Just Do It?

There was a time when I enjoyed video games the way (I hear) a true wine connoisseur enjoys a fine wine; that is, I languished in the gameplay, savoring each frame of animation, each box of text, until finally, after many hours, the game was empty. Err, done.

Not so any more. These days, I like to cannonball right into my games. Overly long introductory movie? Skipping it. Overly instructive tutorial? Mashing buttons instead. Overly lengthy text dialogues? KILL ME.

It’s odd. When I was 12, I could wade patiently through the voluminous rivers of text, oftentimes presented via those o so staid rectangular boxes. Now, decade – that’s singular, not quite decades, plural – later, I’m more like those ADHD contemporaries of my 12 year old self.

Forget self analysis, though. Instead, I just wanted to write down for my future self the need for games to leap directly into the action. The truth is, our beloved 8-bit and 16-bit games of yesteryear had no choice but hurl text at us. Now, however, the technology exists so that text, and to some extent even voice overs, are no longer necessary. It’s like the cliche regarding good writing, “Show, don’t tell.” Well, now we can show. You know, with graphics and stuff.

After all, that’s what our modern, digital age has reduced evolved us to.

As for those interminable tutorials, well, if your game requires that much instruction, it had best be everloving amazing. Otherwise, I’ve got better things to do. Like read video game blogs on the internet, amirite?

PS: Thanks Nike, don’t sue me.


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