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How Do Games Grow Up?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-with-wheaties dept.

Games 248

Gamasutra is running a piece by game designer Brice Morrison questioning the lack of games for grown-ups — or, more accurately, the lack of an intellectual progression in games like that which exists for books, movies, and other creative works. "While my interests in other media grew substantially more adult — from Nickelodeon to CNN, from Dr. Seuss to George Orwell — games did not seem to have a more intelligent counterpart for me to move on to. As I entered college, I became less interested in mindless entertainment and more interested in encountering new ideas. I didn't want to kill time; I wanted to take advantage of it. I wanted to challenge myself with profound concepts, to learn of new paradigms, processes, and possibilities. ... So what exactly are the barriers of entry for great thinkers (or groups of thinkers) to leave their mark on games? What must happen for games — or interactive entertainment, if you will, to mature as a medium?"

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dfsf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658583)

dsgsg

My advice - don't look for satisfaction in games. (3, Insightful)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658599)

I didn't want to kill time; I wanted to take advantage of it. I wanted to challenge myself with profound concepts, to learn of new paradigms, processes, and possibilities.

That's your problem right there. Games only kill time. The skills you acquire as you progress in a game, generally speaking, can only be used in progressing within the game's framework.

However, learning a slightly more challenging real-life task gives you more skills with long-term usefulness; My youngest daughter is learning piano, and we view each new challenging piece she has to learn as a 'boss level' - no matter how impossible it seems initially, we know from previous examples that eventually she'll conquer it and ultimately will be able to play it on demand without thinking.

So my advice is - don't look for more 'grown up' games - challenge yourself with something much more rewarding and useful in the long term.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658783)

Yeah but real life has a completely messed up difficultly curve.

The boss level of 'getting up in the morning' comes first, and then it's much easier after that.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659125)

Are you married? There's your BOSS level. Then the kids... little mini bosses, all the damn time! :) Leaving for work... those are the easy levels.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659177)

I know what you mean. It looks impossible to defeat the boss in this area.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659421)

And you're CONSTANTLY worried about other players spawn-camping the boss and generally ganking you. . . . Unless, of course, you have a sugar-daddy to powerlevel you. . .

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659605)

My Boss definitely harder than getting up in the morning :)

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658867)

It really depends on the game. Action games do improve hand-eye coordination and reflexes. Strategy games improve planning and leadership abilities. RPGs are basically like long books and carry their own rewards in the form of their stories (unless you hate books also).

Playing piano is great and all for novelty, but it's not really a useful skill. It won't be needed often, if ever and it's not something that is noticeable unless you are one of the best. I don't mean to put down your daughter, but I doubt she will ever reach that "level".

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (4, Interesting)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659005)

Playing piano is great and all for novelty, but it's not really a useful skill. It won't be needed often, if ever and it's not something that is noticeable unless you are one of the best.

I take it you've never spent time in a pub band, or even writing songs with your mates in a garage band. Being able to play a musical instrument is very rewarding even without 'being noticed'.

I don't mean to put down your daughter, but I doubt she will ever reach that "level".

I'm pretty sure she'll never be a concert pianist, either, but claiming that the ability to play a musical instrument is something that will not be used often or ever just sounds ridiculous. Or maybe I've just been trolled...

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659085)

You've been trolled, musical talent is an awesome thing & it's own reward.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (2, Insightful)

paragon1 (1395635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659557)

This just in, apparently people have different opinions when it comes to games. Just like....everything else! Full story at 11.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659303)

I take it you've never spent time in a pub band, or even writing songs with your mates in a garage band. Being able to play a musical instrument is very rewarding even without 'being noticed'.

Probably not, this is news for nerds after all, not news for musicians ;D

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659361)

You claim "Games only kill time. The skills you acquire as you progress in a game, generally speaking, can only be used in progressing within the game's framework."

That is clearly true of a musical instrument. Skills with a piano only progress you within a piano's framework. Perhaps Western music as a whole, but the same can be said of games.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659267)

She won't if she follows the advice of fucktards like you.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (4, Interesting)

kisak (524062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658873)

I talked to someone in a research group working with optical tweezers [wikipedia.org] on biological cells, and they asked potential PhD students if they played games since it actually gave them a head-start when operating these equipments. It was of course not the sole criteria for accepting a PhD student in their group, but they had empirical evidence gaming was a benifit. :)

Eye-hand coordination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659397)

I'm going to school for welding right now, and one of the instructors told me that he's concluded that current students have a head start on oxyfuel and TIG welding because of the eye-hand coordination that they picked up while playing video games.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (2, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658889)

"Don't look for 'grown up' games"? Um, what about guitar hero? You mentioned learning piano; surely learning guitar would also be an intellectual pursuit.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (2, Informative)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658953)

Being good at Guitar Hero won't give you much benefit when you actually try to play a real guitar. In fact, the immediate good results you get from GH could actually discourage you from going through the basics of learning how to play the real thing properly.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659447)

There is one tangible benefit from GH tho, and all the other rhythm simulators. They teach rhythm. They accidentally teach how to keep time.

Coincidently, since I am pure white boy with no rhythm to speak of at all, I cannot possible play any rhythm simulators at all. Which is a sad reflection of the reality that I was not destined to ever play a musical instrument well, no matter how much I like practicing. /sigh

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659119)

it's late so maybe I didn't catch your joke, but are you being serious? playing guitar hero is almost nothing like playing an actual guitar.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659205)

What? Damn. So you mean I can't play guitar after all that guitar hero? Wow, next thing I'm going to find that Simmish isn't a real language! That's far scanning, man.

