Thursday, November 03, 2011

Bringing Games to Life?

For some time now, I have been watching the evolution of video games. Although I have never been a “gamer”, the technology interests me so I try to keep an eye on the latest products. What does my one eye show me, you ask? It shows me that the trend in video games is to make them ever more interactive and ‘life-like’. All the latest systems - Kinect, Wii, etc. - are trying to make games more and more like real life. At first glance, this appears to be a step in the right direction, but, upon further inspection, what the ...? The tag line for the new Kinect system is: “You are the controller. No gadgets, no gizmos, just you!” You know what else has no gadgets or gizmos? You guessed it - playing sports and doing activities with other human beings!

We have come so far in our evolution of “gaming” that we have arrived at the point where people can almost play actual sports. Amazing! Revolutionary! Getting people to play soccer and basketball! But, oh wait a minute, what we are doing is getting them to stay inside and play a video game version of sport. After all, it is easy to sit in the comfort of your own living room and read the paper while Beaver plays baseball on the other side of the room. To heck with social interaction, team play, getting outside, and experiencing real sports with real friends. All highly overrated.

What really makes me sad is that these games are being heralded as a way to get kids active and to get them moving. If this is what it has come to, we are in a sad state of affairs. If it ever gets to the point that I am excited that my child moves around the living room, I think I will have to sit down and have a good long cry.

If I. as an admitted non-parent, may be so bold as to offer parenting advice, this would be it. When your child asks you for the new Kinect baseball game, go out and buy two gloves, a ball, and a bat and then take the time to play with them. As good as technology may get, it will never replace the fun and excitement of actually playing sports, it will never replace a father or mother and son or daughter playing catch, and it will NEVER bring games to life.

~ Yoshia

No comments: