It's Too Loud (Because I'm Too Old)

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It's Too Loud (Because I'm Too Old)

Andy Chalk's taste in videogames has aged like a fine wine.

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I find that even though I'm 17, I'm in the same aging boat as you. Maybe when I approach middle age I will turn in to a hyperactive easily lulled young person.

I know what your saying. I used to find myself playing excessive amounts of halo 3 but nowadays I'm liking the more thought based puzzle games that give you a sense of achievement that even getting a 50 in MLG couldn't top (halo reference) however that doesn't mean to say that I don't appreciate a good FPS any more I suppose the thrills of pulling off an epic head shot have just.... worn away slightly

It's a strange thing, aging. I'm eating food now that I'd have never touched when I was younger (like green stuff), but I don't think I'm getting any more or less discerning. I still make horrible choices with some of the games I buy and waste far too many nights trying to finish an impossible level before cheating around the time the birds are singing.

But it's one of those things that gets thrown around a lot, like any of the other classifications, and it's equally as meaningless as saying you can't enjoy Fallout 3 if you don't remember when wireless radios used to be like that. (I can't)

(Hands up who started listening to Old Time Radio after playing Fallout? Lots...ta :) )

Charlie Brooker, (he of Gameswipe) did a reasonable comment about this in the Grudniaa recently entitled Ageing isn't fun, but it's better than death, by at least, ooh . . . 8% where age seems to be responsible for all that's wrong in life. And as I'm sure some of our teenagers will tell you, that holds true for both ends.

Funnily though, people seem to be getting older quicker these days...that can't be just me anymore?

I think this might be one of the reasons I've avoided reading about Dragon Age (and indeed most other games) as much as I can. If the hype doesn't out and out discourage me, it leaves the game itself wanting when it comes out. For some reason I just enjoy things more when I know nothing about them other than that I have an interest in playing through them. Maybe it's brand or genre loyalty, but I just feel much happier with my purchases this way than otherwise.

I agree with you, despite my relative youth of 17. I'm starting to find this in many facets of my life, gradually being drawn away from what I used to enjoy and on to new things. Probably to a lesser extent though, I still got shivers when I watched the trailer for the latest WoW expansion, despite being unsure about it before and after watching the trailer.

Maybe with age just comes a new definition of entertainment? Where the prospect of exercising that wisdom-filled brain becomes more attractive than owning some noob-cakes. If so, I heartily look forward to it.

I had the same reaction to Dragon Age you did. And nothing I've seen so far has changed my mind. I think, for me, it's the excessive blood letting they seem so focused on. It's actually almost comical the amount of blood in the trailers. But I know that will get really old, really fast. So my interest, which is normally very high for BioWare, is down right nil for this game. It could also be the game is a stinker and there is something of an aroma of stink coming from the trailers. Again, the excessive bloodly trailers is a BAD sign. Almost like, hey, never mind about story or character look at the blood! Isn't it kewl?

Well, one of the rewards of aging is the ability to distinguish the quality of an item. Basically, one-dimensional experiences grew old a few years ago, so that nowadays unless I can appreciate a movie/painting/burger/beer/song/game on multiple levels, there's just no point and I can't be bothered to make an effort.

Also worth pointing out that by this stage I've played a lot of games and I'm not willing to invest in a game up front unless I think it's going to deliver in the long term - and few games do that.

On the point of beers - as time has passed, I've discovered that ales hold a wealth of flavour, if you're willing to experiment on hops. The belgians and the germans make a fine brew, but I'll maintain that the English ale still rules the roost for complexity and session sustenance. Finally pop music sucks, but that doesn't mean there aren't other new bands out there making great music; it's just they need a little bit of effort to discover.

Likewise, there are small indie games that will deliver a wealth of entertainment in a sliver of time, and for me that's just fine.

If bethesda could make the mistake they did with Wet, then I'm sure even the mighty Bioware are allowed a mistep now and again. Of course, that's just assuming it's no good, which I doubt is the case. I'm actaully really looking forward to this game, but I haven't watched any trailers.

tighem:
I had the same reaction to Dragon Age you did. And nothing I've seen so far has changed my mind. I think, for me, it's the excessive blood letting they seem so focused on. It's actually almost comical the amount of blood in the trailers. But I know that will get really old, really fast. So my interest, which is normally very high for BioWare, is down right nil for this game. It could also be the game is a stinker and there is something of an aroma of stink coming from the trailers. Again, the excessive bloodly trailers is a BAD sign. Almost like, hey, never mind about story or character look at the blood! Isn't it kewl?

You've got a good point, but for me it was more the feeling that I'd seen it before. Small party fights overwhelming numbers of Evil Dudes with skill and magic tricks, then brings down ginormous critter that should've squashed them like rotten fruit. It could've been the intro to any number of RPG games released in the last 10 years.

