I’m getting frustrated with the Wii. Andrew has brought home several more games in the hopes of finding one that will finally unlock the mysteries of Gaming—that is, in the hopes of helping me understand just what the attraction really is. So far, after stints with various sports games, Mario Party, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Surf’s Up, I am perhaps even more baffled than I was before.
Here’s the thing: for me, the games are boring. With Metroid and Zelda, I actually fell asleep while Andrew was maneuvering the characters through dull, seemingly endless rooms and paths with absolutely no clear understanding of what the characters were supposed to be doing or looking for. In Zelda, if you toss a pumpkin against the ground, a green emerald comes out. But so what? What’s it for? Who cares? In theory, I could enjoy exploring the “worlds” of Zelda, but I couldn’t seem to maneuver my horse without just running head-long into trees and stone embankments. Surf’s Up was more entertaining, but I lost interest quickly while Andrew developed a quiet obsession with obtaining more and more points.
I remember my first experience with Gaming: our original Nintendo, with the original Mario game. That, I loved. Running at high speeds through different levels, killing clearly defined (and often cute) enemies, collecting coins, growing to a super-sized Mario or a tiny Mario, dodging fireballs. And Mario 3—the water world, the ice world. Those were fun; those were suspenseful; I remember wanting to play them for hours. So what’s changed?
Andrew explained it this way: the current world of Gaming must cater to super-advanced Gamers who want far more than what the early games had to offer. They want elaborate worlds that require total immersion and dedication to crack. These new-generation games require vast knowledge of “cheats” and “codes” in order to unlock the game’s mysteries. Clearly, any Gaming tendencies I have or had rest exclusively with games that no one, in these Gaming days, has any interest in.
Andrew’s livelihood currently lies within the world of Gaming, and so I’ll continue on, trying more games; but for me, even though the Gaming world is closer now than it ever has been or ever will be again, an understanding of this subculture remains stubbornly out of reach.