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“Silly Asses“ is the title of Isaac Asimov’s famous novel that tells how Earthlings get “cross out” from the galactic records of intelligent species because of their insistence with atomic testing on their own planet.
Now, obviously I will not talk about atomic energy, nor about aliens, but I want to say “Silly asses!” too.
I deal, more or less seriously, with videogames for years and over time I recognized how videogame hazing is representing the base of the debacle on media in these 5 years.
I’m going to explain.
Always more often it happens to see people, offended on their “videogame pride” by younger players, that tend to answer with phrases like: “when I was your age I play videogames where you had only 3 lives and no checkpoints to go through”, or “how can you” oppure “how can you know about xxx that you weren’t even born when it came out” etc.
I never been the target of these phrases – especially because I had a 40yo beard when I was 14 – but similar phrases piss me off particularly because, in my humble opinion, they tend to move away young players from the very essence of a medium that is forgetting their own origins.
I’ll make an example.
Time ago I went to an electronic fair (I don’t remember which) where there was a little retrogaming stand.
In this stand, visitors were able to freely try the original versions of Pong, Pac-Man and Space Invaders and, during a session of this game, I witnessed a scene that literally made me shiver.
A kid – around 10 years old – were playing Space Invaders trying to use the joystick like it was an analog stick, with the thumb on the “ball” and the other four fingers on the controller’s body.
Obviously the result was terrible, but not only none of the people present tried to explain the kid, NATURALLY TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND THE FUNCTIONING OF A 30 YEARS OLD TECHNOLOGY, how to use the joystick… rather they denigrated him for his lack of ability in relating on a pad that was THE RESULT OF AN OBSOLETE TECHNOLOGY, WHERE ONLY LOVERS OF VIDEOGAME ARCHEOLOGY ARE ABLE TO APPROACH IT WITHOUT TROUBLE.
How can you think that a child humiliated during their first experiences with retrogaming will interact with the classic videogame world without problems? How can you think the actual videogame generation can enrich theirself with an army of gatekeepers trying to block them away?
I’m more than convinced that this attitude favors unconscoius and harmful videogame that is leading to today’s lack of depth in the media.
It’s useless to beat it around, videogame “old stuff” lovers are rising but true connoisseurs are fallin and it’s more apparent than ever that a generational turnover is necessary (also because, after 50yo, lifting an old Thomson’s cathodic tube could reserve unpleasant physical inconveniences). So we can’t afford to play new generations out with nonsense like hazing and bullying.
Please, make an effort to explain to young people what it really means play games, because only then, in the future, we can all enjoy the first interactive medium without history censorship and without having to submit to the comments from do-gooders.
Sorry for the outburst, but with this mini-article (it’s not a real article, it’s more like of an editorial) I hope to send a clear message to everyone who’s gatekeeping the approach of videogame medium by the youngest.
You’re a bunch of Silly Asses!