Sometimes I like a bit of indie
I've got a teenage son. Many of you know that. I like to call him Master Game Junkie; perhaps I should call him Teenage Game Junkie now - though that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?
Like me, he loves video games (lately, he's probably played more games than I have) but we have very different tastes when it comes to gaming. He likes the look of big blockbusters like Call of Duty. I have a lot of indie games in my collection. Thomas Was Alone. Sword and Sworcery, Fractal. Countless Humble Indie Bundles. He can't understand why I like them. He loves multiplayer games. I prefer single player campaigns.
He asked me the other day if the reason I didn't like online gaming was because ''you aren't very good''. After I evaporated him with my laser vision (in my mind), I told him that wasn't the case at all (though, truth be told, that probably is the case: I pretty much do suck at online gaming). I told him I liked single player games better because they had a story that I could follow and I didn't have to rely on other people to play with.
He likes the look of Call of Duty Ghosts. ''It has a motion captured dog called Riley,'' he told me. I said I don't like COD that much because it's same old, same old, too formulaic. He asked me what formulaic meant. I told him. Most indie games aren't formulaic, I told him. They like to try different things, I said. He wasn't convinced.
We watched the latest COD Ghosts trailer, the one where you go scuba diving and there's lots of sonar pulses causing havoc. I have to say it does look pretty good but I've gone swimming in games before. You can scuba in GTAV, too, I told him. Not that he'll be able to play that. He's not old enough.
I told him I do like blockbuster games - big titles like Batman Arkham City, The Last of Us, Mass Effect, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (which I'm replaying now) and many, many more - but sometimes, just sometimes, I like to play something that doesn't involve traipsing down corridors (or through jungles), shooting at things.
Sometimes I like playing games that doesn't make me have to search for keys so that I can unlock the door to the next room. Sometimes I like to play games that are different and trying to push the boundaries of game design. That innovate.
How about you? Are you an AAA gamer all the way through? Or do you like to dip your pinky into the waters of independent games every once and a while?
** Oh, I couldn't resist the Steam sale and bought Deus Ex Collection the other day for the princely sum of US$5.99. I just couldn't resist three Deux Ex games plus the Human Revolution DLC The Missing Link. I've spent enough on Steam sales this year. I'm not buying any more.
Other stuff you might be interested in: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it. He also has another gaming blog here, which was actually updated recently. You should check it out.