Sorry, it's hard to be sarcastic enough that people know you are not just one of the dumber denizens of slashdot.

Trolling aside, I do think that that edutainment, especially on innovative platforms like the Wii, has a big potential that will gradually come into play. But like video telephones and other things that computers should bloody well do, I expect it will take a while.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658895)

What piano-playing skills are useful in the world outside piano-playing? Are they ones which aren't possible to be gained playing videogames that also rely on rhythm, timing, hand-eye co-ordination and a swift interpretation of displayed information into the relevant key responses?

Being "able to play (a piece) on demand without thinking" certainly doesn't suggest it's an intellectual accomplishment.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (2, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658977)

The Victorians mailed in a letter. They want their parlor room piano back.

If I understand you properly, you are saying that the skill of "Piano" carries more value long term than any particular game which now has a short lifespan.

Thing is, "Piano" playing itself is already starting to be passed by, except for the modern ofshoot of playing Keyboard in a small band. Then the grownup game is arguing with band members with "creative differences".

You do realize the other hobbies are the same? (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659051)

That's your problem right there. Games only kill time. The skills you acquire as you progress in a game, generally speaking, can only be used in progressing within the game's framework.

I hope you do realize that the same applies to most of the RL skills waved around as "yeah, but look what _my_ hobby teaches me" proof that someone's pet hobby is better than gaming.

E.g., yes, your daughter's piano skills. (God knows how many kids have been tortured with _that_.) Unless her goal in life is an underpaid job in an orchestra that skill is useful for exactly one thing: more playing the piano. Usefulness for any other RL activity: zero.

And yes, you could say that she's going to be a great pianist and earn teh big bucks by being some concert's super-star. Guess what? His chances are about as good to make money as a gaming superstar. Or rather, your daughter's chances are just as bad. Not everyone gets to be Fatal1ty and not everyone gets to be a superstar musician. There are 1000 times more people wanting such a job, than people who actually get one.

But at any rate, the same chances apply to making living out of gaming. He can theoretically end up making a living out of being a top gamer, same as your daughter can theoretically end up a legendary pianist. Your daughter can end up a composer instead, and he can end up a game programmer with that experience. Your daughter can end up scraping by on a minimum wage playing in some orchestra or some unknown band in a bar, he can end up a minimum-wage game tester.

More likely, for most children who went through that, the only result is, ta-da, that they killed some time with it.

So remind me, exactly what do you base that snottiness on, when you look down upon his hobby? No, seriously.

But let's move on, let's see more poster children for "look at what a cool RL hobby I have" idiocies that get waved around all the time:

- mountaineering, camping, and other excuses to go out in the wild. Exactly what skills do people learn there, and when will they apply them IRL? Because it seems to me that the only times when you'll apply any of them, is... next time you go do that hobby. That's it. E.g., exactly when will you have to find north by the moss on the trees... in a city? If you want the actual useful version of that, get a GPS navigation system. No, let's make no bullshit pretenses, it's just a way to kill time.

- fishing. The chances you'll ever feed and clothe your family with a fishing pole, are practically nil. You'll never catch enough fish to sell them and, say, pay for your kid's clothes and education with it, because fish are freaking cheap. You'll never get a job to sit near a lake with a fishing pole, either. The way it's done nowadays is with big boats and nets, not with a fishing rod. And even, let's say, in a post-apocalyptic Fallout-type scenario, where are you going to fish? There just aren't enough rivers around to support even the most minimum population that way. Most have been depleted already, and you may notice that the fishing hobbyists go to some fish farm actually, where fish are artifficially fed and raised for that. So again, chance to ever get any other use out of that skill: zero. It's just a way to kill some time, and any skill you get there will only ever be used when you next go fishing.

- messing with one's car. I hate to break it to some people, but _very_ few even save any money there. Yes, everyone has some anecdote of that time they fixed the car themselves and saved a fortune. But almost everyone forgets those other times when they just made it worse and had to pay more to get it fixed, or the money spent on all those extra bits and pieces and tools that never actually got used enough to pay for themselves. And usually what they save is not worth the time spent there. There are people who practically live in the garage. Even if you saved $100 once (and you won't save more, unless you also smelt and forge your components too), if you spent 20 hours in the garage, you don't get much money per hour out of that.

And again, unless you aim for a job as a mechanic, chance to ever get any other use out of that skill: zero. It's a skill which will only be used next time you go kill some time with the car.

And again, it's actually just a way to kill some time.

- collecting stamps, cards, whatever. Not even worth going too deep into that topic, because I seriously can't imagine any scenario where one would use _those_ skills in any other activity.

Etc.

Look, don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you that you should play games instead, nor that games are better. I'm just saying that essentially games are the _same_. _All_ hobbies are just a way to kill some time in a more fun way than staring at the walls. All animals, humans included, aren't designed to sit idle. Even your cat or dog or parrot or whatever, whenever they're not sleeping or doing something else, get a signal in the brain that says "I'm bored, go do something." So we find something to do in that time.

So let's drop the snotty pretence that some hobbies are a way to learn teh uber-useful RL skills, unlike gaming which is such a waste of time 'cause it's all virtual. _All_ are just a way to kill time, and in 99% of the cases any skills learned there are _only_ useful when you next go do that hobby. That's it.

Basically, the sooner we all stop lying to ourselves, the better. That goes for both those finding excuses for gaming, and for those looking too hard for an excuse as to why their own pet hobby is better. We're all wasting some time. Some just choose to lie to themselves about it.

Re:You do realize the other hobbies are the same? (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659279)

I'd have to disagree about your car fixing situation. My father has only owned one new car in his whole life, and he sold it years ago. The only reason he performs maintenance on his cars is to keep them running, not because he enjoys it. It was a hobby for him when he was a teenager, but it's not a hobby for him anymore. He does it now to save money, not to have a good time.

Fixing up a junker into a cherry newish car would definitely be a hobby, and it would probably be more expensive than buying a new car if you factored in the time involved, but regular car maintenance isn't a wasted skill. Nevermind simple tasks like changing your own oil instead of paying through the nose for it, or the basic tune up. If you have to replace your car's starter, it's a pain in the ass to do it yourself, but it's also immensely cheaper.

Re:You do realize the other hobbies are the same? (3)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659553)

More likely, for most children who went through that, the only result is, ta-da, that they killed some time with it.

So remind me, exactly what do you base that snottiness on, when you look down upon his hobby? No, seriously.

Seriously ? Having an introduction the beautiful, engaging world of playing and creating music.

Besides, it sounds to me like the original author is the one who's 'looking down upon his hobby', not me.

Re:You do realize the other hobbies are the same? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659697)

That's just the thing. All hobbies are entertaining, engaging, can be beautiful and most of them stimulate creativity. Games are no exception. I fail to see why you'd put games in a different league.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659275)

Yeah because being able to play random song on the piano is so much more useful than most frags in quake or top ranking on the wc3 ladder?

"My interest is so much better than yours!"

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659459)

Strategy games makes you better at evaluating choices, and helps you better understand / keep control of (your) economy.

FPS increase reaction times, timing and hand/eye coordination. You also learn to think quickly

RPG's you set a goal and keep working towards that. Some of them have a damn good story to tell, much like a good book.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659655)

Strategy games makes you better at evaluating choices, and helps you better understand / keep control of (your) economy.

Apparently, gaming at the stock exchange does not help that much as recent developments indicate. Now, how can you have a positive transfer from a strategy game if there is none in real life?

CC.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (3, Insightful)

Sal Zeta (929250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659493)

They said the same for Cinematography, Photography , Theater and even written books, starting from Plato.

Re:My advice - don't look for satisfaction in game (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659659)

That's your problem right there. Games only kill time.

I disagree. There is no reason that other media, such as books and movies, is somehow more capable of offering more productivity than games. The only real difference is games offer some sort of interaction.

Games can be used to discuss serious topics and conceptually challenge the player. Consider Deus Ex and it's discussion of the way information and technology is blending in with humanity - literally. It's discussion of government and freedoms (and terrorism).

The problem is that few games genuinely try to do more than deliver shallow entertainment, and of the few that do only a small chunk do it any what well. (I haven't met anyone who's had their views changed by Metal Gear Solid's anti-nuke stuff). This is largely because many people (such as yourself, it seems) can't get passed the idea that a game can have just as much - if not more - depth than other media. As a result there is no market.

However, learning a slightly more challenging real-life task gives you more skills with long-term usefulness; My youngest daughter is learning piano

What? I'm actually quite fond of the piano, but seriously now. With piano it'll be much easier to entertain others; beyond that I fail to see how it is any what more real-world beneficial than, say, the game of Go. Heck, the main reason piano would be better for entertainment is because of this mental stigmata against games - otherwise a discussion of Go could be quite entertaining in it's own right.

I don't mean any offense, but it's your mentality that has largely ensured the gap in games on par with, say, George Orwell's works. Try to open up a little - there is just so much potential there.

Must be windy. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658621)

How's life up in the intellectual ivory tower again? Must be windy looking down on us.

Anyway, games are - here it comes - ENTERTAINMENT. Hence they're supposed to help you relax, have fun and ,amazingly enough, enjoy them.

If I wanted to pursue more 'intellectual pursuits', I would socialize and discuss issues with other people rather than play games.

Re:Must be windy. (5, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658643)

If I wanted to pursue more 'intellectual pursuits', I would socialize

This is /. I anticipate a problem with this approach.

Re:Must be windy. (1)

paragon1 (1395635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659665)

"Hey guys, so how-"

"OBAMA!"

"MCCAIN!"

"OBAMA!"

"MCCAIN!" *fist fight ensues*

Yeah other people have such useful things to say.

Or, as Joshua put it... (2, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658623)

The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

Re: Chess! (4, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658995)

Really now.

Anand just won the final step of the total unification of the world chess championship, and Slashdot couldn't be bothered to report it. I USED to think chess was at least slightly Stuff That Mattered.

Re:Or, as Joshua put it... (1)

Crio (246534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659229)

Seconded.

Chess, checkers, go, bridge, renju - over millenia humanity came up with a lot of challenging games which can and are very intellectually rewarding.

Re:Or, as Joshua put it... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659693)

Chess, checkers, go, bridge, renju ...

Also the 'martial arts' variety of games, for a more holistic reward.

CC.

Adult Games (0)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658651)

Fallout 3. Portal. GTA 4.

There's plenty of games labelled Adults Only. Don't know if they bring new concepts apart from Portal, however...

Re:Adult Games (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658767)

My boss told me to treat work like a game, try to have fun moving the spreadsheets around to make things work. I began to sink into a mode where what ever I do at work, I just think I'm playing something like Chip's Challenge or something.

Re:Adult Games (4, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658861)

You work for Mary Poppins ???

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go doooooown.....

Re:Adult Games (2, Insightful)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659233)

Games simply containing sex and violence doesn't really sound like what he's looking for. Instead, by the sounds of it, he's looking for depth and challenge. The top games in this field IMO are:

  • Civilization (II-IV): Stretch your planning and management brain muscles. The last three versions have their afficiandos who proclaim theirs is the best; in my experience they're all quite good. Alternately, for more tactical depth, try Medieval II: Total War.
  • Neverwinter Nights: While the original campaign lacks substance, there are some truly excellent player-created campaigns with deep, involving plot-lines. The campaigns that come with the two expansions are decent, but for the real stuff look at the top-ranked user-created modules.
  • The Longest Journey: Who ever said that adventure games were dead? If you liked the King's Quest series as a youth/child, you should like The Longest Journey as an adult.

Interesting that they'll all PC games, but after browsing my console game collection I came up pretty close to blank. Mass Effect is great fun but isn't actually all that deep when you get down to it. The Fire Emblem series is mentally challenging but not as deeply as the broader strategy and tactics games available on PC. The various other genres that I may seem to be ignoring such as sport, fighting or racing aren't really designed to expand the mind like a good piece of literature can - which is no criticism of those genres, but merely pointing out that they exist for a different level of entertainment.

Re:Adult Games (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659443)

And all the strategy games and friends:

Europa Universalis III
X3: Terran Conflict
Heart of Iron II
Space Empires V
Railroad Tycoon III

Simulations (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659741)

I'll throw a few suggestions in here. Flight sims are the best known examples - civilian and combat - but also consider naval sims, such as the Silent Hunter [ubi.com] series, and Storm Eagle Studios's Distant Guns [stormeaglestudios.com] and the upcoming Jutland [stormeaglestudios.com] .

Alternatively, have a look at regatta simulators, such as the Virtual Skipper [virtualskipper-game.com] series.

Nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658713)

get raped by a succubi.

Re:Nethack (1)

rekrutacja (647394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659393)

Actually this is a perfect game for grown up. I started with ZX Spectrum platform shhoters, than was Doom and networked Quake, after that i found Warcraft, Starcraft and other RTS. Now Nethack is the only game i play. I'm interested in fancy graphics anymore, but deep gameplay is something i admire.

Xenogears (0, Offtopic)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658721)

Just play Xenogears end to end and you'll have your fill of mature gaming. Lots of family-friendly concepts like genocide, cannibalism, reincarnation, genome experiments, torture, Freudian psychology, and many more, all pave the way on your noble quest to kill God. It's like every heavy metal album combined. Highly recommended.

Re:Xenogears (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659147)

I bought that game new years & years ago. Never could get it to save on anything. Even while being emulated on my PC.

but..but.. (2, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658725)

Sometimes gamers don't *want* their games to become more complex as they mature.

Take for example the Caesar 3/Zeus/Cleopatra games of Impression Studio's. They decided it was time to go more mature and produced Children of the Nile', which was more complex in many ways, and altered the gameplay to make the game 'more challenging'. However the result was a game which differed so much from the core attraction of the previous titles that it bombed, going onto the bargain shelves really quickly. So then they took a step back and released Caesar 4. A bit too high on the system spec requirements, but nice looking, a decent evolution of their core game, and really good fun. In many respects its similar to games they were producing five years previously, and this was a good thing.

And what about that other great failure of progression when they decided Worms need to be 3D? Talk about New Coke...

I've been playing games for the last (counts on wrinkles and old person skin blemishes..) 24 years, so I'm well aware of the evolution of the industry. Some evolutions have been great, better AI, improvements in graphics, more depth in games, stuff like that, but others, like 'customer as potential criminal suspect', not so much.

New types of game have appeared which I really enjoy, though I have to say, very few groundbreaking games, which is surprising. Instead I've also noticed a tendency for games companies to pound a franchise to death with endless tiny iterations until it gets to the point that the only new thing in some new releases are new skins, a few extra effects and some more items.

A good game should evolve, true, but each iteration should be an obvious advance, enhancing the core elements that make that game fun to begin with. What it shouldn't do is catch 'New Coke' disease, or pretend to be a new version worth a whole new purchase when the content changes are less than some decent games companies (Id, Valve, Egosoft to name a few) release as free content updates.

Re:but..but.. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659059)

I think too many devs just dial up the complexity in the wrong places. Look at a PS123 or Xbox 360 controller, many games actually use every single button and d-pad direction on these things and even then run out of buttons and bind the analog stick clicks as well! The resulting game consists mostly of running around and shooting anything that moves, interspersed with cutscenes that seem to follow a script that would be considered bad even for a B-Movie.

Re:but..but.. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659061)

"Sometimes gamers don't *want* their games to become more complex as they mature."

Well, and sometimes people don't want their tv to mature either.

I still watch Nickelodeon more than CNN.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Re:but..but.. (1)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659381)

Spongebob Squarepants, obviously. However, I do not see how that relates to your point!</hehe>

Re:but..but.. (1)

Catil (1063380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659341)

You are probably right but TFA is not really about the complexity of games. It doesn't matter how difficult a game is - if it is a mindless timekiller on 'easy,' it is still a mindless timekiller on 'ultra-violence' mode.
The gaming equivalent to books like 'Brave New World' is not Chess. Chess doesn't make you think about life or reflect on past decisions and historical events or make you look at things from another perspective. 'Brave New World' certainly does that; it even has the potential to change your life.
The most "mature" games I've recently played were 'Mass Effect' and 'Indigo Prophecy.' They didn't make me think but they managed to touch me emotionally - something I've only experienced with books and a few movies before. I think those are definitely step into the right direction.

One game that could come close to what the author would perhaps like to see is a Flash game I came across a year ago. Unfortunately I can't find it anymore, so here is a basic description:
You see a small middle-eastern town slightly form above. There are many civilians going about their normal business and a small number of terrorists. As a player you have ability to shoot the terrorists but whenever you take one out, all civilians who witness it become terrorists themselves.
It may fall a bit into the 'common sense' category for many people but I guess there are at least some people who would (and should) think a minute or two about it and maybe reconsider their opinion on certain foreign policies.
Mabye there are other games coming closer. I'd like to learn about them.

Re:but..but.. (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659679)

Gameplay complexity != Intellectual maturity

Grown up games (5, Insightful)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658727)

Plenty of "games" for grown ups that are challenging...
- Programming
- 3D modelling
- Spreadsheets
- Online banking
- and so on...

Re:Grown up games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658893)

+ Hacking linux

Re:Grown up games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658969)

+ Stabbing yourself in the eye

Re:Grown up games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658971)

+ Trolling Freenode

Re: Banking (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659017)

... Reloading the Saved Level of Banking3D by the Bush administration!

Re: Banking (2, Funny)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659635)

Load Failure. Possible corrupt record.
(R)etry, (P)anic, (E)migrate?

Re:Grown up games (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659549)

- Dating... oh wait, wrong site...

The japanese tradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658735)

The metal gear franchise may be nowadays overhyped, but at least plotwise, it established a lingering tradition to interweave interesting ideas with flawless gameplay. I have not played the latest installment of the series, but if one believes the game critics, it is possible to expect hideo kojima to have topped himself. Intelligence is necessary to follow the plot, and to calculate by oneself the implications of some of the most interesting ideas, most in the border between sci-fi and reality.

Incidentally, the japanese in general have developed interesting characters with very well conceived personalities, usually avoiding maniqueistic black and whiteness. This is, for me, an important factor that was left out of most of the mainstream games. Unfortunately, as the market regulates the game industry, this tradition is slowly fading. Japanese are following the money, at least with the games that are released in the west (europe in my case). I wonder which are the brilliant games that that never make the translation.

But the psychological complexity of the characters, of course, does not alone make for an intelligent game. Or one that challenges your intelligence, for that matter. Most MG sequels have been intelligently designed, in terms of game play. Now, to whether they challenge intelligent players to evolve, or are games that are intelligent per se, these are two different questions.

Unfortunately, I have not seen any current game which is simultaneously challenging, immersive and inspired. I'll be following this thread to see if anyone else has.

Bioshock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658737)

Bioshock was a great, pseudo-intellectual game. It kept me entertained.

Be cautiously pessimmistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25658741)

Eternal vigilance is required to stem the dire Italian menace against our youth. Down with Italians and their nefarious ices! Up with Hot Dogs!!!

Adult vs not-for-kids (5, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658779)

Usually the "adult" label is used not for actual weighty content geared for an adult audience with mature tastes, but just a repository for those things that traditionally children shouldn't be exposed to. Sorry, that doesn't make it adult-oriented, that just makes it non-kid-friendly, and typically can be best described as adolescent (boobs, explosions, gore, swearing, "gritty", "edgy", etc) content that would make Beavis and Butthead proud.

In my case, I've left all the AAA titles and tended towards puzzle games, where at least I'm challenged to expand my thought processes and puzzle solving abilities. There are some plot-heavy RPGs and FPSes nowadays with some challenging concepts or unexpected twists, but they still tend to be buried in adolescence to make them marketable, ignoring the amount of >30yo and female gamers who are no longer enticed by such or are even turned off by it.

I do commend Nintendo for putting a lot of focus on basic fun, party, family-enjoyable games which have been explosively popular without the adolescent slant, but they still do leave the adult-minded player wishing to be challenged at a more cerebral level.

Re:Adult vs not-for-kids (3, Interesting)

DarkGreenNight (647707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659535)

That's exactly one of the problems with games nowadays. I want to play an RPG being a middle age man with experience, not a youngster who cannot think or control his hormones.

I want to choose over different moral dilemmas and face the consequences. A game where I could relate to the main character and not wanting to strangle him/her because their inept social or observational skills.

I want a game for adults, not an adult's game (read: boobies).

Re:Adult vs not-for-kids (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659641)

Thank you. Well put.

That being said, do you know of any good RPGs or FPSes, or anything with a storyline for that matter, that do manage to transcend adolescence? I would really like to play through a more "serious" game.

He played Mario, doesn't that say it all? (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658791)

The claims that games don't provide a challenge, no depth. The game he uses as an example, and the only example? Mario.

This is like saying TV provides no depth, after you spend all time studying the shopping channel.

There are other games. Games that have tried to go beyond a simple platformer. Wether they succeed is up for question but when I see someone talk about the lack of depth of games and his example if a simple platform console game I get visions of a large lumbering stone creature that lives under bridges.

So his mother was never intrested in playing Mario. So what? My mother was never intrested in reading the adventures of "Spot" either.

Somebody give this guy a PC and some decent games. Hell, even consoles have the occasional title that pushes the envelope a bit (so, I am PC snob, sue me) but if he never played more the mario then the problem is not the game industry but his own lousy taste.

Complaing that Mario not anything more then a mindless (if fun) time waster is like saying Popcorn doesn't have enough nutritional benefits, however true it is, it is retarded observation. Mario and Popcorn are light fluf, devoid of meaning or value except. That is their goal.

