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Why We Should Play Like Kids

Right now, I am watching my little brother Carter and his friend Samuel get mauled by a mountain lion.

In Red Dead Redemption. A game that I personally find a bit boring, they are enjoying the hell out of it.

As I type this, they have been chased by bulls, tried to kick chickens, and gunned down a few way side riders trying to get accustomed to the controls, and came across a random NPC urinating in the back of a barn. Cue the hysterical laughter, because when playing by myself, I wouldn’t have really cared much, but watching them play I cant help but laugh out loud with them and be told to “Shhh, we’re inside, not out.” This all leads me to believe that as gamers, mainly old ones – need to play some games more like kids, and not so much as the intelligent adults that we are.

I came over today to my dad’s house, said hi to the kids and talked about a few games and then subtlety slipped in I had bought the 360 over for them to play. After the initial excitement, and their non-usual willingness to help me with it, we hooked it all up and I popped in Modern Warfare 2, a staple for Carter and Sam as they play almost nothing but FPS/war games on Carter’s (original) X-Box. I watched them enjoy a few rounds of Modern Warfare 2. I cant help but grin at them while they scream and laugh their way through bullets and explosions during the Spec. Ops missions. Not truly caring whether or not they die, or how many stars they earn. Though they still care about how gets first and second controller for some reason. Why that is, is beyond me. We shouldn’t play like that though, that’s horribly irritating.

But how I believe we should play is with the freedom to just enjoy a game. To let go of idea that playing it safe and sticking with franchises the same way big companies do, to branch out for new intellectual properties, or to allow reviews to be the first and only priority when purchasing a game, and most importantly, to stop letting the game turn us into critics, or arguing over the form of art.

As I watch these kids, they are asked “Why are you shooting dogs and trains?” “Its a game, we can do what ever we want” is the reply. Maybe its the open world experience of Red Dead Redemption that they enjoy, but truthfully anytime I hear the two of them together playing anything its a loud adventure.

Now I’m not saying we should scream like the ice cream man is finally coming, act like we’re e-thugs and cuss to impress the big kids over X-Box Live, and definitely not to just take a game and do anything but the story, because I thoroughly enjoy a great story in a game. But what I’m saying is that we should re-find our inner child for our adults sake while playing video games, and not become some anal retentive. But, to just ease off the handle of being the harsh now-generation gamers that some of us have become, including myself.

I believe we should accept games for as they are. Games.

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  • Great article. I totally agree to some degree. After maybe one or two hours of playing running around it would get boring. And I do play games for the story etc.. and this would defeat that whole point.

    But yes, I can remember being young and watching my neighbour play GTA:SA running around hitting people with a baseball bat. This was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen apparently and I couldn’t stop laughing for ages.

    When you are young, anything can be funny. I wouldn’t laugh my head off at someone peeing in a barn these days. I would think, ahh Rockstar have designed some pretty unique set-pieces in the environment.