Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You're History

As people have been good enough to spread the word for my wee Podcast doobrey, it seems only right and proper to give stuff back as a result, so today I'll be taking part in the first of two recently-launched Community Projects. This is for Jasyla, whose Blog 'Cannot be Tamed' has been running since 2009. She's recently shifted focus to general gaming topics which are relevant to my interests, and her Questionnaire on Gaming Habits is something I thought you lot would find some interest in as well.

Strap yourselves in folks, gonna be an interesting day :D

1. When did you start playing video games?

It is 1975. 

I am nine years old, and my life revolves around a small portable record player, reading, and the TV. That meant Wonder Woman, Rutland Weekend Television, Space: 1999 and The Goodies, give or take. I clearly remember being allowed to watch Dr No on ITV for the first time, and promptly deciding I wanted to be a secret agent when I grew up BECAUSE BOND DAMMIT. 

One day, my dad comes home from work with a brand new 'game' that doesn't involve a board or counters that will change my life forever.

BEEP.... BOOP...

2. What is the first game you remember playing?

Pong is the first game I can recall with clarity, and it was one of many Atari consoles that ended up in our house. My Dad was a techno freak (and still is) and this was a window into a world that I now realise was possibly one of the biggest influences on my entire life from that point onwards. I was never any good at it either, which kind of set the tone for my future relationships with Consoles generally :P

3. PC or Console?

I will play both, and as I began my life on consoles well before personal computers were even invented I'd like to think I don't consider there to be a bias. I also play on a Tablet and a Phone so I'd also hope I'm not going to restrict myself to a particular platform. I think the best designers understand the limits and strengths of each platform and plan their games to play accordingly, but as I have spoken to many Game Designers over the years the fantasy and the reality are always a little different ^^

4. XBox, PlayStation, or Wii?

Yes. All three are plumbed into the TV /points at front room. This is not a house that limits itself to simply one format, and I hope that remains the case for many years to come. All three have their plus points: the Wii is a perfect 'family' console thanks to the presence of the Italian Plumbers. X Box is where my son no scopes with impunity, and the PS is now a substitute for a DVD Player when it's not churning out FIFA or the latest single player adventure. There are, scattered around the house, various Nintendo and Playstation handhelds. There are Tamagotchis and all flavours of other electronic 'toys.'

Our garage? You'd love it :D

This is truly a House of Gaming.


5. What’s the best game you’ve ever played?

These kind of questions are awful, because trying to pin down one game in a nearly forty year history of playing is nigh-on impossible. You might also be amazed to hear that Warcraft isn't what I'd automatically jump to as being the best game, even though I've existed within it for the best part of a decade. It would all depend on what I'd define as 'best' in a number of highly subjective contexts: there were huge numbers of games I'd play on Amiga and Commodore back in the 80's/90's. However, I am going to name a Blizzard title as the best game, and it seems relevant considering that this week this same title finally ends up on the platform it really should have begun its life on to begin with.

Still Awesome.

If there was ever an indicator of Blizzard's potential for greatness, it was here. Diablo was wasted on PC back in the late 1990's and only with a LAN connection did the true potential come alive, something Consoles will now allow to flourish and thrive in a D3 World that I suspect will only make this title more popular than it already is. It is ironic that we had to wait for the technology to catch up with the game in this case, but it isn't really a surprise. Blizzard have always been ahead of the curve in that regard, and although I know some people would like to be critical of the group of middle-aged men who run the company, they've done nothing but right things with this title since they reinvented it for the third time.

Watch and learn, gaming competitors. Watch and learn.

6. What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?


Guild Wars 2.

If you want to know why, ask me privately. You can also feel free to hate me now.

7. Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.

Black and White. It was just too far up it's own hype for me to be able to identify with anything I was given, and although I do loves me a good God Sim, this was just a wee bit too close and personal for my liking.

8. Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.

I have thought at length about this and I reckon I'd pick Child of Eden.

Part of me would like to think this is where gaming is heading in the next 20 years. I can but hope.

