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Old 08-05-2008, 03:11 PM   #11
ronnoc10
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Well, I was reminded of a post I wrote a few weeks ago in which I pointed out that there is a single video game controller (Steel Battalion) that is more complicated than a computer's keyboard.

I would consider my mom a non-gamer. She played Sonic on the Genesis (and interestingly, often attempted to control the game by moving the controller similar to the Wii-mote), and Mario 64, but that was about it.
Strangely, the game she eventually picked up was Smuggler's Run: Warzones. Unlike the article in question, I can draw no conclusions for that, other than hotseat multiplayer in that game is fun.
She now plays Guitar Hero, which has reached a large audience, despite not having the simplest controls. I think part of it is the fact that the game expects the player to need to learn how to use the controller, and doesn't rely on previous knowledge.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:34 AM   #12
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Aside from your analysis of the Wiimote, what else did you, as future game developers, take away from Amy Addison's commentary?
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:11 AM   #13
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"None of my friends played video games. None of the boys I dated played video games. And I had no interest in spending what precious time I had for socializing, studying, and working, to learn how to use the new controllers and all the buttons."

This is another thing to note. Videogames take a long time to play. At the same time, people have other things to do. Although they're a lot of fun, people who don't have hardcore gamer friends face a similar situation. Other quotes to describe videogames are "Wow! I'm getting nowhere fast!" --newspaper comic and though I don't remember the exact phrasing "Videogames! Because spending money and technology for science, medicine, etc would be a waste!" --obviously sarcastic.

A lot of people view videogames as a waste of time, money and technology. Wii Sports, Rockband, Guitar Hero etc take what people do normally outside of videogames (play guitar, drums, tennis, etc) and turn that into a game. These games expand their audience because they combine daily activity with the game world, instead of forcing the player to choose between the two.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillduffy View Post
Aside from your analysis of the Wiimote, what else did you, as future game developers, take away from Amy Addison's commentary?
Actually, not much. She perceived video game controls to be too difficult, and eventually the Wii came out and she decided it was simple enough to play. What I see is a perception problem, not a complexity problem, and the article simply makes this more apparent.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnoc10 View Post
Actually, not much. She perceived video game controls to be too difficult, and eventually the Wii came out and she decided it was simple enough to play. What I see is a perception problem, not a complexity problem, and the article simply makes this more apparent.
Does "perception" imply a result of marketing?
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillduffy View Post
Does "perception" imply a result of marketing?
I suppose it might be but I am not really convinced marketing has really changed the "perception" of games. I think its simply a social evolution that has occured during the last few generations.

There have been many handheld consoles whose human-computer interface were remarkably simple. My old GameBoy had three buttons and a D-pad. One of those buttons was the power switch.

There were also many pick-up and play games that didn't really require a huge time investment within a single play session, nor were they non-intuitive. Games like Kirby and Mario come to mind. Back in the day I would play them on and off constantly.

As far as I'm aware, the vast majorty of games and platforms have been marketedly in a fairly standard method for the last decade or so...

I have noticed several contributing factors. These include the general social acceptance of computer games as an entertainment medium and, as I mentioned earlier, the measure of accessibility. Would she have paid attention to games if her kids wern't interested? Would the kids have ever gotten interested in games if their friends didn't play? Were their friends given game by their parents or did they find some games on the internet and play? Would the parents have gotten games for the kids if the games wern't so easy to get hold of?

Marketing does play a role, but I don't really think it's as powerful as word of mouth and peer pressure.

I'm just wondering, if not marketing, then what really caused the shift in social acceptance?
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