There has been talk of different games scattered throughout the threads, so I thought it appropriate to create this discussion. Before we get started, and bear with me folks, I feel the need to defend video games to all the people who say they're life-draining and horrible creations:
I don't understand why a group of writers and readers would ever say they don't like video games: it's a story that you get to play! True, not all games have story lines (sports games), but my favorites happen to. Some of my favorite stories happen in video games. There's a lot I could say on this subject, but Jane McGonigal says it so much better in this video:
Let's dedicate this thread to our favorite games and why we choose to play them. I gave my reason (stories), so what's yours?
My favorite games in no particular order:
Monkey Island 1-5
Skyrim (currently playing)
Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Silent Hill 1-3
I can second Ocarina of TIme (played on N64 a million years ago).
I don't play much, but I am really into the Sims games. I like building houses and poeple and ruining their lives - imagine! And I can neither confirm nor deny that I have created Sim versions of my novel characters...
Red Dead Redemption has one of the most powerful story-telling experiences I've ever experienced, regardless of medium, during the last few hours of the game.
To me, games are like everything else. Most of it is pointless garbage, and a small percentage is art.
I just finished Batman: Arkhan City. And I'm pretty sure that I am Batman now....
Monkey Island rules. Oh, Guybrush... will you ever learn?
Anywho, I happen to like games quite a bit.... but I think video game addiction is as real as most other types of addiction (in that it hijacks the brain's reward system) and can lead to a lot of people literally not living their lives.
Like anything else--gambling, Absinthe, heroin, smashing Faberge eggs, freebasing ground up dinosaur fossils--it can be enjoyed healthily and happily to a point.
Also, Red Dead is great, I never spent enough time to get through it though....
Anyone play Alan Wake?
Finish Red Dead, Nick. It gets so amazing.
Alan Wake is pretty awesome. I never got around to finishing it though because I was too involved with Mass Effect 2.
I definitely agree that if you play video games you need to have the self discipline to pull yourself away. I usually set a timer to go off every hour and vow to get off if it goes off more than three times. (There have been times when I chucked it though and played till I couldn't blink).
Other games I forgot to mention:
Bioshock and Final Fantasy X. I've played all the FF games but ten was the best by far.
The Bioshock series is pretty awesome.
Yeah Bioshock's Ayn Rand bent is interesting... really, really good story--maybe the best of any FPS I've played.
I've only played the first one but the second is on my list.
I liked A. Wake (get it??) so much I bought a hooded blazer just like the title character's. Also, it was on clearance. And it fit.
No more games til I finish at least one more short story.
I liked Alan Wake, but I prefer something like Dragon Age (the first one) or the old turn-based Baldur's Gate (and Fallout 1 & 2 or Planescape: Torment). I'm waiting to play Skyrim until there's more hours in a day.
Bioshock's opening scene and Modern Warfare's nuke explosion were two of the best moments in gaming, storytelling-wise. They both blew me away.
I thought about buying Dark Souls but I'm not sure I have the patience or time for it.
Love games. Bioware and Ubisoft own a huge chunk of my soul. My absolute favorites are Mass Effect 1 & 2. I'm counting the days until the third game is released. Also on the all time favs list: Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2, Assassin's Creed, and the Prince of Persia series.
I can forgive a lot in a game if the storyline is sufficiently engaging. Bioware rarely lets me down, though Dragon Age 2 was rather lackluster compared to the first game.
alan wake.. holy shit, yes
arkham city is also amazing
I find most video game stories to be pretty generic and uninspired. You mentioned Monkey Island - all those Lucas Arts adventure games were awesome, I loved them as a kid. The only video games that really impressed me with their storytelling were the Metal Gear Solid games and Shadow of the Colossus. I have this DVD that came with Metal Gear Solid 3 that's just the cinematics and I watched it with my roommates who didn't like the gameplay. It was pretty much just like watching a movie (albeit with PS2 graphics), which is something I don't think can be said for any other game.
I don't really play games anymore, though. Sometimes I fire up NCAA Football but only during the offseason. It's like methadone for my football addiction.
Video game stories are a different medium than many other stories. They're interactive in a way that no other artform can even come close to (I think). A story that has you star in it, be part of the puzzle, tests your ability to interact with the art, while telling a story and exploring character, setting, and plot. It's amazing. It's art that is so revolutionary that many don't even consider it 'art'.
Of course, how does one define art? That's a discussion that's for another thread, for sure.
I know that most of the straight 'story' parts in games aren't as well plotted or written as great novels, but there are no options in The Grapes of Wrath for leading a revolution through subterfuge and stealth or just taking on the land owners or for trying to farm out in the dying land for longer or for becoming a thug or fighting zombies or being Batman.
Man, Steinbeck really needs more Batman in his books.
