Video Game Research: Opening Statement

I have a confession to make: I do not play many video games.

When I was a kid, my dad would not let my brother and I get any kind of video gaming system. He thought they caused violent behavior and he preferred that we enrich our minds rather than shoot things. This was the beginning of my unfortunate addiction to buying lots and lots of books.

I do have a lot of fond memories of playing Myst and various adventure games as a high school student. I liked wandering around exploring virtual worlds and solving puzzles. I liked the slow pace of these things. There was no need for me to coordinate my shots to blow things up. They were peaceful and stimulating. I liked the stories and especially the humor.

I didn’t own a gaming console until I married my ex-husband. He had most of them. I was overwhelmed by the variety of things we had, but by the time we got married he had kind of fallen out of video gaming.

He bought me several Nintendo DS systems throughout our marriage. Two years in a row he bought me a 3DS. There is a reason we are no longer married.

I primarily stuck to really simple games. I am embarrassed at how much Bejeweled I play on my phone. When I have been bashing my brain against code for eight hours and I am in the bath, the simple joy of spending five minutes making a bunch of gems explode really can’t be overemphasized.

After my divorce, I decided that gaming was going to be my new hobby. I bought a PS4 and a bunch of games. Like seriously, I think I have 500 games in the Playstation ecosystem. I have no idea how I accumulated these fuckers.

I got stuck more in the “idea” of gaming than the actual doing of gaming. It’s like the massive number of programming books I have bought over the years for things I will never do. I liked the idea that I would sit down at the end of the day and play Random Japanese RPG:IV at the end of a long day of work.

However, I ran into a knowledge barrier with them. I started trying to play various Final Fantasy games, but I had no background knowledge about how any of them work (yes, I know they’re all the same). So I would try to play them and die about two minutes in and have no idea what the hell just happened.

I would like to get better at video games.

Why I am Doing This

First off, I am writing a game. The game I am writing is a really old game that has already been play tested over many decades and has solid game mechanics. But this still fits under the kinds of games I personally feel comfortable with. I feel comfortable with card games and things that are solidly in the “casual game” field.

I would like to push myself into less comfortable territory and actually try other things. I would like to try and get through Mass Effect without dying while trying to save Liara. I would like to figure out the game mechanics for Final Fantasy.

I want to work through several video games and write about them on my blog from the perspective of someone who does not have a long history with these things.

I feel a little that video gaming is like programming. People kind of assume that if you are interested in it, you’ve done it your whole life and have a whole base of knowledge you don’t have. It’s not really welcoming to noobs who just want to get their feet wet and enjoy themselves. I think that’s incredibly unfortunate.

I would like to write about the things I encounter as a noob that make no sense to me. I would also like to explore various genres available to establish to myself that not all video games are first person shooters. I am sure there are a lot of compelling games out there that do more than just plunk you down in Iraq and have you blow up insurgents. I think that video games get a bad rap based on the more prominent members of the community and the things they tend to enjoy.

Since I am fairly slow with these things, I don’t know how many games I will get through. I may write about a game for several weeks.

I would appreciate suggestions for games people think are worth playing. I am interested in many different genres. I do ask for no purely first person shooters as I am terrible at those.

I have the following game systems:

  • PS3
  • PS4
  • PSVita
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Steam on Mac
  • iPhone/iPad

Fair warning, I am going to be talking about a bunch of “soft” games on here. I am unapologetically a “girl gamer” who does not kick your ass at Halo. I hope some day to be one that does, but for now I am not. I am trying to expand my horizons and experiment outside my comfort zone.