Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Science Gone Mad Super 30: Video Games

(or, The Graveyard For Broken Controllers)

Videogames are too detailed nowadays. I have a controller to the PS2 that has 11 buttons. And that's pretty standard. The N64 controller wasn't only loaded with buttons, but the system came with a diagram for how to best hold the controller. All this research & effort put into little diversion that simulates a life much more interesting than our own.

Advertisers know this, and that's why you see mini-Flash games attached to ads to "WIN A XBOX 360!!" and all you have to do is punch a digital visage of Osama Bin Laden in the face three times (while a gun hangs on the wall nearby). And yet, knowing that these are solely designed to get us to see whatever's being sold just over the wall, I'd put money that most anyone reading this has played those games on more than one occasion.

It's because we're a society of gamers. The risk, the thrill, the reward; it's a crave. We're not all born into positions in life when we can say, "Oh yeah, I kept someone from dying in a burning building today," or "Yeah, I did CPR on the girl for 20 minutes and she came to right before we got to the ER." Me, I'm a therapist, so by nature my job only means that I talk real good. Therefore, I need to be behind the wheel of that car going 92 mph, I need to be behind that gun firing at some god-awful tentacled monstrosity, I need to be a warrior in feudal Japan saving the peasantry by the laws of bushido.

Us four - Ron, the good reverend Joshua, Will and myself, we submitted our picks for the best videogames of all time. After getting a total list together - 50 games in all - we then chose our thirty. Some of the choices will come as a surprise, not only to the casual reader, but to the SGM staff as well. Number 30 goes up later this evening. And it all goes downhill from there.

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