Why I Am Not a Gamer

This upcoming weekend is going to be my first commitment-free weekend in a while, the perfect chance to just enjoy some quality time with the family.  With a super-hot weather forecast on the horizon, it looked like indoor activities were going to be the ticket.  My wife, Kendra, and I do like to play video games, so I wondered if there was a way to mix it up a bit.  I had this great idea, Why not hit up the local Redbox and grab some different games for the weekend?

Let it be known that every time I have a “great idea,” someone should just punch me in the face.  The net result would be the same and it’d save a lot of time.

First thing I notice is that even though the Redbox site has a very prominent “Wii” section, there are no Wii games listed.  No Wii-U games, either.  Now, Nintendo may not be the industry darling lately, but writing it off completely is kind of harsh.  There are still people like me out there who would rather play some Mario Kart than Need for Speed.  Regardless, it seems us Wii fans are out of luck.  Okay, says I, how about we check out the Xbox 360 games?  Surely there would be games for that I could rent.  And there were– Call of Duty, Fallout, and Battlefield.

You know, those really odd games you’ve never heard of, can’t find anywhere, and would certainly want to try out before buying.  Let it be known that, while I used to love shooter games when they were a new concept, today I can’t get into them unless the main character is James Bond or Samus Aran.  If I wanted realistic combat, I’d join the Armed Forces.

It’s not like this is a personal effort on Redbox’s part to insult me, they’re just following market demands.  And, it’s pretty clear, I’m just not the market.  This is just one more sign in a long, long series of events that I am not a “Gamer” in the context that popular culture wants to use the term.  Oh, I still play on a regular basis, but not in ways that matter to the industry.

Examples:

  • I actively resist buying the “hot” gaming consoles like PS4 and Xbox One.  I don’t do PC gaming, and don’t even own an PC worth gaming on.
  • If a game offers DLC, I just scratch it off my list of games to try.  This is especially true if it’s clear the DLC is material that could have been included in the game at launch.
  • I still spend a lot of time playing my Retro games.  In fact, in the past year, I’ve spent more money on SNES stuff than on my Xbox 360.
  • I’d rather play a game at home with my wife than against strangers on the internet.
  • I expect games purchased as downloads to be exceptionally cheap, to make up for the fact that you don’t get a physical copy as backup.
  • I’d rather have a game I truly enjoy and can return to again and again, than a disposable experience I can play for three months and then discard when the needless sequel gets released.  (Call of Duty, I’m looking in your direction…)

Add all that up, and I don’t at all resemble the people who call themselves “Gamers” today.  I’m a relic, like people who pine for Drive-In movies or buying a fast-food combo and “getting change back from the nickel.”  And this has been happening for a while.  The only thing new is, I’m now okay with it.

5 Comments

  1. I more or less feel the same way you do about modern day gaming. I do like to enjoy newer titles, but the amount of “Day One DLC” is a turn off for me. I do think there are many decent current generation games. If you see Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U in your local Red Box, give that game a try.

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  2. Writing a game off because of DLC seems a little dumb to be honest. No one is forcing you to buy the DLC. Some DLC offers a huge amount of content that adds to the core experience while others charge for horse armor. It depends on the developer and gamer.

    As far the Wii U goes I love mine, but I also have a Xbox One, and PC. The PC is my number 1 followed by my Wii U. Mario Kart has sold a crap ton more than any Need For Speed game so I think the majority will agree with you there :]. I’ve been gaming since 1990 and I love all kinds of games. I can go from playing Call of Duty to Super Smash Bros U.

    Nintendo kind of shot themselves from their recent failures to produce games that everyone wants. They have so many IPs to choose from and they keep giving us the same thing. You’ve might as well wait for the NX to release if you want more Nintendo games. Yoshi’s Wolly World looks amazing though and I can’t wait to try Xenoblade Chronicles X.

    Sorry for the long paragraph…

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    1. I appreciate the feedback. I object to DLC because many, if not most, publishers are using it as a way to sell you a game in pieces, and ultimately for a higher price. DLC that’s released in the first year really should have been included on the disc Day 1. I have less of a problem with DLC that enhances a game that is already 3 years old.

      Yeah, I love Nintendo, but wow have they missed some opportunities.

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      1. I agree. DLC that’s locked on disc is the reason I stopped playing Destiny. If it’s already on the disc why charge us extra for it? I never buy COD map packs because they’re too expensive, but games like Skyrim, Dragon Age, and Dark Souls has proved that quality content comes with DLC.

        I grew up on Nintendo. I really want them to succeed, but man it’s hard to keep faith in them these days.

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