Ironically, I wrote Boys and their Electronic Toys: Pleasure and Becoming Multiliterate (p67-72) published in mETAphor and SCAN, just after I gave up playing video games. Having a new baby, house and job demanded that I uninstalled European Battleground and the Total War franchise. My copy of WoW provided me with a free month subscription then that, as we say, was that.
I am still time poor but hankering to find a new video game addiction as a distraction and maybe Spore will be worth investigating. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more detail or the overview or other YouTube video clips of the game. It looks a little silly but the ambitious concept of guiding a species from cellular birth to spacefaring is just fantastic. The designer is best known for The Sims which is the bestselling PC game in history.
For me, video games commenced with a mates’ Atari 30 years ago and those hand held games kids had at school Donkey Kong, Parachute and Octopus. I never really was allowed to hang out endlessly (Mum thought such activities doomed to lead to the corruption of my soul)and play Space Invaders, Asteroids (or later on Frogger, Galaga, MoonCrester and Time Pilot) at arcades but I liked those games. Much later on, when I got a PC, my favs were the Civilization, Caesar and Age of Empires franchises. Also, quite enjoyed first person shooters like Medal of Honour. I was always disappointed with flying games as I really wanted to be good but they weren’t eg Red Baron.
NB I never liked Pacman.
Thank you for the link and email to your blog – it’s fantastic – right up to the minute with Mark Pesce and other terrific sites. Well done – have tagged you in my favourites will write more shortly.
Check out the Spore Celebrity Gallery:
I am now a confirmed WoWer and have been having a blast with it for the last 10 weeks or so. I am a big player of Sims2, Age of Empires, Civilisation IV, and Caesar with a few others thrown in but they are the main ones that I play all the time. Have been recently exploring how to bring these games into teaching and learning… Civilisation and Age of Empires and Caesar fairly apparent with history but have also used Sims2 for creating characters and then using them to write with in English – even had my Ext 2 students try and create the character they had in their head in the Sims2 so that they could get better at visualising looks and clothing etc and then describe it. Have found Literacy Quest which is a good mix of quests and hack and slash with literacy answers to unlock doors etc. Only really good for Year 7 and maybe Year 8 though. Would love to create an English version of WoW. I have heard of classrooms in Second Life – know anything about how successful they were?
Oh, and I saw a fantastic doco called Gamer Revolution (have a copy if you missed it) on the ABC where they explored the nature of gaming in today’s society – very, very thought provoking for educators. I used it as a related text with Ender’s Game for my HSC class this year – interesting how responsive they were to the doco. Anyway, the other point is that Robin Williams does a demo of Spore on that doco – very funny. I agree that it looks good, and with years of addiction to the Sims behind me it scares me that I might like it too much lol how’s a girl supposed to get any work done with all these good games to play??!!