But we get the post true intentions. Apparently the future of gaming is weight loss gaming. WHEE! Because a program that tracks your weight becomes a game just because it is on a console? If this is the example of growing up, of challenging your mind, taking you new places, then I take Mario any time (and I hate Mario since I suck at platforms ergo platforms are stupid).

Perhaps this developer needs to grow up and realize that not everything has to be liked by everyone. I had a grandfather who never ever had a telephone. Never needed it, never wanted it. Does that mean telephones are without value to those who use them? That the telephone companies needed to worry about this "lost" customer?

Re:He played Mario, doesn't that say it all? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659113)

If you object to calling Wii Fit a game you should try playing it. Plenty of modes are games in addition to being exercise (snowboarding, DDR-like step aerobics, etc).

Perhaps this developer needs to grow up and realize that not everything has to be liked by everyone. I had a grandfather who never ever had a telephone. Never needed it, never wanted it. Does that mean telephones are without value to those who use them? That the telephone companies needed to worry about this "lost" customer?

Not if it's one or two luddites but it looks like we're talking about several milions of people, enough to propel the former last place in the console market into the first place just by tapping those groups.

They've been tried before... (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658799)

From the first basic games like Pong and Pacman to platformers and finally the shift to full 3D, we've seen more of a maturity not just in the types of games but mostly the technological needs of the medium.

A book might be incredibly easy to pick up and read but to understand more complicated concepts requires a maturing mind to accompany it. This spectrum of the printed medium makes it popular across all demographics - not just the "geek" group. When it comes to games (or the tech, as stated above), the maturity is found in how easily it can be adopted by the masses. Ease-of-use advances such as Plug'n'Play devices for systems like computers/consoles and home entertainment will give gaming a wider-acceptance just as the progression and availability of printing facilites allowed more and more people to become writers eventually saturating our bookstores with wide ranges of subjects.

I think that as we see a wider acceptance of this pastime (much like TV) it will start to mature in the content that is consumed. We've started to see a change in these content-delivery systems already where we now have on-demand streaming pornography for TV, bloody and disturbing movies like SAW, and violent testosterone-fueled games like the multitudes of gorey shooters (really, too many to name).

In the end, it'll come down to what people want to consume via their entertainment system of choice. The classic laws of supply and demand will untimately be the victor. Though as the average age of your gaming population continues to increase (last I heard it was 28-ish) our minds may crave more intellectual stimulation and this will start to be reflected in the content that is produced.

That said, if you really want your games to challenge you then go find a good puzzle game or flash based sudoku... :)

Online flash games (1)

Davemania (580154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658805)

I do find that most commerical games are just repetition of previous games. Same game mechanics, adjusted story lines, with a few innovation here and there. The games that actually challenges me ? Free flash puzzle games, and there are plenty of them on the web.

Re:Online flash games (2, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658919)

mod -1: inconvenient truth.

Re:Online flash games (2, Insightful)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659195)

Indeed [xkcd.com] ...

Seriously speaking, though, the popularity of flash games has also much to do with the fact that they're right there, easy to access. You receive an e-mail from a friend with a link to a new one, click it and can immediately start playing.

The current video-games now have online content and easy network access, but you still have to change medias and spend time and money. That makes a lot of difference.

Re:Online flash games (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659617)

You're right, but I think there's one more important aspect to add. Along with that easy availability, you get the benefit of the "great internet filter", meaning that it's easy for lots of people to try lots of games, and share only the good ones with people who have similar tastes.

Flash games certainly aren't a giant buffet table where everything is perfectly cooked and delicious. It's actually very similar to the tradition games industry, with a few masterpieces floating in a sea of mediocre choices. But the easy of access that you mentioned makes it so much easier for the good games to rise to the top, and get separated from the stuff that's not worth the time.

How do you define games? (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658839)

Flight simulators.

Generally not held as 'games', referred to specifically as 'simulators'. Why? 'Games' refers explicitly to ones which are designed to entertain at least somewhat mindlessly. The 'more boring' variety of games the article asks for already exist, they are just referred to under other names.
See also: 'Documentary' Vs. 'TV Show'.

Which isn't to say there aren't any out there that require an adult mind to appreciate which are nonetheless referred to as games. See also: ICO.

Re:How do you define games? (1)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659091)

dude I was so going to quote Ico. Also, Shadow of the Colossus.

Games and Hollywood Movies... (2, Insightful)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658905)

Games today IMHO can be compared to blockbuster movies: Lots of special effects and mass market. If you have a brand (GTA) or a star (Lara Croft, Mario) you repeat the concept - with better special effects and a larger budget - as long as you have a ROI, sometimes (always?) sacrificing artistic ambitions for the bottom line. But some Hollywood studios (and most publishers for that matter) use some of the blockbuster cash to subsidize experiments for smaller audiences and there also is a rather large independent scene with smaller budgets using festivals (e.g. Sundance in the US) that create visibility. Maybe the game industry - and the blockbuster publishers - should invest some money in more experimental concepts - kind of a Bell Labs for gaming - and provide visibility for these beyond the large trade shows.

Re:Games and Hollywood Movies... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659261)

You don't have to make a sequel to sacrifice "art" for profit. Wii Sports has pretty much zero artistic expression but brought in massive profits (by selling Wii systems to many people), same for Brain Age and such. These are still "risky" (not really since they didn't cost much and Nintendo probably knew they'd sell well but they weren't just rehashes) and experimental concepts but there was no art involved, at least none beyond the art of getting the gameplay to work and appeal to so many people despite sounding really stupid in concept.

