Saturday, December 13, 2008

Video Games

I've been unable to post recently since I've spent every night this past week trying to finish Liberal Fascism. I had waited for 6 months or so to get it from the library and by the time I got it there were 14 or so people on the waiting list after me. The library doesn't let you renew a book when there are people waiting, so I had to get through it as soon as possible.

Earlier this week we visited some friends of ours and got to play their Wii. We have an X-Box ourselves but have been stuck playing the same games for a couple of years now. We should have known when we bought a Microsoft product that they would stop supporting it as soon as they had a replacement for it. And sure enough, as soon as X-Box 360 came out they stopped making original X-Box games. I can't help but to notice that they are still making PlayStation 2 versions of new games (e.g., Lego Batman) in addition to PlayStation 3 versions, which suggests that Sony actually cares about their customers (or at least about making a good impression).

Anyway, as nifty as the new Wii games were, my wife and I actually spent more time playing Super Mario Brothers 3. Nintendo has made hundreds of old video game titles available for download at a fairly reasonable price. Many of these, such as Mario 3, are among our favorite games from childhood. What I found amazing was that, although I haven't played Mario 3 for years, I still remembered when and where you had to jump, when enemies would pop out at you, what trajectory cannon balls would take, etc. I think nearly all of this was on a subconscious level; I wasn't actively thinking about any of it (I guess that's what's expected when you play a video game, anyway).

I think we'll be getting a Wii once we've got that credit card debt paid off... and when the stores actually have them in stock, of course. I'm sure that there will be plenty of Wiis in the stores once the Wii 2 is released.


  1. We have a Wii, and love it. Though we haven't pursued the backwards-compatability features as thoroughly as yet, it purports full compatability with Nintendo Gamecube. It reads Gamecube discs, has plugins for Gamecube controllers, and even has a Gamecube memory card slot. Only drawback I could think of is that it won't let you mix the Wii features with the Gamecube features (near as I can tell), so you can't use your Wii-mote to play, for example.

    Something else to keep an eye on is that the Wii-mote provides so much to game designers in figuring out what it is that the game player is trying to do, that the game developers seem to be still trying to get a hang of it. Check out "Boom Blox" if you get a chance. It's a joint effort between Steven Spielberg and EA Games, and is the first of a series of games they are going to produce. Basically, it's a marketable demo of the physics engine and controller interaction they've modelled, in order to provide adequate understanding for the rest of the games they plan to produce (but haven't talked too much about yet). Exciting stuff!

  2. That's funny. About Super Mario Bros. that is. Fred Meyer is the place to go to get a Wii, that's where we got ours, along with our Wii Fit. Although the key is to not buy it anytime close to a big holiday.



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