As far as the whole "too old" thing: It is a lot easier to reach content saturation than it used to be. With almost one and a half entire Internets full of videos, games, etc., it doesn't take nearly as long to reach a state of "oh, another one of these?" as it might have over the last couple of decades. It's not that we're getting older, it's that we're getting wiser... to the tricks companies use to promote stuff like this.

I agree with you on the Advertising Front for Dragon Age, the ads convey an "XTREME!" attitude of Sex and Violence meant to cater to the Halo/GTA Generation of gamers, they need to pimp it in marketing because they know that if they tried to sell it the way they used to sell their games, the boorish masses wouldn't give a crap, no matter how good the title actually is.

I've always liked puzzle games. It's good to just to figure something out and then be like "YEAHH! I bet you didn't think I could do it! Well screw you game, I did! :D"

I love that feeling when I complete escape the room games :D

A big problem with this is the internet, people have far more access to information now than ever before so it only takes the slightest amount of motivation to research things and discover how much bullshit is out there and marketing is the greatest source, but as the thread eluded to its a fine line to walk between getting really angry and militant against such action or realising that none of it is directed at you. Advertising isnt directed at the intelligent, those people have already researched the subject and made up their minds. Its directed at the vapid morons who are just looking to unload some currency on the shiniest most colourful noise producer.

I guess the big question is should we support the people using these tactics and be happy with the mindless consumers being attracted to our favourite medium and the revenue they bring or be angry that in the long run we will lose out as the market is dumbed down to cater for them.

What? done look at me I dont have the answer :P

Maybe losing interest in Bioware games because of their terrible, terrible videos is letting the tail wag the dog but honestly I have been losing interest in their games along with other RPG type games for a while now. Not interested in Dragon Age or Mass Effect 2 (Subject Zero is exactly the opposite of what they needed to show me to win me back). I just want to play Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and shout at the kids on the forums who think that crap like Mass Effect or The Witcher are still worth talking about.

By the way, did I mention that Bioware's videos were terrible? I meant that they were soul destroying pandering to certain elements of the game playing community. Now get off my lawn.

Interesting how many articles are popping up on the Escapist, about gamers faced with the changes and challenges of getting older. Seems like the first generation of gamers is growing up to be men...

... or is having an "endgame-crisis". He, he, he.

But seriously, I'm starting to experience this issues myself, so I can relate to all that. Even though at my age, I belong more to the one-and-a-half generation of gamers.

I laughed at the whole being mad about them not making BG3. I had the exact same discussion yesterday with an 18 year old who said I was too nostalgic about the BG games. But hell, she has never played them so what does she know. It's the same as with Fallout.

I pre ordered DA:O last night but almost cancelled it again when I saw the mentioned trailer. It looked like a terrible action movie. I sincerely hope that that trailer was full of lie. Because, honestly, what I want is BG3 or Fallout 3. Sadly, Dragon Age is probably the closest I'll ever get. :) So they damn well better take out some of that action, loud music and dragon jumping! :P

Tiamat666:

... or is having an "endgame-crisis". He, he, he.

ha ha ha I actually laughed in the middle of class when I read that. I'm using that term.

But it's interesting to hear to hear from the NES era of gamers now-a-days. I had an old gameboy I used to play on but I didn't really own a console until the N64 (I still played a couple 16-bit games at my friends house like sonic and mario) so it's interesting to hear about the "good old games", I decided to go back in time and look at some games like Super metroid, Link to the past, gunstar heroes and some other 16-bit games I missed.

Some of them totally blew my mind when I played them and can still live up today like Super Metroid. However a few I didn't get into most notable of which was link to the past, I never finished it because I couldn't get into it, which is odd because I thought Ocarina of time was the greatest game ever.

teh_gunslinger:

I pre ordered DA:O last night but almost cancelled it again when I saw the mentioned trailer. It looked like a terrible action movie. I sincerely hope that that trailer was full of lie. Because, honestly, what I want is BG3 or Fallout 3. Sadly, Dragon Age is probably the closest I'll ever get. :) So they damn well better take out some of that action, loud music and dragon jumping! :P

This is exactly where BioWare's marketing team is screwing up. Maybe the ads are making people that want an action game take a second look, but they're turning off the people that actually want an RPG. The "new s**t" trailer made me want to puke. Maybe these trailers are being put out because someone doesn't think Dragon Age's gameplay just looks all that exciting to the mainstream gamer? I think that's a mistake.

It's not a matter of actual aging, though it may be intrinsically related. It's a matter of cultural immersion & sophistication. It's the same reason a person who only incidentally listens to music would consider a group like (just for instance) muse hard rock, or to say all hip-hop sounds the same.