Bioshock 2 is a favorite of mine just recently too. I thought it was a horror so I've been told but I bought it brand new for $10, nervous as shit when I put it in my disc tray (360 all they way) and enjoyed every minute of it with no fear. Never played a game that had such a unique and riveting way of story gameplay. Part of my top games with a plot next to Red Dead Redemption which is also a favorite. I've taken to enjoy single player campaigns over co-op because the little brother can be a little shit and the balance with co-op gameplay really narrows down the full potential of the story.
Like Halo: Reach for example, great series been a huge fan since Combat Evolved but Reach has so minimal story factors and mostly action driven with no critical points of why this and that was happening. I already knew what happened since I read the first three Evolved books and was so excited on launch night to see how Bungie would execute the story into a game, in the end I was mildly disappointed though it is still a good game. Assassin's Creed is also a great series personally I love history and stealth so I get orgasms when I play it. What the hell is better than being a master assassin honestly?
Should be expecting Revelations tomorrow evening, mouth already watering.
My life permanently ends when I open Skyrim on christmas morning. :}
Games with engrossing plots:
Final Fantasy VI and Heavy Rain.
What I like with Bioshock is you got the choice to either heal the little girl or steal all her energy to increase your power and it affected the ending of the game. I like games with alternate possible endings. For example, if I decide to murder a village full of innocent people in the game, one of their children should return and shoot me in the head at the end of the game. That would be awesome. It's like, you beat the game yay and then you get shot in the head for being a dick.
Fuck drugs and alcohol. Sitting down and loosing 5 hours of your life and getting nothing one is a true unproductive vice.
On that note I love roleplay games like Fallout 3 an New Vegas. Arkham Asylum and City were great. Portal 2 was amazing.
Don't like sports games much.
I like eavesdropping on role playing conversations in MMO's (currently playing Rift). There are certain servers where the players role play to the game's set lore and a lot of times what unravels is some sort of cheesy fantasy harlequin romance. With lots of adverbally adverbs. The players really come up with the best shit sometimes.
*[Beelzebaby] delicately clutches the amulet she farmed for three days to obtain, wistfully gazing over her gaudily armored shoulders at [TankAndSpank], who reminds her of some guy she used to pretend to love online.*
*[TankAndSpank] stares lovingly at [Beelzebaby]'s battle thong.*
I really liked playing RPGs some years back because of the story lines. Memorable to me were FFVI and Xenogears for the playstation. If there is a good storyline, it's about as engrossing as reading a good book - like those old 'choose your own adventure' books back in the day. And you get to kill shit!
The original Fable....
I don't play video games, but I did play Assassin's Creed several years ago. I have to admit, that game was pretty freakin' awesome.
If you liked Assassin's Creed, you really need to play the follow up games. The first one was far and away the worst of the bunch. They get some damn good after the first one.
I work in the game business! So yes, I love gaming. It's true that there are games out there meant to only suck away your dollars and life. I happen to work primarily in those sorts of games... it crushes the soul. (At the moment, though, I'm working on a pretty cool game. I'll tell you guys about it when it actually releases!) Then there are games like The Sims, Minecraft, etc where you don't actually do anything but live in a virtual world and try to get more stuff. I love Minecraft, but I will not hesitate to say that game offers little in terms of ingredients to my brain stew.
However, there are AMAZING games out there and I see a lot of you mentioning them. My favorites:
Silent Hill 2. Jesus! This game. It's coming out for the ps3 this year and I'm going to try playing it again. I love the story, I love the symbolism, and I love James. (In a way, James helped me out in creating the kid in my NaNoWriMo project this year.) My roommate introduced me to the game about five years ago, and we still quote lines and joke about it. "Do I look like your girlfriend?" comes up in conversation often.
Come to think of it, every horror story I've written has been heavy on SH elements. Because that game teaches you what creepy can and should be. nothing is scarier than the dark parts of your own mind.
The Other Silent Hill Games, mostly 3 and 4, but not really Homecoming. I still haven't beaten Homecoming. I think I know what the end is and that is why I hesitate to continue. I don't want to spoil the ending for myself, but I think I might have to look it up if I'm ever going to finish the game. I get so attached to characters... can you imagine how I felt when I found out what happened to Mary in SH2? Jesus!
Persona 4. My favorite game of all time. OF ALL TIME. I have a thing for characters and every character in the series is believable, funny, and deep. The story progression is perfectly paced. The twists and turns fill me with glee. And the voice actors are AMAZING. My favorite part of the story to this game is the overall theme of accepting yourself for who you are. It's a theme that can come off as preachy, but Persona 4 balances it well.
My favorite time waster games are Minecraft, Sonic Riders, (or whatever it's called, I don't know, it has sonic and he rides a cool looking hoverboard or something) any DBZ game, and Left 4 Dead 2. I LOVE L4D2. While it doesn't have much of a story, the game is awesome for team building exercises.
