PSP-1001 Videogame Experience (Reverse Chronological Order)

[Author's note: Parents, this is my research blog about new media coming onto the market in the United States. I am not endorsing these innovations, just writing to try to understand where they fit in the coming new media age in the U.S.]

OK, I tell my new media students that I am at best an early adopter when it comes to new media. Indeed, as a student of the adoption, reinvention, and even rejection of media innovations, it's very fair to say that I am a media skeptic. Having said that I also have been telling my students for years that the future of the web was video and that is being bourn out even as I write this blog.) I might even be late majority; I didn't buy a VCR until 1988 despite the fact that my early university research centered on the VCR. (In the case of the VCR, I also was afraid I'd start spending too much time with movies, which turned out to be true while I was in the "novelty stage" of owning my VCR. There was also a huge catalog of titles by then, and it was "obvious" that VHS had beaten Beta by then. In addition, both of my parents grew up in the Great Depression and I was molded in their form which does not include spending money like an inebriated sailor).

I did like old video games and would probably still like playing pong (there's something of a comedic effect to playing pong as the "dumb" program lets you miss easy "shots") and I really did enjoy Space Invaders and a couple of others. Should I feel old now knowing that they have returned as retros? Well, as I watched college age women adopt the same hair and clothes that young ladies wore when I was in high school and college (just before Charlie's Angels got women away from the part down the middle straight hair to the famous "blow-dried" look exemplified in that iconoclastic [I can't believe I said that word] caught on), it softens the blow that the old games are back. (It's especially funny to see Disney Channel's tween and teen shows showing boys with the longer hair, unkempt look that was thoroughly quashed pretty early in the Reagan era). Interestingly, I have not sought to play them. My students used to play Yahoo games and I'd guess it plateaued around 3 years ago as more sophisticated games became available.

What this means is I am a babe in the woods on current video games. My daughter patiently grabs the PSP out of my hands and presses the correct buttons to teach me how to play, So I have not learned, before now, the meaning of square, triangle, "o" and "x" (although x was the easiest to learn). While the PSP portable came with three games, I bought Cars (from the Pixar movie of the same name) because my daughter and I both liked the movie and its characters very much). So I began by "racing" in the "Cars" video game and left nothing on the race track, as they say (meaning my car would have been totally trashed by the time I was done, smashing into the guardrail and large boulders on either side of the road).

Good foreshadowing here: I found myself leaning left and right as I tried to keep my car on the track. (See news items about Nintendo's Wii controllers going airborne

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2007, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


At 08 February, 2007 13:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to disagree with you and the playstation games. I too have not gotten used to playing with such a large controller and all of the buttons. I grew up on regular nintendo and Atari. I bought a playstation 2 when it first came out when I was a senior in high school with all of my christmas money. It sounded like an awesomething thing at the time, but $350 later...not so much. I rarely ever play it nor do I ever really watch dvds.
I do have 2 games though...Grand Theft Auto 3 and Britney Spears. Please never let your daughter play Grand Theft Auto. It's awful for girls and she doesn't need to see the graphic things that are in the game...such as picking up prostitutes and then beating them up so you can get your money back...or blowing up someone's car.
Although Britney Spears is now the worst role model ever, her game is actually really fun. It's like Dance Dance Revolution and you have a mat that serves as the remote control. Your daughter can dance, sing, and exercise all in one. It's really addicting. Plus in this day and age most kids hate going outside to play, and this way she or any of her friends will have an excuse to exercise. I would totally suggest getting something like this for your daughter..she would love it!!! I can't give you any other advice on video games but I totally agree that technology needs to be tried out first before you purchase something...save the money or ebay it!!

At 08 February, 2007 14:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maria Danello

My brother recently got a play station 3 for christmas. It was one of those random occurances- he wasn't really scoping the stores for one. We were actually in Best Buy buying my mom the new blue tooth system for her car for Christmas and they just happened to have some systems in the store so he spent every penny he had on it. Anyway, I have to say that the graphics definitely are amazing....but was it worth the money? no. Blue Ray disk is also very cool but I still don't really understand exactly how different it is to DVD. The racing game is very cool and very detailed (this is the only one I will play.) The war game something: Son of Man is extremely graphic. It makes you wonder if society is more violent because of games/tv/etc., or if games/tv/etc. are more violent in response to society being more violent. I grew up playing Mario - what happened to him?

At 09 February, 2007 21:21, Blogger Alex Kenemer said...

Dang, I just posted a very long comment and tried to submit it by signing up for my own blog I guess...which only means that now I have a blog that I won't use and have to retype my whole comment.
Well, I once heard that Nintendo is a toy, Playstation is a gaming system, and Xbox is art. I bought my Xbox my freshman year of college after I played some friends in Halo for the first time. I got my ass handed to me on a silver platter, but I had so much fun that the only way I could compete was to buy my own Xbox and learn the new controls. I say 'new' controls, b/c Halo was the first game I ever played where you need to use 2 joysticks just to move the character around. (One to move the guy facing in one direction, and the other to aim and turn.) I spent most of my time looking up at the sky thinking that I was moving, while I was actually stuck in a ditch being shot at by 3 different guys. Anyways, it was obviously a superior way to control the game since Halo was named 'Game of the Year' that year, and it single-handedly shot Xbox to competitive status against the crowned champion Playstation 2. All in all, Nintendo sucks and I am interested to see what Wii does for them. I have never played the Wii, but I have played motion sensor arcade games, and I was generally unimpressed. There is such a bad lag on all the games that I played that it made it near impossible to ever win. You almost need to see the future to get the sensors to pick up your movements in time to get out of the way. This gets frustrating quick. Even on the commercials for the Wii I can see actual movements, and a slight lag on the screen. I bet that Wii turns out to be a overhyped flop in the end.


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