When you're standing back, when you're looking at a medium as a whole everything gets interesting. However, everything, everything gets distilled more and more down to a very specific point farther down the road. Where you have more sophisticated tastes, (not necessisarily discerning mind you, just defined).

Going back to the music analogy, when you see people who genuinely like avant-garde, it's most likey because your immersion in that area of culture isn't distilled enough to like that level of sophistication. It's the same with video games.

Tom Goldman:

teh_gunslinger:

I pre ordered DA:O last night but almost cancelled it again when I saw the mentioned trailer. It looked like a terrible action movie. I sincerely hope that that trailer was full of lie. Because, honestly, what I want is BG3 or Fallout 3. Sadly, Dragon Age is probably the closest I'll ever get. :) So they damn well better take out some of that action, loud music and dragon jumping! :P

This is exactly where BioWare's marketing team is screwing up. Maybe the ads are making people that want an action game take a second look, but they're turning off the people that actually want an RPG. The "new s**t" trailer made me want to puke. Maybe these trailers are being put out because someone doesn't think Dragon Age's gameplay just looks all that exciting to the mainstream gamer? I think that's a mistake.

Yea, because right now the pre order seems like a gamble to me. I'm afraid it will be as shallow as Mass Effect or as crappy as Fallout 3 (The one that got made, not the one I dream about).
I just want a solid RPG with a great story and memorable characters, good combet (but not too much) and great art direction. Oh, well, I'll always have Baldur's Gate. No matter what happens they can't take that from me.

Edit: I forgot: I looked at some game play movies and it seemed solid enough. So why not show me the actual game instead of Lord of the Ring with Dragons - Special Michael Bay Edition. Let the game stand on it's own merits.

I think we can rest assured the game will be nothing like the trailer. I gotta admit I found a few bits in there rather cool, but I agree with Andy, it would be nice to see a thinking man's fantasy game, instead of the usual action trash that publishers would rather sell overpriced.
There is a Half Life 2 mod called Research and Development, where you get no guns to use in your fight against the combine, instead using your noggin to defeat soldiers, antlions, even tanks and antlion queens. You do get your own Gravy gun about halfway through, but even acquiring that is a brain twister. Maybe there would be less fuss from parent's groups if there was more emphasis on using your brain in games, instead of just doing shootemups? Maybe that's why Half Life 2 hasn't been targeted so much for being overviolent?
And Andy, I don't know what the kids are listening to these days, but my heart sings when my station plays Bohemian Rhapsody.

An excellent article, especially when referencing such excellent brews.

I'm totally picking up what you're laying down, but I don't think that it's a bad thing. It doesn't seem that you do either, but it's a reality an long time gamer must face: our medium has become profitable, and will be marketed as such. I don't see any way around that.

Of course, once the game itself starts being marketed to people who don't give a shit about the community (read: Modern Warfare 2 minus a server browser), then I start to become concerned.

Great writing though, all pessimism aside.

So, you're all willing to pass judgement on a game based on the trailers? Back in MY day, games didn't even have trailers. We had to wait until launch day and walk to the video store in the rain and three feet of snow...*grumble grumble*kids these days*grumble grumble*

Pretty interesting read, I've been feeling a bit like this lately.

As far as Dragon Age goes, I didn't read much about it until very recently (got all hyped up back in 2004 when it was announced, but it soon became obvious that it was a long way off so I decided to take some steps back). I've honestly been really disappointed by recent trailers (the latest being something I'd expect to see for a Korean MMO) and previews, which, like someone said, reek the cheap straight-to-DVD action movie (something that in my opinion was also the case with Mass Effect). There's a saying in the newspaper industry (at least around here) which states that in order to sell the paper, you have to include three things: blood, sex, sports. Dragon Age has been marketed around the first two. (For the record, I'm not a follower of Thompson. But I find it disappointing to see that BioWare is swooping this low.)

That being said, I'm buying it for one reason: the toolset. I have high hopes for this. Neverwinter Nights (also from BioWare) started out as a very bland game. But once players started building modules for it with the toolset, the value of that game soared incredibly high. If Dragon Age can gather a strong community like NWN did, I'm sure it will be awesome. Of course, this only applies to the PC version though. I'll obviously reserve my final opinion until I've played the game, but so far I don't expect too much from the core campaign.

I'd hug you all but you kind of smell funny, heh.
Me, I wonder what I'll be playing in my 50s.
Sad thing is, games in the form we know them will probably be obsolete by then.

*sob*

You know all those motion control games? Natal and such?
How the hell are old people supposed to play them?

_Nocturnal:
I'd hug you all but you kind of smell funny, heh.
Me, I wonder what I'll be playing in my 50s.
Sad thing is, games in the form we know them will probably be obsolete by then.

*sob*

You know all those motion control games? Natal and such?
How the hell are old people supposed to play them?

