In the pre-RPG days, we had a single gaming style choice. From checkers to chess to Scrabble to Monopoly to Sorry to Risk, not to mention baseball, football or soccer, gaming was one thing: competitive. If you wanted to play a game you were in it to win it. Think of Rocky or the Bad News Bears or even Glee and you already know how highly we value competitive drama.
I recently joined the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) in our area to find out more about what is happening in the computer gaming world these days, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear folks talking nostalgically about old-school computer games such as Ultima, Wizardry, Zelda, and yes, Zork.
So having played a few years of online games, and talking about what’s great about them, what’s not so great? There’s no shortage of articles claiming the anti-social nature of computer gaming, and I even talked about it a bit in my last blog, so I thought for a change it might be good to talk a little more about the shortfalls within the games themselves –the things that prevent these games from being truly great.
Three years ago I found I had a little more time on my hands than I had for the past five, and decided to get back to my gaming roots. Back in my high school days we had done lots of tabletop gaming, but had also jumped into the computer gaming pretty heavily with Wizardry and Ultima for the Apple II. College hit, and then work, and then things got really busy. Fast forward to 2009, and I log into World of Warcraft (or “WoW” as it is universally called) for the first time, and if I am not addicted, I am certainly damn intrigued.