Talking to a brick wall...

Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves

The Games of our Youth

The Future of The Web—[29-8-00] I remember many years ago... about eight or nine, if I recall correctly, my life was focused on exactly one goal. I had gotten it into my head that I was going to get a copy of Final Fantasy- something that looked from my Nintendo Power strategy guide to be the greatest video game ever made.
     Because, you see, Final Fantasy was different. I had played video games before, ever since I worked up the allowance and good favor with my Mom to get me an NES. They had a surprising allure to them, despite the general predictability of what the player would be expected to do in them. Ever since Super Mario Brothers, at least, most games fit very well into a few small categories. Jump on platforms, avoid bad guys. Drop pieces, solve puzzles. Fly around, shoot bad guys.
    I suppose, then, that Final Fantasy introduced, or for me made popular, yet one more style of game: Talk to people, Fight Monsters, Walk around. Basically, D&D for NES. Minus real people.

But was it? Here's what made Final Fantasy so special to me- The people in it were supposed to be, in the world it created, real people. The world it was set in could have been real.
    And yes, of course, it was very cool to go and beat down Lich, but the feeling wasn't just that of "Yay, I finally beat the boss... dang, that was tough! Rock!!" It was (in my mind, anyway) freeing that poor dying town or Melmond from Lich, the Rot of the Earth, making a difference in the world that I temporarily placed myself in.

This is not something I did when beating bowser; Yay, I can feel the joy of those little mushroom guys! The princess must be so happy to be free! Maybe she'll actually kiss Mario!
    No, no... The mushroom guys sat there, and the princess did too. They were not people, they were pixels, and I felt nothing for them except on the occasional idle fantasy after seeing a surreal episode of the TV show. We'd have to wait for the Mario Kissing for several years, when with the Super NES they started to give a little character to Mario's world.

So, with the greatest of hopes, I finally got Final Fantasy, in return for completing a quest of my own that my parents had prepared for me for my twelfth birthday. My conditioning had begun. >>

  1. It starts with a dream
  2. Pixels are people too
  3. A story like any other
  4. I change, they change
  5. The craft for itself