Monday, February 07, 2011

Understanding Video Games Post 1: Something Old, Something New

Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts I am doing for a class I am taking at RIC called Understanding Video Games. In this post, I will pretend to be writing a 1000 years from now.

Looking back at the video games from a entire millennium ago, it is fascinating to see how primitive yet still very ingenious interactive entertainment was back in the early twenty-first century. For instance, "Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo" a manga and anime-licensed action platformer for the Nintendo Wii, requires some quick reflexes in order to beat its tough bosses. The period of 2006-2011 was also notable for marking the start a surge in popularity for downloadable games sold through online services available directly on gaming consoles themselves (such as Xbox Live Arcade, the Playstation Network Store, and the Wii's Virtual Console). This would mark a major turning point for games, as it allowed for lower budgeted and priced but at times ambitious and experimental titles to see the light of day. One such game was Flower, on the Playstation 3. I have only ever played the demo version of this particular title, yet that was enough to realize what unique piece of art it is. The game allows to control the wind as flower petals flow by. This gentle, nature-themed gimmick is outfitted by soothing music, resulting in one of the most extraordinary experiences that the gaming world had ever since at the time. Looking back, it's funny that at the time, the debate over wether or not games could be considered caused a decent bit of controversy, as in my eyes, the mere existance of works like Flowers more solidified games as perhaps the most creative art-form of all.

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