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The Grown-Up Video Game 152

Phaethon360 writes "Now, more than ever, we're seeing many Mature ratings (M+, 17+, 18) being distributed by various national media regulators. But that isn't the only indicator for a game's intended audience. It doesn't take a thousand swear words, scantily clad women or gratuitous violence to differentiate a ten-year-old's game from a twenty-year-old's. The spectrum of human emotions encompasses a wider palette than just revenge, fear, and loss, but the games that shy away from these are frequently mistaken as being for a younger audience. From the article: 'The human experience is one that is made up of great hardship, pain, loss, death, and a multitude of experiences seemingly designed to destroy a person. However, that same experience is also filled with joy, love, laughter, family and friends. ... These so-called “grown-up” games need not be relegated to the category of niche gaming. In fact, at times we find that these video games are capable of reaching mass popularity among the gaming community. It is here that we find one of our generation’s outlets for the expression of conflict.'"
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The Grown-Up Video Game

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  • by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:37PM (#31255092)
    How about games for 40 year olds? No, not Pac-man and Pole Position, but games adults can play and enjoy now. Apologies to the middle aged that play FPS and others of the new genre, but there is a market for less intensive product.
  • Grown up games... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:37PM (#31255098)

    ... I don't believe there is such a thing. I've seen grown men in their 40's+ rushing out to get the latest Call of duty or Mass effect 2. Games are NOT movies this call for emotionalism or "emotional depth" in a game is nonsense. What does final fantasy's story have anything to do with being a grown up? It's probably one of the most graphics heavy and story laden game series and yet their stories have nothing in common with anything one might consider "grown up".

    I don't play games for emotional storytelling, I can get that in movies. I play games to be a participant in the world, kill stuff, shoot stuff, solve puzzles and indulge my imagination. I want games to be FUN, what does a plumber stomping on a bunch of mushroom people have anything to do with being grown up? Yet many millions of grown ups certainly enjoyed playing mario, I can vouch for the fact that my own mother got into playing mario kart series from 64 onwards.

  • Re:the game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:46PM (#31255150) Homepage
    The only winning move is not to play.
  • by Kopiok ( 898028 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:56PM (#31255242)
    For many people being told a story IS fun. I enjoy watching a heavy movie from time to time because it's thought provoking and the emotional pull is a nice experience (from time to time). I read books because of the thrilling events captured in words. Games don't have to lack a story to be fun. Uncharted 2 has won many awards for its storytelling and has been reviewed very highly, having great game play that is entertaining to the player. You brought up Final Fantasy... have you ever played any of them? They have some of the deeper stories in videogaming. Try telling a Final Fantasy VIII fan that the story isn't "grown up". Final Fantasy X had many far reaching philosophical elements regarding death, reality, companionship, love, destruction, all wrapped up in an entertaining experience that brings you closer to the characters. Just because you shoot someone, or kill some ravenous bird every 25 steps, doesn't mean it's an emotionally empty game.
  • by Interoperable ( 1651953 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:06AM (#31255322)

    There are tons of games that are absolutely gripping but have gameplay so slow it would put most FPS players to sleep. One of my favorites is the Silent Hunter series. On the higher realism settings it often requires a calculator to triangulate ship positions and velocities, taking up to an hour to set up a torpedo run on a convoy. Awful to watch, but extremely satisfying if your calculations work out.

    If you're looking for fun but relaxed, there's really no shortage. Simulator games abound, as do puzzle games. There's a huge variety of real-time strategy games including tons that don't require inhuman micro-managing but do require thought and planning. Many games require a great deal of intellectual energy and are very rewarding. You say that the demand is there for mature games; it is, but so is the supply.

  • by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:08AM (#31255338)
    I'm 42 and I like to play the same stuff as the teenagers and the twenty-somethings. Fun is fun.
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:28AM (#31255470)

    It's time for PINBALL to come back as a big thing and THEY ARE STILL MADE IN THE USA!!!

  • Re:TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by madpansy ( 1410973 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:08AM (#31255704)

    "Life is half random, and half under our control."

    and with planning you can attempt to minimize the random events that come your way.

    I'm sure with proper planning anyone can avoid being born in a war-torn or impoverished nation.

