Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interacting With Our Lives and Culture

I wrote this back in April of 2010:

I'm really glad I'm making these decisions in my life to take risks. To some people it sounds like a childish dream to say "I want to make video games."

I've been doubting myself lately too, thinking the same thing--that maybe it is just a childish dream that has no purpose. Something very small that just happened is changing my mind though.

As I had all my music on shuffle, a song from Final Fantasy 7 came on. It is a song that plays during a couple touching scenes, I seem to remember it playing when Cloud and Aeris are riding a cable car at a festival or something.

Anyway, just hearing this song from a video game that I played when I was young is triggering all kinds of memories and feelings. It brings me back to a time in my life where things were very simple and free.

For some people, like me, video games are a big part of their lives. They are therapeutic and can be very soothing. They are also a sort of "landmark" form of entertainment. On a personal level for the players they can become ingrained as a trigger of a certain time in a person's life (hence, "landmark").

They can also be a landmark for something bigger.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wii Vitality Sensor: WTF or WTAwesome

If you have no idea what you are looking at right now, you're not alone. This is a Wii peripheral Nintendo showed off almost a year ago; strangely though, we haven't heard anything else about it since. It is called the "Wii Vitality Sensor," although I would have named it the "Wii Finger Nom" if I had the choice.

Apparently, you simply clamp your smooth, CGI finger into the device while holding the Wiimote like you normally would in your main hand. From what I know, it basically just reads your pulse. You might be thinking that Nintendo is reaching for an even older, sicker demographic than they already have been. In my opinion, this is partially true; consider this:

Case 1: An older gentleman wants to play a crazy new game where Link and Mario team up to fight off hordes of zombie Pokemon [I already have a patent on this idea, so back off, Nintendo]; the only problem is that he fears a game as stressful as this wouldn't bode well with his heart condition. His sadistic, bratty grandchild finally convinces this aged individual to try out this [incredible] game.

The game boots up. The amazing title screen flashes on. [Grandpa is already feeling a little nauseous]. Pap Pap decides now is a good time to choose "Grandpa Mode" on the main menu. The game prompts him to mush his wrinkly finger in the device and close it. [Grandpa is a little claustrophobic]. The game takes a brief reading of his stress level, then proceeds to the game.

"Grandpa Mode" is a mode designed for Grandpas in case you didn't figure that out. This means that the game will adjust its difficulty and level of things happening on screen to keep Grandpa's stress level at a safe place. When five zombie Pikachus attack Grandpa his stress level goes way up; the next wave only consists of three zombie Pikachus and one Pichu because it realized that five was too stressful.

But enough of Grandpa Mode, it's time for Cardiac Meltdown Mode.