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Infected

14 March 2012

Even the logo design owns.

In a shocking confession that will surprise no one, I admit: I play a lot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

I know, I know. Try to keep your shock to a minimum.

There’s something great about a game like MW3. Not the campaign — that part is easy and almost forgettable, though I do play through the campaigns in the Call of Duty series before I jump over into multiplayer. But multiplayer is where these games truly shine for me.

It’s another example of living in the future, where we can, at any time of day, get in a virtual room with 17 other people and play a game. When I was a kid, video games looked like this:

The multiplayer action left something to be desired.

My parents caved to the constant whining of their two children and bought us an Atari 2600 around 1982 or so. My brother (who I believe still has the original machine) played the hell out of it, but the closest you could get to multiplayer is to have someone sitting next to you fighting the same daft controller design you were.

Modern... warfare?

I often marvel at just how far we’ve come technology-wise in my lifetime, but video games really bring it home for me. For something that can be argued to serve no useful purpose (and I would argue that, because I believe there are plenty of useful purposes for gaming), we’ve made huge strides in the gaming arena. And not at the expense of fun, either — I get the same feeling playing through the Arkaden map in MW3 as I did sitting down to shoot at my brother with blocky tanks in Combat. And as I’m in my 30s and jaded, that certainly says something. (Perhaps something about my lack of maturity, but I won’t go there.)

So, are any of you out there gamers? What’s your game? And do you think gaming serves any purpose beyond entertainment?

(For the record, I do. I worked for a company once that produced learning sim and serious games, and I think those are extremely valid.)
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 March 2012 1020

    I was just chatting with a friend about video games. I don’t play too many anymore. Some Wii stuff with my wife because she likes some of the goofy fun things on the Wii, but I didn’t even get an XBox 360. Chatting with a friend about games, yesterday, it really hit me how different some gamers can be. Campaign games? I never liked them much. There was always this sense of…I don’t know, obligation or something. They all kind of blurred together for me. Like you, though, when you can just run around shooting friends and having fun in battle mode…it’s fun.

    I always leaned toward hockey games…even football. Driving games because my wife loves them. And snowboarding games. In all cases, there was never the same obligation to keep going that there is for me with campaign-based games. It’s not like there’s a stock videogame character calling me to let him cut up more orcs or shoot demons or aliens or opposing forces in the face. As for the character in a zombie game…he’s better off just living in my mind instead of duct taping chainsaws to a pole and battling the undead.

    With sports games, I could play 5-minute periods in NHL games. I could race a ghost of a previous race for 30 minutes and move on. I could hit a mountain and listen to the sound of a digital snowboard on digital snow and lose myself for a little while. I won’t say there’s never been a time that I didn’t spend a bunch of time playing a game, but I’d rather spend time reading, writing, or hanging out. So I leaned toward gaming experiences where I could just clear my mind and chill for 30-60 minutes and then get back to other things.

    I know video games get knocked, but they can be every bit as relaxing as meditation. Whether I meditate, juggle, or play a snowboard game for 30 minutes, all leave me feeling relaxed. I can’t say one is any more valid way to spend time than the others.

    I’ve known people for whom video games are a problem, but I’ve also known people who had problems with drugs, watching too much TV, or even excessive socializing. Hell, I’d say being a workaholic at the expense of never seeing family because you’re always on the road or in the office is bad, too. Like anything, it’s what you make of it, and when I played more video games, it was always a great way to wind down from a day at work and just not think for 30-60 minutes while still kind of doing something. I think that right there has worth.

    [Total aside. When I got a Colecovision as a kid, I gave my mom and step father my Atari. They thought it was dumb…until they played Frogger. I seriously think they racked up more time obsessing over that one game than I did playing everything I had for Colecovision. While I was outside playing, doing homework (on the rare times I did homework), or even playing video games, they were constantly playing Frogger. Almost to the point where my sister and I could have considered an intervention!]

    • 14 March 2012 1049

      There’s something to be said for applying gaming responsibly. I usually give myself an hour at a time — no more. Multiplayer is great for that, too, because you can basically bug out whenever you feel like it.

      My mom dug Frogger, too. 😉

  2. 14 March 2012 1021

    It’s sad that my replies are often longer than your posts! 🙂

  3. 14 March 2012 1424

    Still have, and still maintain in working condition 😛
    Joust anyone????

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