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Stuff on life

Posted on Thu Apr 13, 2017

I do not play video games; pity me. You could say: you are in your forties, that’s natural. But then there’s some evidence that 40something are a significant slice of the video games market.

I used to be a gamer in my teens. For a time, in middle school I came home quickly at midday to play a full run of Bruce Lee before lunch:

this is one of the few games I was able to finish; it took me around 15 minutes if I recall correctly (I actually kept a written record of my performance, and tried to cut some seconds at every run). I enjoyed a number of games on the C64: Ghostbusters, Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Island, Raid on Bungeling Bay, Out Run (with the great music by Maniacs of Noise), some tennis variants. Wait a minute… I have to wipe my tears…

Then, towards 20yo, the appealing of gaming left me; I still played a bit, but the magic was gone.

Today there are very beautiful (and complex!) games. It is different now, it requires a level of commitment and constraining that I find annoying.

It used to be that gaming took away your attention from the ugliness of life with simple actions and very low intellectual activity (at least with the shoot ’em up and beat ’em up kind of games). Games being simple: they left a lot to imagination, and this filled your kid mind.

Now some games require you to build a full virtual identity, to engage in interpersonal politics, to allocate tens of hours to play on until the end of the “movie”; maybe I would have loved this as a teen, I dunno. Some games have so many sprites moving on the screen, that it is impossible to understand what is going on: you just press the “hit” button frantically until the enemies are dead, in some way. But everything is already decided and graphically depicted: there is very little to imagine.

Lack of imagination exercising is one thing that strikes me.

If I wanted to play now, I would resort to some basic games like Shut Up and Drive, which is relaxing. Or Tetris (the GNU Emacs version), which I do not like, but I have to admit it shuts off your thoughts for a while. But it is very very rare for me to have this desire.

Good? Bad? Who knows…

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