Monday, December 6, 2010
The most bestest video game ever
During its heyday, several wonderfully imaginative products, films, and books were released. Chief among these were the aforementioned Adventure video game. Even though I never counted myself a sci-fi or fantasy fan, the game captured my imagination. The box cover, always famously beyond anything that Atari graphics could deliver, was more than enough pique my interest.
It was delivered to me rather innocuously by my eventual ex-brother in law who at that time merely wanted to make a good impression on the family. He walked in through the living room door from the kitchen - I can still see the light brownish jacket he wore in defiance of the cold December weather - and whipped out the box. I leaped up, ran across the room and had it playing in no time.
It's amazing. The game design was quite crude, and even then, we were aware of its limitations. We knew there was more potential for what video games could offer. Nonetheless, I spent hours, and hours, and hours, and hours maneuvering that little square through the same mazes, the same labyrinths, the same crudely drawn castles, and all the while evading the same duck shaped dragons. Friends came over and joined the fun, playing it for hours on end.
Even though technology has rendered such early visions of computer games obsolete, it's still fun to remember. I admit, the nostalgia packs of games you can buy that have games like this have a fast sell by date. You play them couple times, then quickly grow bored. And yet at the time, before graphics and Internets and multi-media allowed access to a million graphic renderings of such things as castles and dragons, what the imagination was able to fill in between the dots and pixels was really amazing. For it was more a guide for the pistons of our mental image making that really became the star attraction of games like these.
As great as the graphics today, as advanced and awe inspiring as the games can be, I've noticed one thing. I notice that no matter what is happening when I'm playing a Call of Duty or similar product, there is one thing lacking: Imagination. How can it be there? Graphically and visually, everything has been supplied. So I wonder what the creative ventures of a generation weaned on visual images to order at the tips of their fingers will be producing years from now. Will it be beyond our wildest dreams because they find inspiration from what is already there? Or will there be stunted growth because they never had to fill in the gaps where there was nothing to begin with? Time will tell I guess.