Art is mostly ego masturbation for the developer, a way of saying "look how awesome we are to put this much art into our game!". The art is really just tacked on, artwork, stories, music, etc pasted onto the game to increase the value by secondary means. Often the artsy games still fail to show much creativity in the core component, the game itself. In fact it sometimes seems like these artists see the game as something that gets tacked on the art and sometimes even compromise the game itself for the art (look at the number of Wii games that insist on using their own character models instead of Miis in order to get their own graphical style, leaving the player out of the decision process of how he'd like to be represented).

How many games are really art? I don't mean games covered in art but games that ARE art themselves. Art that would not be possible in any other medium (ignoring restrictions like sane play lengths for movies and such). Would Ico lose its impact if it were a movie? Would Rez be pointless if it was a visualizer/screensaver? Would Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid suffer from having the gameplay between the cutscenes removed? On the other hand, would Wii Sports be anything if it didn't have the core gameplay?

Art always has to work within the constraint of profitability and it seems that gaming does not want to acknowledge that, instead claiming that art has to exist independent or in spite of profitability.

Modern games aside (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658955)

Many consider chess to be a very intellectual and sophisticated game.
Pure strategy, or whatever it is they say. Personally I'd rather just waste time blowing stuff up.

If you're bored (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658963)

If you're bored of simply running about enjoying other people's content and not creating anything worthwhile, why don't you start making your own stuff? Become a programmer or a modder today!

PhilosoFIST (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25658993)

profound concepts, to learn of new paradigms, processes, and possibilities ... So what exactly are the barriers of entry for great thinkers (or groups of thinkers) to leave their mark on games?

Just the way this is worded sounds awfully pedantic and is borderline shoddy intellectuliasm. Video games are meant to be played, yes, like children playing with their toys. I'm sorry if the analogy is unbearable for some adults who look back with contempt at their childhood's leisures but the aim of games is to provide fun, entertainment, so until this is redefined, whoever needs to have "deep" thinking trips would be best advise to discuss with academics or read books written by them on philosophy, metaphysics, or whatever rocks his vessel.

However, I would also have to disagree with the "mindless fun" designation. Like in every media/art, there are many different types of games that require various skills and inclinations. From strategy games to puzzle games, there are plenty of titles that test the sharpness of your mental faculties. And if it's not the treat humanists are looking for, there's still the option to analyze the current games offering rather than expecting them to offer you food for the brains in a conspicuous package. What I mean by that is that some games may already propose deeper themes and topics and material for debates and thinking, all you need is just to look for them, look beyond the gameplay, this is one way to explore games with a more adult view and it's certainly better than expecting them to serve pompous content with a Plato Seal of Quality.

Simple answer (1)

StupiderThanYou (896020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659045)

If you like playing games, play games. If you don't like playing games, don't play games. If you like agonising over every aspect of your life, go right ahead. Some people may even find it interesting.

Kind of a wank comment to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659073)

As I've gotten older as a gamer, I'm finding much more enjoyment in RTSs like the Homeworld series and in flight simulators and such.
There are games out there for people looking to work their brains more than their reaction times if you're willing to look past the usual rush of first person shooters and what not that get pressed to the forefront of gaming.

Because its hard to preserve narrative momentum (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659081)

when you mix in the actual gameplay. If I'm watching a movie or reading a book, other than "real life" interruptions, there is nothing to stop me from finishing the whole thing without pause. Games however have to break up the narrative to allow your character to do things.
For example, I'm sure the Tactics Ogre games had a great story, but I didn't really follow it after playing the games for a few hours. They would have cutscenes that introduce some characters, plot points etc. then you would have to battle for about 20 minutes, followed by another cutscene, followed by more battle etc. The battles were fun(or else I wouldn't have played the game), but it certainly was time consuming, so when you mix in the fact that I had other responsibilities, the whole thing became very hard to follow. Eventually I just skipped through the plot and went straight into the gameplay.

IMO the best game stories are the ones that give you a connection to your character and motivation for achieving the objectives. Thats it. If you want a book, read a book.....

Re:breaking up the narritive (2, Insightful)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659151)

In any game which is both attempting to tell a story and be an 'adult' (as in intellectual/emotional maturity, not 18+ content) game, the gameplay should be *part* of the narrative.

Games which have to put the narrative on pause are really just short stories laid on top of game mechanics that, as you say, would do just as well without.

Re:breaking up the narritive (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659743)

Can you give examples of recent games that merge the narritive with gameplay?

to paraphrase the author: (5, Insightful)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659083)

this thing sucks because it is not some other thing [penny-arcade.com] .

You can have something which is completely utilitarian, which is not a game. These programs exist: Iraqi culture simulations, reflex training programs, etc.
You can also have something which has a sense of whimsy and fun. This is a game, and some of them have the potential to make you think or to awe you with their beauty.
I don't know what the author is bitching about. He wants games without the fun, it would seem; games which take themselves as seriously as he does. Those just aren't games.
He thinks games are a medium on the level of television. This is wrong. The computer is the medium. Games are merely a flavor of program, much as game-shows are flavor of television. Do you expect your game-shows to "progress intellectually" as you age?
Fucking games journalists. Enough pretentious, bullshit opinion pieces. Get back to your fucking jobs.

Re:to paraphrase the author: (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659607)

I got the impression that the question that was really asked could have been phrased "What if I want something that is both fun and mentally challenging?" (No, lightning-fast reflexes and being skilled at getting headshots is not mentally challenging).

Perhaps I'm biased as I'm one of those people who love RTS games yet hate most of them since the best tactic tends to just be "build enough structures to be able to quickly crank out one or two specfic types of unit and then pound away at your enemy until one of you wins".