  • by HKatoyHToyH ( 1752778 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:08AM (#31255710)

    The idea that stuff that should be unavailable to children is automatically more mature, has been spectacularly antiproductive.
    Example of logic: "Wow, Bobby got drunk and slept with the teacher, and he's only a sixth grader! Awesome! I'm gonna ask him how he does it!"
    Labeling things "M" adds about 25% interest among young teenagers, because we advertise sex and drugs as too fun to be legal. People reach for things they think will be useful in making them happy. For inexperienced people looking for fun, illegal looks like a pretty good start. If you're looking to make a game for an adult you're taking a lot of assumptions for what you think they will be reaching for. Any masterpiece you create to charm an adult audience will be virtually unadvertisable, and likely will be a commercial failure. Anybody looking should buy Okami. They would be in the first 500 people to do so, for effect, drink a Tab soda with it.

    Child Gamer

    14 fully automatic weapons that can be carried at once and ready to fire in any order within a second of each other.
    Immense piles of (crappy) enemy armor, clothes, weapons, potions, and lunch monies
    Dead Hookers that pay you
    Complete physical dominance over a physical world
    Self respect with occasional awe
    Control over an economy.
    Really funny stuff.
    Charming stuff that makes you a little happier.
    A compliment that actually pleases you

    Video Games End Here
    Office Software Starts Here

    Spousal apologies
    More free time/money
    Inner Peace/Contentment

    Dead Gamer

  • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <gknoy.anasazisystems@com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:51AM (#31256280)

    Part of this is, I think, that it takes some time to digest the lore nuggets that the games spew at us, especially when it's done from the firehose of an FMV or other cutscene. I like lore-heavy stories, or games with a plot, but it can sometimes be hard to geta good idea of "what the hell is going on" if you don't play something regularly.

    I'm several hours (5? 4? 6?) into Twilight Princess. The story is great so far. However, I haven't played in a year because every time I think about it, I can't remember why I'm at this particular point, how I got there, or whatnot. The underlying fabric of the tapestry of lore is something I'd be familiar with if I were playing it regularly, but I've forgotten and now it's hard to jump in in the middle. So hard, in fact, that it's tempting to restart my game (but, I don't want to repeat the half dozen hours of gameplay if I don't have to).

    Games I can "jump into", like COD or Borderlands or super monkey ball or even Wii Fit are more appealing to me right now, precisely because I am not going todevote the regular blocks of time to playing more complex games like dragon age or twilight princess.

  • The Stock Market (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ntufar ( 712060 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:19AM (#31256416) Homepage Journal
    Not on topic but I'd want to mention the stock market as a good game for adults. I played computer games in my teens and twenties but now, in my thirties I find them quite boring, predictable and repetitive.

    For three years now I picked up a new hobby: stock market. I watch CNBC, I read business newspapers, i follow a ton of finance blogs, I think, I make hard decisions, I put my money at risk, I master my impulses and emotions. I throughly enjoy it.
  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @04:02AM (#31256654)

    I didn't like any of the control scheme, and I actually did well with the demo. Won the fight and everything. But I found I was staring at the screen like a mental patient watching for random icons and not really paying attention to what was being said. Some would slowly fade in during conversations and blend in with the background. My classic copy of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines ran screaming out of the room.

    The first time I had to choose a conversation gambit, the three selections appeared right on top of one another, and just as they started to pull apart and become readable they drifted behind the character's head. D'oh! That's when the woman admonished me for taking too long. Hey, eff you, game. :-P That right there is enough for me to *not* reward the developers. I understand what they were going for, but it winds up being very immersion breaking.

    It's an interesting experiment- I'll probably rent it- but maybe next time they'll try to be a bit more practical and less pointlessly artsy in the interface.

    And, honestly, was the drama really anything all that special?

  • by imakemusic ( 1164993 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:14AM (#31257614)

    did they rush through without enjoying the artwork and thinking critically about every situation as much as was allowed?

    It was a review...so yes, probably.

  • by quadrox ( 1174915 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:50AM (#31257786)

    I disagree. I have played several games that were buggy and/or where the gameplay itself was awkward up to annoying, just to see the story unfold.

    I hate how the shift has gone from singleplayer to multiplayer and even MMO games. While multiplayer is fun as well, what I really really want is an immersive game world with a good story. That's the main reason I play video games. Which is probably why I love RPGs.

  • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:41AM (#31258070)

    Personally I always wished that MMORPGS had age segregated servers available.

    Not because of adult content (as somebody pointed out in another story, naked pixels are only really tillitanting when ur a teen), it's simply because an environment where teens can run around anonymously controlling powerfull avatars and there are no adults in supervisory positions tends only be fun - if at all - for the teens themselfs (things like griefing, being loud, obnoxious and showing off which look cool when ur 13 and have no life experience just look like signs of social/emotional desperation once you become mature enough to understand people).

    I don't want all servers should be age segregated, I just whish there were such servers available - with, for example, a 25+ age limit - for those that want the option: I would even be willing to pay extra for it.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller