Editor’s Note: We run game reviews from the fine folks at GAMEPEOPLE.CO.UK bi-weekly, but this recent editorial they posted by Paul Govan caught our eye – so here it is for your perusal. Feel free to comment below.
Something about spring seems to turn my mind towards writing these editorials. It’s a good time of year to take stock before the games start flying in. Again I find myself starting a new season of thoughts, ideas and observations about family gaming.
Having spent some time today reading through the last couple of seasons, I realised that although some wide ranging themes were covered – from social play, budget gaming, family controls and newcomer games – one topic was absent. Nowhere had we talked about the crazy speed of video game evolution. More to the point, how do we cope with being part of such a voracious industry and still have some fun?
Don’t get me wrong, one of the things I love about the gaming world is the pace which it is evolving. Every week there are new games to buy, magazines to read, announcement to absorb and previews to whet the appetite. The amount of drive, energy and innovation is at times staggering.
The respected writers and journalists in this world largely move at a similar break neck pace. They need to keep up with developments and acquire encyclopedic knowledge of every game, developer and publisher. Around these industry leaders sit a clamouring community of bloggers, fan sites and enthusiastic hangers on.
Somewhere in that picture sits little old me. Perhaps with more of a family bent, often talking about slowing down and taking time to enjoy games, but just as absorbed by the big forward push.
But every now and again I catch wind of a different tone. People asking different questions of developers, focusing on different aspects of the industry. Sometimes these are voices from outside – experts in film or writers for newspapers who have turned their attention to gaming for a particular editorial. But most exciting for me, is when I come across someone asking these questions who is a genuine part of the gaming setup.
Informed individuals who have managed to slow down, step back, and consider the wider picture make for interesting, sometimes shocking reading. For instance, I remember hearing about Stephen Totilo at a preview for a PS3 game. He asked a simple question, along the lines of ‘What stage did you decide to go down the violent combat route?’ In that ten second query it uncovered the assumption that this was just what we had to do now. He went on to query what sort of effect this had (dulling or otherwise) on the resulting experience for the player, and what other routes the decision had closed off.
Moments and conversations like that are what keep me interested in the future of gaming. I guess it’s the realisation and hope that all this excitement in the youthful beginnings of our industry will one day mature. That grown up human questions have a place in the heart of the experiences we create.
And all this brings me back to my little world of family gaming journalism. Here, more than anywhere else, you find people asking these sorts of questions. And not only those doing the writing, but players and readers seem to escape some of the knee jerk acceptance or rejection of games and end up with some very engaging queries and suggestions.
I write this as we put the finishing touches to our new family gaming offering www.familygamer.co.uk, and realise this is largley what has motivated us – to create a place for these sort of conversations to be had on a daily (and ongoing) basis.
Image by: This article reposted by permission of GAMEPEOPLE.