Now and Then: Video games

David Taintor

Who remembers coming home from school and before doing your homework, before telling your mom and dad about your day, you promptly sat yourself down in front of a TV and grabbed onto your favorite video game controller?

I know video games played a significant part in my high school years, but each person has their own style of play, as well as their own taste for games.

I began my gaming experience on my Nintendo 64 with Super Smash Brothers.

Though I always lost, I had the burning desire to play as Yoshi. There was something about the hilarity of pooping out an egg containing my foe that attracted me. Ah, the mind of a 10 year old.

As I got older, the systems and games evolved rapidly, and I bought my first Xbox.

I myself was a Halo person (but come on.who wasn’t?). Everything was great except. well, I wasn’t very good, and I never seemed to get any better despite spending more time sitting in front of a TV screen than a movie critic.

Then Halo 2 arrived, and coupled with the introduction of Xbox Live, you could now take your multiplayer skills out of your basement and into the world. Of course, you weren’t cool if you didn’t have Live, so I joined.

A few months later, there was an “incident” where I lost because of a “modder,” and I was so angry that I threw and broke my controller.

If you’ve been there too, you know all too well that cheating via Internet gaming is as low as putting the milk carton back in the fridge with nothing left in it. It can drive people to kill.

Although my reasoning at the time was legitimate, hindsight tells me I reacted poorly, and perhaps it was time to find a new hobby.

So I’ve been multiplayer sober since 2005, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying new games from a single-player perspective.

As a sports fan, I’m obligated to play the most recent version of Madden Football. It’s become a cult, and if you have last year’s version, you’re behind the times, my friend. The latest version has artificial-intelligence that can sense what parts of the game you’re good at (rushing, passing, etc.) and can counter every move that you make.

That’s right – a game that knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Now I’ve seen everything.

After being beaten by the computer (on easy mode, none-the-less) I decided to try another semi-recent game. Doom III.

Coming from a guy who doesn’t jump at scary movies and isn’t easily creeped out, I expected this “thriller/action-adventure” game to be like all the rest, right?


I couldn’t even finish it. I was freaked out. Things are different when you actually have to kill the monster that jumps out at you instead of just watch the hero of the movie take care of it.

So by this point I’ve realized that as video games evolve and advance, maybe I’m just not a “gamer.” When you have the track record I have with games, you’re better off trying to rekindle that old relationship with something not so interactive.

Then again. maybe I just haven’t found my game yet.

Next stop – Dance Dance Revolution.

Peterson is a freshman print journalism major and copy editor of The Spectator.