/Mikael

I disagree (1)

((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659111)

I disagree with this guy Brice Morrison.

Not only now, but since games have existed in mass there are examples of this mature growth. From Galaga to The Hobbit, Super Mario to Resident Evil and from Lego Batman to Dwarf Fortress.

Not only is there adult content, but also complex adult thinking games.

This article really just looks like a promo for them going for a new mature game soon.

Chris.

Fable II? (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659117)

I know what you mean. There are books, music, movies, ... that range from "for three-year-olds" to conceptual challenges suitable for a mature adult (not dirty, but with a more depth and breadth) mind, but no games AFAIK.

The producers of Fable II have been touting that it allows you to explore as either a "good" or "bad" guy and shades between. I don't have a copy, but the reviews seem to bear this out. While you're still exploring someone else's idea of good/bad in how they plotted the game, even in books and movies you're really following the writer's exposition. The question, since it's supposed to entertainment, is how much you enjoy the ride.

One of the things I liked about "Alpha Centauri" was how you could choose a faction that suited various "ethic"s, from fundamentalist nut-case to capitalist pig, and the strengths/weaknesses of the ethic had some reflection in the play.

Puzzle/Adventure (2, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659475)

Certain games in the Myst/Riven series, for example, have been challenging in an intellectually stimulating way, most notably Riven and Uru.

Many strategy games, particularly turn-based strategy games, also fit the bill.

I don't think games will ever become "educational" at the adult level, because in large part pedagogical concerns are part of the world of work for adults (stuff you have to learn for work, stuff you have to learn for this project or that one, etc.) and the point of gaming is to escape the world of work... unless we begin to transition to a society in which regular user interfaces for work-style tasks are constructed with game-like interfaces and metaphors, but I dont' see that happening.

The point for an "adult" game is to keep it from being utterly mindless and/or adolescent, to provide intellectual stimulation by requiring the juxtaposition and analytical processing of facts and information, even if these are fictional and appear in the context of a game.

To that end, my vote goes to the best of the puzzle/adventure games (the good ones with "puzzles" the scale of the entire game stretchign across contexts, not the shitty ones which have tended to be truly horrible an mind-numbing) and the turn-based strategy games.

By getting simpler. (2, Insightful)

mk2mark (1144731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659479)

My dad plays card games and tetris. I think as we get older, a) our imagination becomes stifled by greater experience of a world that is real and b) the time an average adult has and is willing to invest in games diminishes.

For these reasons I'd suggest as games mature they become less fantastical, and simpler in concept - or more or less the opposite of what you may imagine as a game maturing.

The reason is technical (2, Informative)

HertzaHaeon (1164143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659579)

I think the reason is partly technical. Games are by definition interactive. Interactivity requires logical rules that can be expressed in programming. But there aren't any good programming solutions for social or intellectual interaction. Gaming AI is still in its infancy, even if people are working to change that. Right now it's much easier to model objects colliding than people being social or intelligent.

Games' focus on guns, cars and jumping can surely be attributed to a range of reasons, including tradition and male domination, but I think it's primarily because there's no way of realizing anything else in code yet. We're still waiting for an AI revolution that can match the graphical revolution we've seen in the last decade.

Games are art (1)

paragon1 (1395635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659601)

At their purest form, games are a medium, a type of art, just as valid as every other form of expression. The layer of interactivity they possess lends them a uniqueness that isn't present in other mediums.

Unfortunately, that layer is too often used to own noobs and flex virtual reproductive organs.

What will it take for games to grow up? Designers that are interested in making games that are for their own sake, not games that are designed purely for the sake of becoming a cash cow.

I say, as colleges begin to churn out talents interested in making games as art instead of as money makers, we will begin to see a new age of intelligent computer games that appeal to certain niches. Kind of how there are novels that only appeal to a certain type, movies that only appeal to a certain type, etc. Games will get there too, it is but a matter of time.

The real question is: when games fulfill their potential, will they still be merely a game?

Games vs. Simulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659657)

I think there can be a parallel between games and maturity, but it depends on what you define as 'game'. Simulations in the flying community are popular, and fill the technical complexity and maturity niche for those particular folks. See Martin Schweiger's Orbiter as an example of the complexity and immersion that can be achieved for hobbyists.

rhetorical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659729)

OK I understand the point that the guy is making but its rhetorical. He's a game designer for EA (does adding 1 to a number count as game design?). gamersutra and slashdot readers probably already know where to find the type of game that challenges them so all the article does is reinforce in the non-gaming population a negative stereotype of games as being for children.
And if theres an obvious hole in the market where's all the EA games that this guy is making that are filling that hole?

Two words: Interactive Fiction (2, Insightful)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25659753)

How come nobody has yet mentioned IF Archive? [ifarchive.org] The most innovative, thought provoking and literary games are not on your regular console.

Text adventures come in several flavours, many are typically puzzle-based, while others are just a sequential narrative. These have all the advantages of a novel in terms of profound concepts, possibilities and adult themes. But the active involvement that they require to keep the action going makes them a different experience compared to passive uncovering of the plot: they make you think about the storyline, step by step, and get involved in it in first person.

Also there are an annual competition that regularly provides new material, free to play. Some of these beasts provide the most original and interesting gameplays I've seen in a long while; see Galatea [wurb.com] as an example (you can play it online) [setonhill.edu] .

Write your own! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25659799)

I found I play far fewer games these days, I prefer whiping out a copy of Dark Basic or Blitz, Perl at a pinch, writing my own silly games and amusements!

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