Battlefork 4 but it will mean that the rest of the people around me are happy, which means I can continue to bash my head against the computer screen as last years releases are streaming through my gaming machine. Some people may call that being cheap, I call it biding my time, and maximizing gain by watching market prices drop.
Geico's got nothing on my waiting game.
What that also means is that I'm behind the discussion curve, and if I've read about a release from a year ago, I've most likely forgotten it. I'm playing blind. If you don't know the term "playing blind", then I don't know if you're really a gamer but let me explain.
I get to experience games as if they were released directly to me, and without influence from the outside world. I get to see what the developers intended me to see, without spoilers (that I can remember) or anything to mar the intended effect from the artisan to the consumer. I have nearly no predisposed attitudes toward games I play, apart from knowing my preferences. Every game has the same chance to amaze me from start to finish.
I didn't mean this old.
When I see older games, I don't see undesirable copies that ended up being pushed to the back of top 10 lists, or being re-released as anthologies to make up for a lack of sales. I see a classic, a work of art. I see the sweat and tears spent by countless artists, programmers, and developers, to bring their dream to reality, so that people from many generations can experience an entirely new world that was created from 0's and 1's. Does it matter if it was made 1 or 5 years ago? Not to me.
Literary enthusiasts still read Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen, and the history of most classics extend beyond a century. I say that re-visiting and enjoying games that are 5 years old, is nothing to be ashamed of. Even if it is, then I'll enjoy my classics, and leave those new fangled expensive releases to my son when he grows up. Until then, I'll keep on playing and discussing games that I want to spend my precious limited time on, regardless of their aged nature. 

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