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!