Highbrow High Score

The Art of Gaming Intellectually

Posts Tagged ‘philosophy

What Games Can’t Teach

with 3 comments

I remember when the first Guitar Hero came out on the PlayStation2. At the time, I was drinking Smirnoff Ice (in hindsight – Ew), playing Twilight Princess on GameCube and going to class in what was my freshman year of college. Video games were what I did in between naps and homework, but Guitar Hero changed a lot of what I thought about gaming at the time.  It was frustrating, fun, accessible, and even if I was just watching a friend play, it was still entertaining.

Since I actually played guitar, my friends and I were surprised when I was terrible at first. Then with practice (probably too much practice), I worked my up to expert and by the time Guitar Hero 2, 3,  Rockband, etc. came out, I could rock some plastic peripherals like nobody’s business.

But now, I’d be hard pressed to even want  to play any rhythm based music game because I’ve played them all and would rather play an actual video game or actual music. Not only did the market become over-saturated with peripheral based games, some attempted to capitalize on the craze by suggesting certain games could help you actually play guitar. While I can’t speak to how true those claims were, it’s clear to see that these types of games have fallen out of favor after dying a very slow death of release after terrible release.

What I find most interesting is the fact there are certain kinds of games that try to crossover to more “tangible” skills. When I see commercials for any dancing games like Just Dance, I’m reminded of Dance Dance Revolution and how that craze gave way to Guitar Hero, etc.  It seems to me the people creating these games are perpetuating an idea of gaming as a means to an end, instead of an end in itself. Either that or they are constantly recycling trends that make consumers feel like they’re doing more than “just gaming” and then gutting whatever falls by the wayside to make profits off customers outside their normal demographic…

Little bit of both?


Written by highbrowhighscore

March 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm