The Good, The Bad, and The Fun

This is a beautiful article about the benefits Brain Age had for one woman with Multiple Sclerosis. Steven Johnson makes a rather compelling case for the cognitive benefits of modern games with his “Sleeper Curve” concept, but I think it takes a story like the one above to really push the point home. Books and articles espousing the benefits of games are few and far between, but they seem to be on the rise.

…and then ads like this one surface:

Aaaaagh! What the fuck is wrong with you people?! Hitman is a great series of games, with Hitman 2 being my favorite. They’re great because of the open-ended logic puzzles, the many creative and different ways to achieve one objective. The fact that the objective is to kill is almost beside the point. It serves the drama a little bit, and the backstory, but doesn’t really have all that much to do with the experience of playing the game. In the game, you spend at most three seconds per level actually killing someone. The rest of the time is spent observing guard movement patterns, sneaking and plotting, trying to find the chinks in the armor through which to slip unnoticed. That is the experience of playing Hitman – creative intent and skillful execution. One of the greatest gaming experiences I’ve ever had was in Hitman 2, having to walk, slowly and patiently, across a huge stretch of open ground because running arouses suspicion. Or having to turn one’s head to away to avoid being recognized. Great stuff.

…and then some marketing goobers get their hand on the concept, and try to capitalize on the current anti-game furor with that “edgy” piece of drivel. You’re not helping the cause, guys. Knock it off! What good will it do you to advertise if no retailers will sell your games? *sigh*

Finally, go play Toribash. God, it’s enjoyable.

4 Responses to “The Good, The Bad, and The Fun”

  1. Dosou
    August 23rd, 2006 | 4:00 pm

    “The real killer is you.”

    That ad can kiss my ass. :|

  2. August 25th, 2006 | 12:36 pm

    This is like ammo for that Thompson asshole. My roommate just finished playing Blood Money and I was telling him how cool it was that you had so many options for stealth and creativity and how it was even cooler that you didn’t necessarily have to kill people unless the objective was to kill them. To be completely honest, if I had seen that ad, I don’t think I would have any desire to buy that game. That’s marketing gone wrong, if you ask me… =/

  3. airrunkle
    August 27th, 2006 | 9:59 am

    Toribash is the most badass fighting game ever! I havn’t stopped playing it since i realized there was multiplayer.

  4. Dracko
    November 4th, 2006 | 9:27 pm

    I understand the problem with this particular advert, but I get the impression that it was more of a moral condemnation within the context of the game’s world: People who commission hitmen are just as morally liable, potentially more so, than the hitmen themselves. The phone digit sound effects at the end help amplify this point.

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