My Dad the Casual Gamer

My Dad the Casual Gamer

You know those games that are so generic, so dull and one-note? Well, my father loves them. I’ve tried many times to introduce quality games to him that go beyond just shooting nameless enemies. I gave him Journey. His verdict? “It’s like a boring dog walk without the dog.” I tried to push forward the likes of Dark Souls, Dishonored, and Catherine, but he merely laughed them out of the park. Every time I try to expand his video game horizons, he ends up narrowing them.

The odd thing, however, is that he seems to enjoy games that everyone else views as rather poor. Homefront blew his mind; he didn’t stop banging on about it for an entire week. Medal of Honor was ”bloody brilliant’,’ as was Battlefield 3. The first time he played RAGE he turned to me and said ”this is the best game ever’.” This was the point in which I thought his taste in games would never expand. His tastes in video games has always puzzled–surprised–me at times.

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When people ask ”who keeps buying these generic pieces of crap?” the answer is people like my dad. The type of person who likes video games, but doesn’t have the time–or patience–for anything fancy. To his credit, he is willing to try new games and genres, which a lot of hardcore gamers struggle to do. His tastes, and the tastes of people like him, are often looked down on by a large number of gamers. Does this affect his enjoyment of his generic games? No. Will his game horizons ever expand? Yes.

After years of playing military shooters. he finally took a step outside of the comfort zone by playing Resistance 3. Sure, it’s still a first-person shooter, but it’s at least a top-notch one.  After growing tired of the modern military setting, he decided to expand his horizons of his own accord; his interest in Resistance 3 wasn’t spurred on by me. This lead to a domino effect in which he began to try all kinds of games, even the hardcore gamer-endorsed ones.

It was at this point I realized that perhaps me trying to introduce him to new games was a mistake. While my intentions were good, maybe I was asking too much of him? It’s a tricky jump to go from gunning down people in Call of Duty to avoiding sheep in Catherine. Perhaps it’s better if we let people expand their horizons on their own terms as it often yields the best results.

 

Sean Halliday


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