Sex, Violence, and the Wii

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maybe PC gaming is just as viable as the Wii, most people already own a desktop or laptop so getting them download some gameplay simpler games i.e. Portal, competitive tetris, some adventure games, etc. may be easier and more convenient than simply having them spend the extra money on a console

I just don't like the term "casual gaming"; that some how there is this niche separating "gamers" and "non-gamers" like there is some niche separating "music lovers" and non "music lovers." (O.K. you are not involved in music; or movies; or books. They are passive things. Let me get further into my argument).

How did some of you readers get into, say, first person shooters? I will bet that almost none of you played the original Quake or Doom when they first came out.

My first FPS was Descent, and I didn't use a joystick or mouse. I played it entirely with the keyboard. It wasn't even possible to strafe and turn at the same time with the default key setup. Even for those who played FPS's since the Wolfenstein 3D, Doom is controlled very differently than Quake. Quake is controlled very differently than the modern ASDW/Mouse FPS. You can't even aim vertically in the original Quake without holding down some button or changing an obscure variable in the in-game console.

The first FPS that I played with "modern controls" was Halo for the PC. Yes, Halo. A couple of years after that I was already enjoying the likes of Half-Life 2 and F.E.A.R. (worst backronym EVAR). Today I don't play FPS all that often. I am unemployed and my desktop is woefully underpowered. But when I got back to playing Painkiller after months of not gaming, I was able to play it and enjoy it. I wasn't dying all the time.

Unfortunately, few modern FPS's do a good job at introducing the mechanics of that particular "extreme" gengre, and the fact that such games are typically played with a console joypad instead of a straightforward mouse doesn't help. But despite the common misconceptions, your Granddad can play Team Fortress 2, and be good at it.

The media talks about games and gaming because these are a novelty and something they aknowledge that it's worth covering (even though some of them don't even have a clue at what they are saying).

If you go 10 years back in time and check the reach of gaming as a whole, you'll notice that it wasn't much, not even worth noticing, and it was just the 'geeks/nerds/dorks' past-time.

Now its a social phenomenom, more and more kids make their parents buy videogames for them and the parents themselves don't know about games and they don't care because they believe its going to be too dificult for them. And so the media can twist their words when it comes to the next sensationalist notice and make them 'worried' or 'defensive' for their children (and they should be!) but it's because the media fed them malinformation.

If the wii can turn them and the older generations into gamers, even if they are casual, they will just understand that gaming is like playing with a toy. An AWESOME toy.

As long as the Wii stays in its own little corner of the world its fine by me. Just hope that no one else follows Nintendo in to casual land because if they start to massively outnumber us gaming as we know it will disappear.

Would also like add that before we had games as the scapegoat we did indeed have movies and before that Comics. Comics was considered a reason for children turning into delinquents, and not of course poor parenting...

Point is people will always need something to blame when the legendary Shit hits the notorious fan. As said in the article games are exotic, so when a "news" channel as Fox "news" gets wind of there being alien side boob, or violence in a game they will attack it.
Why they create such controversy around this I do not know. They also seem to think children are going to play this no matter what... Well would anyone of us let our 7 year old watch Aliens or Predator? So why let this kid play Aliens VS Predator?

In the end it is up to the individual grown up to decide what she or he wants to play, and at the same time what hers or his child shouldn't play.

PS: When I was younger and living at home I was not allowed to play violent games while my little brother was awake. Simple enough solution (why is it so hard for Fox "news" to figure out the same?)

Of course, I'm sure a new Leisure Suit Larry for the Wii is lurking in our future. God only knows what the motion control will be used for [shudder]


Casual gamers usually play simple games because they don't want to invest a lot of time into the game. This results in them gravitating towards games like Peggle and Wii Sport, which are easy to learn how to play, rather than MW2 or WOW, which take a long time to learn. It's not the game, but the gamer, that defines "hardcore."

But to pin those definitions solely on the intent of the player is to entirely ignore the very design elements implemented in the examples you used yourself.

Although the term "casual" only makes sense in contrast to the "hardcore" one, a dichotomy I dislike for many reasons.

