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In response to "The Lonely Crowd" from The Escapist Forum: I have fond memories of playing various Mario games, and spending a lot of time on them. Super Mario World occupied me for years. I found almost all the secrets by myself. It was great. That's not going to happen again. I get too frustrated if I get stuck, and will check online pretty quickly if I hit a snag.
This "theorycraft" stuff, I'm going to have to say, this pretty much why I'm a solo gamer. I played WoW for a year, and even got into a guild, but when everyone was too concerned about what armour they had and how it worked with this and that, I left because I don't care about that kind of thing, and was bringing the team down. I soloed that game for a while, but that wasn't much fun. I rarely play online anymore. Even an old favourite like TFC is way too serious for me now. I mean, I'm not dissing these guys, but it's not for me.
The best bet, as far as me as a gamer is something like Half Life 2. The game is an experience. It's not too difficult, and you don't need to look up walkthroughs.
Someone once told me that Max Payne had this feature where if you kept dying after loading the same saved game so many times, the AI would get a little easier so you wouldn't get stuck in a rut. I thought that was a great idea too.
Because no one really likes to look up walkthroughs, but everyone does.
I think you forget how important magazines were back in the day. ZZap!64 was full of walkthroughs, cheats, chats with developers. We used to buy it and share our copies around. Same for a lot of the D&D magazines like White Dwarf.
Man, I used to be a HUGE nerd!
Anyway, I just think the communities were smaller before the web, and the web has allowed greater access to a wider community, not that it's responsible for this type of thing being available.
In response to "SHAMAN" from The Escapist Forum: Absolutely incredible, I love the idea and admit that I've never thought of anything of the sort myself. "What if there was no internet?" I was born in '90, to me, there's nothing astounding about the internet or globalization. The world was always small. But to a person who'd never seen such things? Well...your story was dead on, and I look forward to see more thought provoking writing from you.
I'm intrigued by this fascinating idea of a sort of technological stagnation. I wonder if halting the development of the internet would've actually caused this. Perhaps. Or perhaps it's the other way around - that only a world that prefers technological stagnation could halt the development of the internet...
Either way, this was a beautiful character study, and I look forward to many more short stories from Colin.