I watched my roommate play a bit of Uncharted, so I picked it up last weekend. I'm pretty sure that game will make it to my list, as well.
I wanted to add to my list... Catherine! That game was fantastic.
@Kirk: I would, but I don't even own a gaming system. I think the last one I owned was the Gamecube, and I sold it to my friend after a month of having it. I'd get one, but all I'd play is Assassin's Creed and Rock Band. Love Rock Band, too. Use to get hammered drunk and play that. But, it's just not worth the investment for those two games. I'd probably get bored with it anyway and end up selling it. Hell, I don't even have a decent television to play on. All movie watching (don't watch tv) is done on the laptop. I'll stick to books and Open Office. LOL!
Is anyone here a Warcraft junky? My friend is and I just don't get it. I tried it and maybe it's because I don't have the patience for RPG's, but I was bored in like two minutes. Not for me. Of course, he's the same way about me and writing. He just doesn't get it. His wife hates it. Has threatened divorce. People have lost families, jobs, friends, lives over this game. Like I said, I just don't get it. What's the allure?
@ R.Moon - I play WoW, but I wouldn't call myself I junkie (I only play once a week, if that). My boyfriend plays too, so it's not something we fight over. The appeal is different for everyone. My reason for playing it is the same for other games: the story lines are AMAZING! Also the different areas in the game are incredible. Search Google Images for 'Zangarmarsh' and 'Nagrand'. These are my personal favorites. Other than that I just enjoy the gameplay. It's not particularly difficult so it's a good way to blow off steam when you're in a bad mood. As for the people who sit and play for hours and hours every night, I don't understand that at all. Even if I play video games I still have priorities and responsibilities to take care of.
That's cool. I understand the occasional play. But, my friend spends hours and hours playing. He sits his 8 year old son in front of the tv with an X-Box controller and that keeps him occupied. I just don't understand the non-stop playing. I guess to each his/her own.
@ alien and jacks
The first game I played that had an ending based on the moral ramifications of your choices was Robin Hood: Conquests of the Longbow. One of those point/click adventures by Sierra. e.g. If you mugged the beggar, he would testify against you at your trial.
That genre was fantastic as far as storytelling goes. Grim Fandango? Gabriel Knight? Fucking epic tales.
They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Grim Fandango!! I love that game. I haven't played it since I was eight.
I'm Dave, and I'm addicted to video games.
Not really, or at least, not lately. I comfortably blame Bioshock for this malady. Red Dead was great, I like the Halo story, though the games get repetetive.
Two that really stand out to me and have robbed me of countless hours of my life are the Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect series.
I'm gonna go with some old school survival horror, silent hill, alone in the dark, the clock tower and resident evil. By far my favorite horror games and clock tower is the only game that I just stopped playing but I was like eight at the time so don't judge le to harshly. Best story driven game your going to get is bioware at this point, best damn gaming company to date I say. Rockstar is great to though as far as story goes.
So, I am not sure if this qualifies, but I am posting anyway. I have recieved the IPhone 4s early for Christmas. Yes, I know, fucking AWESOME!
Anyhow, the game I downloaded last night...Pocket Frogs. I love it! Totally addicting. Also, does anyone on here play words with friends? If you do and would like to play, hit me up with a PM.
I play Words With Friends, though i kind of suck at it. I'm Kclawes if any cares to start a game.
L.A. Noir was a fantastic game, but I kept falling asleep playing it. I don't know why, but that game created a strange case of narcolepsy in me. I'd be having a blast calling someone a wife killer or falsly accusing people of crimes and booking them, and then I'd wake up an hour later with a controller in my hand and a character running in circles.
Now I have Rocksmith, so I can actually learn to play the guitar a little. Or at least fake it more efficiantly.
(bryanhowie on xbox live)
Bioshock 1 and 2 have to be some of the best stories in videogames EVER, ( though the obvious source inspiration was Ayn Rands Atlus Shrugged, I feel these games are BETTER hands down than her novels could ever dream of). Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy 3 (in America, in Japan its 6) and 7, The Legend of Zelda Series, The Half Life series and the Suikoden Series. Videogames should be a medium enjoyed by ESPECIALLY writers. We have to intergrate all forms of art in order to gain more knowledge of our own. Yes, at times they open up peoples minds to the more violent and dark aspects of human nature, but at the end of the day, everything does, and thats not bad. We have to explore all choices and learn responsibility when learning how to use all our creative gifts, so the good aspects of our nature are nurtured. Smoke weed, chew mushies, fuck, play videogames then write and create.
Fable is overrated, it takes like 6 hours to clear.
The Super Smash Brothers franchise has always been great. Halo.... Halo.