9. What are your favourite game genres?

Single player adventures are a particular favourite, but I like to think I'll try anything if the concept is sound. I'll deliberately err away from first person shooters because I simply don't have the hand/eye co-ordination with a controller: ironically if I could play such games with an actual weapon I'd be far more willing to pick one up. I like innovation, and I am encouraged by games that deliberately force the player not simply to think but to venture outside of their own comfort zones.

10. Who is your favourite game protagonist?

She was a deliberately-proportioned joke, the wet dream fantasy that the male playerbase demanded, but the fact remained: here was a female protagonist for the first time, an actual woman at the centre of the action, and she has effectively become a metaphor for how female forms have been perceived in a virtual setting ever since. I've watched her change and morph and now reboot as something closer to what I'd have hoped she'd begin her life with, but still her existence is filled with controversy, because as attitudes widen in the real world they are effectively reduced and amplified in the virtual. At some point both places will find a measure of equilibrium, but there's a Hell of a fight coming before that happens.

By the way, you Troll Haters? Not gonna stop us, because resentment is a pointless weapon to wield and just shows you're incapable of winning an argument with actual facts. Equality is real, will happen and if you really think waving your virtual dick on the Net's going to solve anything, time to turn around and walk away RIGHT NOW.

Remind me to make a proper post about this at some point.

11. Describe your perfect video game.

World of Warcraft.
That was...

12. What video game character do have you have a crush on?

Solid Snake, PS1 Version. BECAUSE NINJA SKILLS.

13. What game has the best music?

Sill gets me EVERY DAMN TIME.

14. Most memorable moment in a game:

If there were ever a moment that so beautifully encapsulated my feelings about what I was involved with and what the narrative of a game actually involved, then this piece of 'cinema' is that. It distils beautifully the relationship between Alliance and Horde, how the Horde's basic stance is of a house divided, that factions can put their differences aside to defeat a common goal, and that Dragons (despite their Magic Reset Button properties) can turn up and make things better. Not RIGHT, just better.

15. Scariest moment in a game:

Metal Gear Solid (PS1) still gives me nightmares. That is all.

16. Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:

See 14 :P

17. What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?

The Internet is a dangerous place to read about gaming, as a rule, and so I do not have any favourite generic gaming sites. I don't listen to generic Podcasts or watch videos either. What I do have is a massive list of Bloggers who play Warcraft as well as a ton of other games and I will freely admit that this 'Community' is a far better tool for judging current trends than any site or place on the Internet will ever be. Bloggers tend not to pull too many punches, they'll say if they hate something and there is no mucking around as a result. It is interesting to watch the people who obsess and fanperson over their new 'best Thing' and then the people who'll make objective judgements on what they play... and all points in-between.

So, if you were trying to sell me anything, gaming companies, time to act like Blizzard and become part of the Community, because that utterly works.

18. What’s the last game you finished?

I don't play games you can finish, as a rule, so if I'm honest I'd say that was Journey.

19. What future releases are you most excited about?

Nothing major is grabbing me right now, but part of me is expecting Blizzard to pull another HoTS Rabbit out of the hat come November. I'll be over here, with my ear to the ground ^^

20. Do you identify as a gamer?

I'm a woman who likes playing computer games. That still seems to be enough of a novelty for some people after nearly forty years to give me genuine cause for concern. I think I'd prefer less labelling generally and more general acceptance and tolerance in the World as a whole. I identify with the concept, certainly

21. Why do you play video games? 

Because every day is a School day :D I learn, I enjoy, I understand and the World becomes a bigger place. I am challenged, and the adventures I have become a part of what I am just as the music I listen to and the books I read become too. Games are part of my landscape, and if you do not understand games then you do not grasp a vital part of what I am.

I play games because I love them.

Why do you play?


Joar said...

No Sony Dreamcast in the garage? I feel like I should mail you one.

Tsu said...

That garage looks great :) I gave away most of my old consoles and 99% of my games as I couldn't afford my storage unit in Denmark...

What was so scary about MGS? It was freaky but scary! I had dreams about how to complete certain bosses/stages which were actually helpful!