Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Games you are supposed to play.

In ordered to be accredited with any kind of standing, or respect within the pseudo-community of gamers there is a plateau of geeky knowledge that is a standard, however as more and more niche corners become mainstream...

On a side note I refer to this phenomenon as ironic-hipster-reversal; bringing to attention obscure elements of information to appear more knowledgeable in a subject, yet unintentionally bringing it to the foray for everyone i.e. Wearing a a T-shirt with the konami code. Pay attention to this people, this level of marketing and advertising is more powerful than social media! 

...as I was saying as video-games-geeky-knowledge becomes more mainstream the level of knowledge to be respected within the community becomes more convoluted and obscure. There has always existed a level of this autistic desire within games culture, from the early days of imported rare japanese titles. But nowadays games culture has expanded to a respected and widely used area of pop-culture, that in order to stand out from the norm you have to "go deeper". 
So bottom line, there must be a certain level/standard/number/knowledge of games to "qualify" someone as part of games culture beyond that of pop culture. So the question is, where do we draw the line? 



I mean Mario Bros (1, 2, 3, Super Mario World) should be a line everyone should know/play that one, but again to what level? There are so many dimensions of secrets, glitches and hidden things in those games which are referenced, 100% completion is more a lifetime task rather than keeping up with your "peers"

As I mentioned before the bar has moved, as for game you are supposed to have played you almost have to assume that most people have played/know the standard 16bit fayre; Marios, Zeldas, Sonics and Final Fantasys. So what games "should" you have played to be considered part of gaming culture?

In modern culture these titles evolve every 3-6 months, and you pretty much have to buy on release to surf the curve, the big icons of the past year include Assassins creed, Borderlands 2, Sleeping Dogs and Mass Effect Trilogy. And you, as a gamer, should have 100% completed them and have your own formed options on them. But gaming culture does not put its blinkers on past 6 months. You need to have informed opinions on classic titles.

Now at this point I could list off a bunch of obscure titles from the mid-nineties only to have "OMG I cant believe you didnt mention [insert obscure japanese side-scrolling beat-em-up]" thrown back in my face. So I wont, instead i'm going to conclude this post with one game I think I wish I would have played, or more specifically a game I am "supposed to have played".



Mother 2: Earthbound

Never played it, yet it gets referenced as one of the best off-the-radar stories with a unique atmosphere, art style and cult following. I have had this game recommended to me to me so many times. Yet, what about Mother 1, and then there is Mother 3 which has not even got an official English version. Chronological issues aside, why havent I just decided to sit down and play this? Is playing it to tick it off the "list" legitimised nowadays, after all the hype am I afraid that it will not live up to its "reputation". Or despite all the imaginary gamer rep I will get for this, am I just not willing to invest in an older game?  Who knows. Anyone played it and got something bad to say about it?

Love and collect three warp whistles to warp while you are warping,

Richie X

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