Home > Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, Mario, Super Mario Galaxy > Video Games: Should They Remain As Toys?

Video Games: Should They Remain As Toys?

The video game world is evolving faster than ever with recent technological developments. With these advances, games begin to explore different levels of depth and entertainment. I find myself wondering now more than ever, should video games remain as toys? When I say this I don’t mean “VIDYA GAMES AREN’T SERIOUS” I just mean… is there such thing as taking itself too seriously? There are those who would argue that there is.

This might sound like a strange thought, but it came to me upon reading a tweet from the guys at Mario Marathon. They asked why when Mario uses fireballs does nothing in the Mushroom Kingdom catch fire… suggesting maybe a lack of oxygen was to blame. Now, of course we all know they were kidding to a degree and I’m not looking to take their quote out of context. But how does he? Even we believed that it was because of a lack of oxygen then wouldn’t that render his fireballs useless altogether? Mario is an example of video games not taking themselves seriously. He also does a damn good job of it. Installment after installment its so easy to lose yourself in a ridiculous Mario adventure. You don’t feel the need to go, “hold on! Why can Mario jump so high? Why is he riding some sort of tamed dinosaur? Why do mushrooms making him larger? Why does he come back after he dies? Why the hell is he collecting stars?” and its fine. Maybe its something in Nintendo’s magic that makes Mario’s simple but insane video game concepts work. I mean, take Galaxy for example. My mind took a decent length of time to adapt to being able to jump off an edge and only end up circling around to the ground again thanks to the self-contained planets. However, occasionally it got too comfortable and forgot they aren’t all like that.

Mario games are so simple in concept, but the amount of fun there is to be had in their creative worlds is astounding. I’ve poured many hours into Mario games, and even though they may not have been the best spent hours, I hold no regrets. I can only hope that Mario never changes and instead keeps going down his own path, bringing a childish but inventive fun to my video game involved life.

Although, on the flip-side there are many games that show just how serious video games can be. I can think of heaps of examples right now, but off the top of my head I’m going to go for a recent and extremely powerful one. Heavy Rain. What did you say? “Oh wow! Kyran chose Heavy Rain! I’m horribly surprised!!” Damn right I chose Heavy Rain. It embodies what realistic, gritty, serious video games should be. Sure, it falters in a few areas… but like Mario games do for their strengths, Heavy Rain musters itself in so many other areas.

You are presented at first with this perfect world. Husband, loving wife, adorable kids and then bam, twenty minutes later its all gone. This is a reality that many people will have faced, perhaps not exactly but it is a real pain. A real trauma that can be experienced. And imagining yourself for just a moment in the shoes of Ethan Mars is a heart-breaking concept. I still haven’t had a proper chance to rant about how much I love Heavy Rain’s narrative and how I think its use of story-telling is a fantastic one. In relation to this random thought I had, it is an example of how serious games can show themselves with pride. Often it can be mistaken that “serious” needs to mean “mature” and then often that can degenerate into “violent.” But this isn’t always the case. Sure, Heavy Rain has some violence but it has a lot more to offer than that. And it isn’t the only one. More and more games are going to (hopefully) continue popping up that will follow in the footsteps of Heavy Rain.

Heck, in May the Xbox 360 will be getting Alan Wake (a game that I desperately want to play, but due to exclusivity with the 360 I will be unable to) looks like it will be nearly as good as Heavy Rain in terms of narrative and maturity.

I salute you, video games. May your steps towards maturity and beautiful story-telling continue.

Yes, I know this is a random blog that may even fall apart itself often throughout… but video games are a magically device than can capture our imaginations with zany content, or horrifyingly realistic content. Perhaps this blog entry should have been called: “Video Games: Heavy Rain is awesome.”

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: