Thursday, December 11, 2008

A moment of father stuff. Sorry.

I'm currently in a video game cycle.

I'm interested in a lot of shit; racing, martial arts, genre films, genre books, manga, anime, kaiju, video games, cocktails, heavy music... and probably a lot more related to that list. But currently video games have more-or-less risen to the top. Not enough time to spread the love amongst all my geekery, and the priorities change in almost cyclical fashion.

I always wanted a kid who'd share my passions with me... and what Dad wouldn't, apart from career criminals who get caught a lot? So I have a son and a daughter and both share many interests with me... obviously the boy a few more owing to gender points. Having a kid can really re-ignite and remind you why you loved something in the first place. The kid doesn't love EVERYTHING I do... but a number of them, and a big one is video games.

Now he's only ten. So he ain't hardcore. Not only does he not like the exact same things I do, like most kids the TV ads and his friends opinions have him salivating for shovelware. Often the bottom-of-the-barrel licensed shovelware. But that's okay. He's a kid. He's smart enough to acquire taste and learn discernment as time goes by.

Witness: I'm playing my new copy of Thunder Force VI (I'll probably review this on here soon) and he's watching. In prior times he has not cottoned to STGs (shmups to some) because the manual dexterity and reaction time just wasn't there. He is warming to them now, owing to the seeming lack of complexity, the pick up and play aspects and the super showy images inherent to that game genre.

'It doesn't look all that good, Dad. It's too easy, you don't look like you have to do anything.'

'Well, its the first level and I am kind of used to this series. I've played a lot of Thunder Force.'

Later, as I am feeling out the middle and higher levels and start to get killed periodically:

'Okay, that's better. And the graphics ARE awesome, Dad.'.

My son has never really used the term 'graphics' with me (somewhat outdated though the term is now) and certainly hasn't had any opinions about gameplay or difficulty apart from whether a game was too hard for him. He's only ever seemed to care about whether the character he's controlling 'looks dumb' or not. Now he's actually critiquing out loud.

*sniff* There goes my special little man.

In case a reader thinks my daughter might be slighted in gaming household... her current faves are World of Goo and Bomberman on Wii. She also the household's most raging player on the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series.

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