Anyway, there was a design philosophy back in the day that the best games (before the whole casual/hardcore nearsighted thing came into play) were actually easy to learn, but hard to master. To a certain extent, I still agree with that line of thinking.

A game can be targeted at the casual or hardcore audience and be designed with its primary audience in mind. A game targeted at the hardcore audience can have complex controls or advanced strategies that require more than a brief foray into the game to master. Developers know that games targeted at the hardcore crowd can have more complex controls because the hardcore players will be willing to invest more time learning hw to learn all the nuances of the game. Games targeted at the casual crowd generally have simple controlls because developers know that the intended audience will have much less patience when it comes to learning how to play the game.

As for the whole "simple to play, hard to master" thing, the simplicity can vary greatly. Street Fighter and Starcraft are vary complex, but the basic premise is easy to understand. "You punch the other guy" or "destroy the enemy's base" are easy to grasp, but there is a learning curve to those games when you play the single player. You need to know how to do several different things (attack, block, special moves) and when to do them (timing, correct situations). That takes time to learn. Compare to Peggle, wher even in the later stages, you are doing the same thing you have always done, it's just less obvious how you're supposed to accomplish your goal. (Still bouncing the ball off the pegs, but the angles will be different)

I just don't like the term "casual gaming"; that some how there is this niche separating "gamers" and "non-gamers" like there is some niche separating "music lovers" and non "music lovers."

Same here. And what the self-appointed "hardcore" still don't understand is that this separation will only keep videogames from becoming interactive expression devices and remain being a glorified power trip machine.

Of course, I'm sure a new Leisure Suit Larry for the Wii is lurking in our future. God only knows what the motion control will be used for [shudder]

Well, don't give'em ideas! :double shudder:

Hey, ramdommaster, you pretty much explained what I said all over again. So... thanks. =]

But Starcraft is WAY more complex than Street Fighter from the get-go.

The amount of time you take to simply learn all that the three species in Starcraft can do far surpasses the time you'd take to learn the moves of all the characters in Street Fighter II (or any of the gazillion sequels).



by introducing the baby boomers to video games hopefully they wont be as ignorant about whats being said in the media. Here's to the comming generation of video game playing leaders.

Or it might just turn them into nintendo fanboys, saying things like: you don't see murder simulators like this on the wii.

Oh but you do, Madworld comes to mind.

That's still not going to stop some ignoramuses.
One of my first (and favorite) Wii game is Godfather Blackhand and that quite literally IS a murder/mob-execution simulator. And even though it's one of the Wii's best early games, the console still gets the kiddy toy rep.

Shamus, Shamus, Shamus. You're preaching to the converted.

Send this to Michael Atkinson. THEN we might see some sanity.

The problem is not that people think that games are violent. People have no problem what so ever with violence and they even enjoy watching violence. They go to movies with violence. Watch people hurt each other in sports. Read books with conflict and violence. That is not what people hate about games.

What people fear is that somehow the games will result in more threats to them in real life. Thats why the news and car chases and bombings are important to them. It could threaten them. And hearing on tv that kids in the real world shot people because they play games means that the threat is now getting nearer to them. They have kids, what if their kids do this to them because of games?

What will make people see games more positively? Disconnecting games from violence in the real world will. Teaching people that violence in the real world is committed because of negative emotions or having a bad life. It sound cheesy but violence is used as a tool for people to get what they want (like money or status) or because they have such intense negative emotions that they need to commit a violent act (like shame or hate or anger).

Disconnect games from real world violence by teaching people about real world violence and your there.


So in other words, Wii is going to show people that video games don't turn you into murdering psychopaths.

Yeah, duh. In 10 years we won't find anyone suing a single game for having violence. Currently, the medium is still relatively young, and a lot of people don't have a clue what it's all about, so when an attention whore comes in with a lawsuit, they follow. But it's just a matter of time until people get over it.

Didn't we say that same thing 10 years ago?

We did, but games were simply not as mainstream before as they are now. The Wii and DS were the first systems to bring grandparents to the couch, or have entire families mashing buttons on controllers together. And now the console makers know how to reach that market and will continue to support it, through initiatives like Project Natal.

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