Unlike many of my contemporaries, I’ve never really been into gaming. I never had an Atari 2600, and the games that came with the TI99/4 we had never appealed to me much. I played a little Centipede in arcades, and was impressed with Dragon’s Lair when it came out (but was never any good at it). Back in the mid-90s, my wife’s uncle gave us a hand-me-down Super Nintendo, and we played a little bit of Lost Vikings, which was pretty cool, but didn’t hold my interest long.
Lately, we’ve gotten a Wii to try to encourage my kid to improve his hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. That’s right–I want my kid to play more video games. We also got a PS3 bundled with a TV for Christmas, so I’m making another go at gaming. I bought Bioshock for the PS3, and after about an hour of playing was was appalled at what I was doing. The 1080p graphics are far beyond any of the games I grew up with, but I could only take so much bloodsplatter from headshots. I realized I’d just spent an hour killing more people than I could count and then looting their corpses. As much as I think that government in general ought to leave people alone, one reason I’m not a full-on Ayn Randian libertarian is that I don’t believe in that kind of sociopathic society, and I sure don’t want to live in one. Why would I want to spend hours playing in one?
I have, however, been enjoying Disney’s new Epic Mickey. While the Wii’s graphical capabilities aren’t anywhere near the PS3’s, the graphics are still pretty stunning to someone whose last console game came out during the first Bush administration. Having grown up in Orlando (and been lucky enough to be one of Walt’s 5000 closest friends who got to go to the Magic Kingdom before it opened to the public–I’m not sure Mom has forgiven Dad for taking me and not her), I really like the gothic theme park setting, with broken down rides that are almost, but not quite, replicas of the real thing. I’ve only completed 3 (and started 4 more) of the many quests (47?) in the game, so we’ll see how it holds up, but so far it has held my interest more than anything else.