Game On

(From April 2008)

I wasn't at my best on Saturday morning. But I did not let it interrupt plans to see the Game On exhibition at Fed Square. I wasn't sure I'd be up for doing much. But they had so much fun stuff.

I got to play Space Invaders and laugh at kids who don't know how to play Pacman (admittedly I'm pretty terrible at it myself). And they had Powerslide set up in the Australian section, which well and truly made my day, and I got to race around my favourite track a few times. I still haven't managed to get it working under XP, but I aim to keep trying, damn it. They had the Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure, which was just about the last thing I expected to see and it was highly amusing to think of all the people who don't know how tricky it is getting bulldozed before they even made it out of the house. And Nicolai seemed happy for the chance to play Bubble Bobble with me, being his favourite game I think he said.

The Japanese section was sort of interesting for me. Snuck by the people playing DDR to read about Japanese dating games. Which wasn't a new story exactly, but got me thinking about culture and where games fit in.

I was also pretty happy that they had "Kids' Games" as a section, implying (to me) that computer games in general are not just for kids. The average age of a gamer in Australia is 28 years, so the advertising for that exhibition told me. Possibly reflecting this, the kids were not nearly as obnoxious and annoying as I feared they might be. I think a lot of them were absorbed in newer, flashier things (which I can play any time, so I'm less interested).

I think there were some gaping holes when it came to significant PC games (Myst, anyone?) but I suppose console bias should not surprise me. I was sad that I couldn't find earlier versions of Sonic, because that would have been nice nostalgia. And I have a bit of fear about playing Mario -- not too seriously, but I did joke about being too scared to play it. Mario on the Super Nintendo was one of the first games I ever attempted, and my co-ordination at that point was so terrible I died on the first Goomba three times in a row. Eventually I learnt to wait until it was right next to me and then press jump. Then I died on the second enemy, probably. My recent experiences with Super Mario Galaxy have been making me feel a lot better about myself.

We have the best dates ever :)