The Civilization franchise is really good, I've loved Civ since way back.
World of Warcraft: I have a level 85 Shaman (he just made it! Still... only a couple epics, Maxed out Herbalism/Alchemy) a level 82 Death Knight (Herbalism/Mining), a level 80 Warlock (my original main, maxed out cooking, Inscription/Tailoring) and a 19 Rogue (Mining/Jewelcrafting).
I wish I still had an Xbox so I could play Skyrim, I don't think my computer could handle it and I don't want to invest too heavily into the possibility it could.
P.S. I didn't want to mention affiliation, but, Lok'tar orgar for the Horde, although my characters are a tauren, 2 undeads, and a goblin respectively, and I have no orcs.
I just got Skyrim for Xmas early and I was barely 15 minutes into the game when it froze. Then I read online this is happening a lot and it needs updates. Suddenly I was running from a dragon and then I was stuck in place and he wouldn't move.
What platform do you have it on? It usually hasn't been messing up on ps3 until the save got about 60 hours long. 360 isn't as bad for it unless you don't have a hard drive like me. Unless it's just like completely freezing up though and you wait a few minutes until it's hopeless and turn it off it's probably just something you'll have to deal with with an elder scrolls game. If it is just completely stopping though I'd get the disc exchanged because I had to do that with my first copy, couldn't get out of whiterun on that disc. I don't know anything about the pc version though.
I like a lot of older games. Half Life 1 and 2, Deus Ex, Unreal Tournament, Majora's Mask, Bioshock, Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, TF2, Skyrim, VVVVVV, etc.
READ A BOOK!... End of story...
There are books in Skyrim for me to read.
I'm simultaneously a huge gamer and a hater. Video games are my drug. A habit I need to kick to become a productive member of society (although seriously, who cares about society?). Not that I'm anywhere near as bad as the hardcore MMO players who pour every moment of their waking lives into the game, not even a quarter as bad as that. In fact these days I play maybe an hour a week if that, maybe five hours a week if I'm on a 'binge'. But I spent way too much time playing them when I was younger, time I could have spent hanging out with my friends, making life experiences, learning valuable skills. Instead I just grinded a lot in MMOs, shot a lot of people in Halo.
I kind of think of myself as a reformed addict. I subscribe to the 'once an addict, always an addict' way of thinking. I've pretty much kicked the habit, I don't need to play games like I used to, they're not part of my daily (or often, weekly) routine. But I worry that a sip of wine, a single toke will send me back to my old, suicidal ways. Okay, that's overexaggerating, because I will play games under certain circumstances. Like if my boyfriend is seriously bugging me to play Halo, or if the new Elder Scrolls game comes out ;)
Anyway. ADVENTURE GAMES. Love them. Adore them. Will never regret a single moment I spent playing one, I have too many good (and memorable) memories. The Gabriel Knight series. The Longest Journey. The Last Express. Leisure Suit Larry. A trillion others. Lovelovelove.
I have spent a ridiculous amount of time playing the Halo series. Halo 2 was my great love, but friends dragged me into Halo 3 and Reach. Reach I hate.
MMOs. I did enjoy Ultima Online. The Realm was my fave, no one has ever heard of it though. Everquest was too much of a timesuck. Phantasy Star Online was cool but ultimately unrewarding.
I adore RPGs. Knights of the Old Republic. The Persona games. Final Fantasy. Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dragon Age. Too many JRPGs to remember.
Okay, so thinking about it, I love video games, really I do. I just love time more. Love getting better at things I'm passionate about.
Life is just cool.
It takes me months to finish a game because I have a life now but in the old days, I used to be an uber nerd. Moon doesn't understand the joy of collecting imaginary coins or defeating CGI enemies.
I like odd games. For instance, the nightmarishly complex micromanagement game dwarf fortress. I like nerdy games like dungeon crawler-types, I loved bioshock, and HITMAN. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. It makes you feel beyond awesome after killing someone without being seen ONCE. Such an xcellent game. Team FOrtress, Deux ex, yes yes. I agree, great games.
@missy high five for persona 4!
One thing that pisses me off LOADS is those Valve fans who've only played Portal 2, and call a gravity gun an "orange portal gun".
Typewriter - Hitman is my favorite game. Period. I was obsessed. I had to get Silent Assassin on a level before I would even consider the next mission. Such a good game. I wish they would come out with a new one.
Next year Pete, finally, been like 6 years.
Really!? I'm so stoked now. Do you have a link for info?
Another one I'd love to see come out is Rainbow Six Vegas 3. Will they ever make that?
Is anyone else getting turned on by girls talking about playing video games? Forget penthouse forum or eRotica, just give me a girl talking about Bioware RPGs and Grim Fandango and I'm good to go.
You'd love Melissa Lauren. She's a video game junkie. And a porn star. And French.