E3 2007: The Wii Report

E3 2007: The Wii Report

Making my way through the show, one of the questions I had in mind was why I bothered to buy a Wii when Wii Sports is the only game I like on the console. At this point, no one's gotten the Wii's "it," and even Nintendo has seemed a bit lost. Luckily, a few shops - ranging from EA on down - are on the right track.

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"A SNES kid at heart, Sega's stone-like fall from grace validates my old belief that the only thing Sega does that Nintendon't is wither in the face of the new millennium, but I'll still admit to a Pavlovian cringe every time I hear Sega and Nintendo in the same sentence. So imagine my shock to learn of Mario and Sonic at The Olympics, developed by none other than The Enemy. And imagine my shock to be really looking forward to playing it."

My god man, the old Sega vs Nintendo war is over, has been for some time. Get over it.
Hearing fanboy comments from days past pretty much meant you lost me and I stopped reading.
And this is coming from an old Sega fan who owns a DS, many Mario and Pokemon games, etc.
I moved on, how about you?

At the risk of sounding even MORE like a nerd, I have to point out that it is, in fact, "Kame *H*ame *H*a," no 'y's involved.

Reassuring to know that my Wii might soon be getting some new titles worth playing.

CantFaketheFunk:
At the risk of sounding even MORE like a nerd, I have to point out that it is, in fact, "Kame *H*ame *H*a," no 'y's involved.

Reassuring to know that my Wii might soon be getting some new titles worth playing.

Cool, thanks. I knew I was gonna butcher that one.

mjkeller:
Hearing fanboy comments from days past pretty much meant you lost me and I stopped reading. And this is coming from an old Sega fan who owns a DS, many Mario and Pokemon games, etc. I moved on, how about you?

Uhh, I wasn't speaking all that seriously. If you read the rest of the section, you can see I'm pretty up on the game.

I suppose for the audience the Wii is going after those game are right up Nintendo's alley. They aren't my type of thing and as long as the industry as a whole remembers this. I don't really care about what new game the Wii gets that makes you spastic while playing. And so far it doesn't seem like Nintendo wants to give me reason to care so I'm not going to bother to look for one.

But, I guess if you like the current Wii games, you're going to like the ones coming down the pipeline.

mjkeller:
My god man, the old Sega vs Nintendo war is over, has been for some time. Get over it.
Hearing fanboy comments from days past pretty much meant you lost me and I stopped reading.
And this is coming from an old Sega fan who owns a DS, many Mario and Pokemon games, etc.
I moved on, how about you?

I dunno about you, but I had a very hearty laugh when I read that, and it is my suspicion that Joe had one while writing it. I guess the joke's on you, then.

"I can't imagine non-gamers getting confused by the act of running away from a linebacker"

I've heard this sort of comment a lot, which says to me that the people who say it don't often play games with girls.

The main thing that girls seem to struggle with in games is the movement system - particularly when the game requires you to move around in a slightly non-intuitive way (e.g. isometric viewpoint) while performing other complex tasks.

To generalise: if you hand a male his first ever controller and a copy of Halo, within one minute he'll be used to the movement axes (left-right, up-down, forward-back, strafe) and beginning to figure out how to combine them to get around; a female in the same situation will spend the first five minutes spinning in circles staring at the ceiling, or else standing virtually still and doing small, jerky turns without touching the "look" stick.

Sure, exceptions abound, and there are even more slick gamer girls than there are hopeless game-incompetent boys - but I'm sure the gist of the Halo example is familiar to most guys that have ever offered their non-gaming female friends a shot at a game in which movement involves the coordination of more than one input. It's the same principle as map-reading: males can usually imagine themselves on a map by rotating it in their mind to suit their orientation, whereas women can usually only imagine themselves on a map that's facing the same way they are.

I think the playing field levels out with practice, but a lot of girls try a game, find it too much work to get into and never go back.

I know I sound like a sexist prick saying all this, but I'm trying to point out the inherent sexism built into most games. It breaks my heart that my female friends should be locked out of so much fantastic entertainment simply because control schemes are designed for the male brain instead of the human brain.

Fraser.J.A:
"I can't imagine non-gamers getting confused by the act of running away from a linebacker"

I've heard this sort of comment a lot, which says to me that the people who say it don't often play games with girls.

The main thing that girls seem to struggle with in games is the movement system - particularly when the game requires you to move around in a slightly non-intuitive way (e.g. isometric viewpoint) while performing other complex tasks.

To generalise: if you hand a male his first ever controller and a copy of Halo, within one minute he'll be used to the movement axes (left-right, up-down, forward-back, strafe) and beginning to figure out how to combine them to get around; a female in the same situation will spend the first five minutes spinning in circles staring at the ceiling, or else standing virtually still and doing small, jerky turns without touching the "look" stick.

Sure, exceptions abound, and there are even more slick gamer girls than there are hopeless game-incompetent boys - but I'm sure the gist of the Halo example is familiar to most guys that have ever offered their non-gaming female friends a shot at a game in which movement involves the coordination of more than one input. It's the same principle as map-reading: males can usually imagine themselves on a map by rotating it in their mind to suit their orientation, whereas women can usually only imagine themselves on a map that's facing the same way they are.

I think the playing field levels out with practice, but a lot of girls try a game, find it too much work to get into and never go back.

I know I sound like a sexist prick saying all this, but I'm trying to point out the inherent sexism built into most games. It breaks my heart that my female friends should be locked out of so much fantastic entertainment simply because control schemes are designed for the male brain instead of the human brain.

I let my sister play Halo once and the same thing happened. She didn't make use of the right stick in movement at all until I told her about it. And even after I did she performed just like you described jerky movements with analog stick. Like she was so caught up trying to shoot things she didn't realize that the controls needed to be understood and mastered first.

But, I don't think this is a case of innate sexism in videogames. I think it's just a case were the inexperienced face a higher learning curve. As soon as I put Halo in my xbox first time I was practicing the good old 180 jump. Before I played Halo I had played countless other shooters before so I already knew what to do, how to do it and when to do it. The only thing left for me was to optimize those tactic for Halo.

In my sister's case it was the exact opposite, that was her first time playing a shooter first time even playing a game with an analog stick. If I gave her an hour with the game on easy I'm sure she'd figure it all out. I don't think sexism is the issue just lack of experience for the uninitiated. Just remember most people aren't born naturally good at geometry it takes practice.

Interesting thoughts, Fraser.J.A. I did mention in the article that I was a definite layman in regard to what was a barrier to entry, just guessing based on my experience that "run away from 250-pound wall of muscle" was more intuitive than "execute stiff arm NOW!" But you raise a good point in terms of spatial awareness. Evolutionary psychologists say testosterone plays a role in developing spatial awareness (scroll down a ways), which may explain why girls tend to have a tougher time acclimating to 3-D worlds. Of course, the subject matter in most FPSes is pretty male-dominated, too, which may be more of a detriment than acclimation.

I don't think it's sexist, at least not intentionally so. The genders are different, and that's OK, which is why Family Play is pretty exciting, assuming you're trying to convert your girlfriend into a football fan.

 

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