Game Over for the Young

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Post: #1
I stumbled across this interesting read about how young children have a completely different view on what to do in games:

http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/20...well-.html

It is not something I can comment on directly seeing as there were no such things as computer games or consoles in the home when I was that age.
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Post: #2
I remember when I wasw a kid, I had a racing game on the Amstrad CPC. It drew little mountains and town and things on the horizon, and my sister decided that she wanted to try and drive to a nearby town instead of attempting to win the race. She spent hours trying to drive to towns, and never accepted that they weren't actually getting any closer.
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Post: #3
I remember Tomb Raider. I never played past the first level. Instead I would always play in the little training ground thing outside Lara's house. Ahhhh, they were good times.

I can also echo his frustration. When I was about 14-15 I guess, I had a friend who was slightly less mature than me and another friend. we were all playing some fps game, an interesting feature of the fps was that you could blow up bits of the level. The immature friend was obsessed with destroying bits of the level while me and the other guy were both trying to kill him and eachother. The immature friend kept saying "C'mon guys! Let's destroy the level!". It was sooo frustrating, dammit that's not the point of the game! :-)

When I next have no projects to work on (ya know, in 40 years), I might try and make a game with no objective. In fact, that's quite a good contest theme idea, actually. "Games with no objective". I like it!

Good article, btw. Thanks.

"So long and thanks for all the fish" - In memory of Douglas Adams.
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Post: #4
It's definitely a whole different experience to play games as a kid. Many times, I've picked up a game as an adult that I'd played when I was younger, and I'm quite surprised at the amount of depth I'd missed back then. On the flip side, I've also sometimes been surprised at the difficulty of games when I replay them... I was either more skilled or more persistent at action-based games as a kid. Hard to tell which.

I guess it's a matter of knowing your target market and building a game that makes sense to their mental model...
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Post: #5
Video games weren't nearly as complex when I was a kid, so I can't really say I can relate either. I literally started with pong when I was four, over at my cousin's house on the weekends. There has never been a game where I just made up my own rules, even as a young kid. I've always grasped what was going on, and how to play it for the most part. My coordination and reflexes with games started off low and has linearly progressed throughout the years.

One thing that I do recall though, is there have been a few games when I was younger where I really had no idea what to expect from the game. My mind was pretty open to the possibility of anything happening next if I touched something or walked somewhere. Definitely as I got older and my mental picture of the world solidified, those unexpected expectations disappeared -- you see a wall and you can't go through it, you step in a hole and you fall.

I do also recall wondering if it were possible to fly off into space in Mach 3, which was a video game down at the airport. But it cost four whole quarters to play at the time which was a fortune, so I never got a chance to find out.Annoyed
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Post: #6
Brings back memories. Back in the 80s dad bought a Ti994A with a speech synthesizer module. Hooked it up to the TV. The first game was Parsec. Later games were QBert, Munchman, Centipede, and Tombstone.
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Post: #7
I remember playing Warcraft II against my brother: we'll both pile up resources and build large armies until *every goldmine was empty* and *every forest was gone*, building 100s of defense towers... only then launching an attack. Those games used to take WAY too much time... Grin
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