One of the best things about modern electronic gaming is that you can play with other people. No longer are you simply challenging yourself – you’re pitting yourself against others, or you’re teaming up with them to challenge other teams. You may recall my love of Playstation 2’s SSX On Tour and the fact that I was concerned about the difference between real life interaction and the immersive environment provided by games like that (I’m still playing of course!) – probably because other people have suffered from my obsession with various games over the years. But while reading Zero Influence I discovered the imminent arrival of Playstation 3’s Home. We seem to be coming close to a properly fulfilling fusion of gaming, challenge and social interaction.
The concept is clearer than Second Life and the rendering so much better and the way that it ties games and community together means it could prove an even more attractive challenge to the prosaic boringness of everyday than the games are on their own. Among other activities, you can go bowling, play arcade games, watch film trailers or other video content on in-world TVs and invite other PS3 owners to bring their own avatars into your apartment.
Worries? Well, many game environments actively reward you for being unpleasant or are openly about crime, murder drug abuse, even the ones that purport to be biblical so your trophy room is a reward for being aggressive, unpleasant and war-like, there are no rewards for good faith, nurturing, making friends etc because there are so few games about it.
Worries 2? More unachievable, aspirational, life-style and personal modelling – everybody and everything looks good and the home environments are like musicians “cribs”. Can’t we just give all this offensive “get, get, get” a rest?!
Answers on a postcard….to my Home address.