In my last article “The C64 and Me” I wrote about my career as a gamer, what it felt like to play back then, which games I loved, and how the gaming PC has developed. Today I would like to build on this and present my view on computer gaming. In particular; sports and racing games, moving away from those games, and what if I were a child today in the world of gaming. It’s time to explore game genres!
What was or is it that I like/liked sports games and car racing games the most?
If, like me, you grow up in a family of athletes and play Handball from an early age and also play football and many other things several times a week with classmates and friends, I can probably explain why I especially like games like “Summer Games”, “Winter Games” and somewhat more exotic offshoots like “California Games” and “World Games” at the beginning and was excited and fascinated by them.
It doesn’t seem to have been far from the world of real-life sports to the world of computer game sports. And I don’t seem to have been much of a strategist in my childhood and adolescence…or maybe I didn’t have enough imagination or adventure-seeking to keep me interested in other genres.
But: over time I also found my way to this type of game and therefore came to my current name as a player because of my love for the game “The Secret of Monkey Island” from 1990. The game begins with the main character Guybrush Threepwood saying “I want to be a pirate!”. And maybe that was someone I wanted to be, too.
In my last article, I also showed some connections between the games industry and the film industry. These are even reflected in the parts of the Monkey Island series.
Because: There are several allusions to Indiana Jones (“I hate snakes!”, Ark of the Covenant, Soundtrack) and a parody of Star Wars in the second part.
Well, if you consider that the Monkey Island series was developed and published by the company “Lucasfilm Games”, then it should already be clear to some people where these film references come from. It is the company name of the subsidiary “Lucasfilm Ltd” founded by George Lucas in 1982. While “Lucasfilm Games” initially worked primarily as a developer of computer games, especially adventure games.
The second genre that was one of my favorites from the start was car racing. This is probably simply because as a boy I enjoyed playing with Matchbox cars, the so-called “Carrera Bahn” or “Darda Bahn”.
Source: cdon.se Source: gesellschaftsspiele.de
The fascination with car racing began with games like “Grand Prix Circuit”, i.e. Formula 1, and “Outrun” and continues to this day with “Need for Speed”, “Forza Horizon”, “Dirt Rally” and “F1”.
Have I moved away from the two game genres mentioned in the meantime?
Well, if you know that I only stream Blizzard’s “Hearthstone”, then you can answer the question with that. I still enjoy playing sports games and car racing games, but it would be a waste and a limitation of one’s options not to move on to games of other genres. Many people probably feel like trying out games from areas that they didn’t like before. You might get stuck with some, but you don’t like others and move away from these types of games. Sports and car racing games have been joined by strategy and adventure games, which I enjoy spending time with. These include the ANNO series, the Assassin’s Creed series, Diablo, building games like Cities: Skylines, The Sims, and Planet Coaster as well as something different.
By “something different” I mean, for example, “The Hunter: Call of the Wild” or “Life is Strange”.
I also tried some shooters, but that’s not my cup of tea.
And now comes the BUT: Nowadays, I don’t have as much time to play and try out everything as I used to. That’s called “real life” and will come to everyone at some point. Sooner or later. Work, spouse, child(ren), house, garden, and other things then take up a large part of life and gaming is just a small hobby. At some point, everyone more or less gets into this situation.
For some, gaming may even shift away from a PC to a console or smartphone. It’s fair to say that the movement towards mobile gaming is very advanced. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and uses it every day.
Of course, developing games for mobile devices is also attractive because it is easier to make money with them. With so-called micro-transactions. It’s quick and convenient to buy things in the game once you have set up a payment method there. And of course, the games partly rely on this. To progress you need time, to achieve success in the game more quickly you need money. The pattern in such games is always the same. And of course, that poses a danger to your wallet. There is also a certain addictive potential here. Depending on your susceptibility to this.
But that doesn’t mean that this only happens with games designed for smartphones. Other games, and there are now a lot of them in the PC sector, use this method. This can be to progress faster in the game or to receive custom cosmetic stuff. Hearthstone also falls into this category.
What if I were a child in the world of (computer) games today?
If I were a child again today, my entry into computer games would probably not begin with a gaming PC, but rather with the first smartphone or tablet that my parents gave me. Here too I would have the opportunity to choose between different genres, which would also depend on the complexity of the games. A sprawling strategy game would probably be out of the question, but perhaps a little strategy in a reduced form. Maybe a game where I have to manage a farm or, on a smaller scale, build a city. I may also choose games of skill, intelligence, or car racing. Who knows.
Later, if I was still interested in gaming, I would switch to the PC or console to play graphically better and more demanding games. Whatever genre they may come from.
Or completely differently: I would grow up analog, without smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Then I go out to play, read a lot, maybe play board games with my parents or friends, and hang out in our garden. Who knows.
All of this is still possible and realistic!
In any case, I recommend taking a break from gaming now and then and going analog. To take a break from the digital world and go into nature.
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