Monday, August 15, 2016

Responding to "Kiddy" Video Games

Quick updates before we get to today's post. Consider this a mini Weekly Link Round Up, for stories that need to be talked about.

- Final Fantasy XV has been delayed! Originally set to launch on September 30th, after a 10 year development period, an announcement was made at GamesCon followed by a video posted to the game's YouTube channel. Now being pushed to the end of November, SquareEnix states that it's to help refine the game. Instead of pushing out a day one patch, like so many are opt to do, they want to make the game as clean as possible right out of the box. I gave up on FF15 years ago, so I'm snickering about this in my corner while everyone wallows in the news.

- The team behind No Man's Sky has been fielding questions over the weekend regarding an XBox One version and game stability issues. Right now if you want to play the game, get the PS4 version. The PC one seems to be riddled with bugs and errors that Hello Games can't quite figure out. Turning down the game's settings to Low seems to help, but it's a short term solution that butchers the look of the game. Expect more patches soon.


 On to the main post!

After reading this piece on TechnoBuffalo about "kiddy" video games, I started to think about if this notion of games being for kids will ever change? Comic books and animations, even the most adult of them, are still thought of as "just for kids." Or perverts if you watch anime, because everything from Japan is hentai. I say that last sentence with so much sarcasm that my eyes have rolled out of my head and onto the table.

The stereotypes of entertainment are difficult to overcome. For the 100 plus years comic books have been in our hands, a number of people still feel that they are only meant for the young. Even though 'The Avengers' may make hundred's of millions of dollars at the box office, and people will camp out for San Diego Comic Con passes, they're not considered adult entertainment.

But the stigma not impossible to shake off. Film and theater are the best examples, and longstanding. Both began as simple means of entertainment to help entrance the masses for a quick buck. Shows and film reels were made to be quick, and enticed those who wanted to escape into a fantasy realm for just a few moments. Typically they appealed to lower and middle class families because they were relatively cheap. You would never see someone of wealth attending a film. They were thought to be passing fads. Over time as technology improved and people found importance in the mediums, the mindset surrounding them has changed. Now they are considered "high" art, with the exception of Michael Bay movies.

So what can video games do to overcome this "kiddy" mindset? The best thing is to keep plugging away. Challenge the notion that games are only for kids. Keep creating dynamic content such as Limbo and Flower. Showcase all the crazy things that one can build in Minecraft that keep it a constant boon for both children and adults. And don't fall into the arguments when others make fun of you for playing games. Point out the games that are meant for all ages, not just the M rated content, and go back to enjoying Pokemon Go. Mario is just as fun for kids as it is adults. Playing Call of Duty isn't required as an adult.

Being an "adult" doesn't mean giving up the things you did as a kid, or only sticking to PC and M games. Plenty of people still play sports, ride bikes, and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gaming is no different. Don't get sucked into the teasing and game on!

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