Don't worry, soon they'll invent cyber helmets to let us play with our minds.

Now that I'm past 30 I've had gaming largely ruined for me because what used to be novel and interesting is now compared against previous examples of whatever it is the creator's trying to accomplish.

Take, for example, the new Tropico 3. Apparently Haemimont Games has turned out the first good game in their otherwise worthless lives (consider the execrable Imperium Romanum and Glory of the Roman Empire which managed to make Rome unfun(?!), if the early reviews are anything to go by. But everything I see of it makes me think "Why would I buy a remake of Tropico 1 when I still have Tropico 1 and still consider it the fourth-best game of all-time (behind Rome: Total War, Alpha Centauri, and Rise of Nations)? It's prettier? Modern graphics? But the old ones had a charm that still endures eight years later."

I'll probably buy it anyway. But I probably would've enjoyed it more if Tropico came out when I was, say, 14 and I was 22 now for Tropico 3 rather than 24 and 32 as things currently stand.

The trailers are horrible for pretty much every gamer who appreciates games for more than the space marine action and the gore. Dragon Age will very likely be a delicate, awesome game, and anyone who knows how good that might taste, the 'look at me, I'm not a boring complicated rpg!'-trailers make you want to rip your eyes out. Has nothing to do with your age.

Personally, I've watched the gameplaytrailer about that dragonlady, which made Dragon Age a must buy for me. Every other trailer made me regret I watched it.

What a boring trailer. Most of the fighting moves ripped directly from the movie 300, which isn't exactly an obscure source and the only emotion these characters are showing is... stinky grit? Their faces look like someone just farted. But then from the penny arcade dragon age comics I got the distinct feel that these heroes aren't necessarily really heroes.

I'm 25. Your taste is not that old, but it may be that refined.

What I don't understand is that they make faces that realistic if they can't animate them realistically. It's like they're trying to unsuspend your disbelief.

honestly id be happy with some remakes of some old games with a new engine.

DA:O hastnt grabbed me like it usually would. i dont know why but it hasnt and i lurve rpg's

See, I just watched the Dragon Age trailer yesterday, and was also less than impressed, but for slightly different reasons. It was basically an action movie trailer. It was pretty and impressive, but it didn't tell me a thing about the gameplay or the story.

More to the point, it had no tension. I watched a group of five badasses mow down a horde of orc/zombie things, then take down a dragon, all without breaking a sweat. Not once did I feel the heroes were in any actual danger.

I've been playing the same games for 10 years, and while I go in and out of phases of liking games, I still appreciate the crazy over the top blowing upness of modern gaming. I actually quite like generic no tension gore a thons. I am the modern incarnate of the spectacle gamer.

And I've always liked puzzle games, they're just a little bit more fun.

Im only 21 and I totally understand the whole, taste in games maturing as you age

I dont know why, but the baldurs gate/icewind dale/nwn games always fixated an element of maturity and class into what is essentially electronic versions of those nerdy D&D models that you see in Games Workshop and you see the geeks all around the table rolling dice, moving their hobgoblins into spell range....eurgh

Dragon Age is a waste, the 'world' of baldurs gate (was it called alber-toril?) was chock full of fantastic lore, locales (underdark) and characters (the infamous Mr Do'Urden) and as Dragon Age is set in a different world (i think) i just cant be bothered immersing myself in a completely new lore sphere

Current age graphics could have really put a cinematic experience on the franchise that we all know and love, as it stands, this will just be another mass effect, while if I dug deeper, im sure the game will be stooped in the kind of lore that gets me a little bit aroused at times (see the whole Bhallspawn story, OMG), but I simply dont have the time and the patience to really get into a game when im constantly thinking 'hang on a second, who is she the god of? he is the king of what-now?'

Maybe this is just a case of not doing my research before posting, and dragons age is set in the AD&D universe, just a different franchise...which is fine because NWN was also very good, aside from the Jar-Jar Binks-esque characters in NWN 2. Actually come to think of it, its characters like that that make me think if they made a BG3, they would reduce Minsc to a babbling joke-buff that would just make me want to jump out of a window

I know what you are all thinking, and you are right, i AM just a baldurs gate fanboy

Ahhh, I am in two minds about buying Bioware. On the one hand its Bioware and on the other is the pathetically purile marketing campaign that accompanies it. But my heart is crying out for a good story based game and I'll I got is Mass Effect, urgh, its not bad but definietly overated.

Maybe I should install my old KOTOR games but apprently its hard to get them to run on Vista. Looks like I'll be buying Dragon's Age out of desperation more than anything else.

As a crotchety beer drinker and crotchety game player, this has basically summed up my sentiments of the current game industry in a way that a thousand dry old-man rants ever could.

Lets hear it for micro-brews and indie developers!

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