Tag Archives: gaming
This week has certainly seen some momentous releases over the years, many of them during times when the monumental franchises we know by heart today were still in their infancy. This week’s list of events reminds me of a scene from a popular gaming-centric web series in which one of the main characters is asked if he believes more modern games like Halo: Combat Evolved will someday be considered classics in the same way that some of the games below are today.
I would agree with the character’s response that we will all have positive memories of the games that stimulated us as children. But child or not, one day I see some other 19-year-old writer taking over my job here and rightfully memorializing Halo, Uncharted, and Assassin’s Creed in much the same way. Because it is not just our childhood memories that makes them classics, but their impact on all that will come after them.
Toss away the immediate visions of winged fairies and gnomes. We’re talking pixelated beings that are nothing more than (insert gasp here) bitmap images with color. Now what a horrid idea that is, for such sprites to exist in this age of dramatically rendered, computer-generated figures. Even so, these sprites continue to show up in videogames being produced in recent days.
Unlike CG figures, sprite characters and objects can’t be made only once. (Costume changes set aside.) Should they be the sort that moves, an artist must draw a different image for every action. Run, walk, jump, turn, duck, etc. And each time the sprite is in one size and no other: Small. Very small. No bigger than your thumbnail unless you have the game blown up on the wide-screen, then maybe no bigger than your big toenail and your thumbnail combined. Sometimes the shrunken form is necessary because a game disc can’t take the weight, so to speak, already loaded with music and memory spaces and background maps and a lot of other technical things that I couldn’t come up with in a year.
For as long as the human race has existed, our vast and wonderful dissimilarities have always divided us, and even thousands of years of enlightenment have failed to completely erase that instinctive impulse to mentally differentiate ourselves from others. The gaming community has long been a target of blatant and unwarranted stereotyping by the bulk of society. Of course, as gamers we all know that we are not a collective of socially inept basement dwellers. We are a lively, diverse, and proud group of people united not by age, occupation, or social aptitude, but by our shared passion. We are all unique. We are all different.
But do our differences divide us against each other?