Gaming Guide for Oldsters

We bought Skyrim for Thanksgaming. I’ve been playing on and off whenever I have an opportunity and occasionally when I shoudn’t be too. Dang grownup responsibilities getting in the way of my gaming. I’m not sure what about Skyrim suddenly sparked my mom’s interest in trying to play Fallout 3 but it was sparked.

She managed to get out of the vault without any assistance which was pretty impressive but she was missing a few basic video game building blocks like the importance of looting corpses and the concept of a sandbox game where you can wander in any direction, there isn’t a linear progression that you’re expected to follow.

As she’s been working through the early parts of Fallout, I’ve been trying to share helpful tips and get her on the right track before she get’s frustrated. At dinner tonight she suggested I should write “A Gaming Guide for Old Farts.” I told her I’d need a different title because “Old Farts is an Old Fart thing to say.”

I think it’s a cool idea, though I’m not sure how many people would be interested in it. I always get a kick out of watching my parents play things because it makes me realize how much video game literacy is required to play most games. Maybe that’s why the Wii was so successful. It required a video game literacy level of Pat the Bunny. I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, it just didn’t assume you already knew all the tropes of video games past. It started you off at square one. Everyone was roughly at the same level, you just flailed around with the Wii-mote, stuff happened, everybody had fun.

My mom’s not starting from zero with Fallout 3. She started off with the Wii, then advanced to Super Mario Galaxy. I think Portal 2 really gave her the toolkit to start working through something like fallout. I think one major barrier to “Oldsters” playing the more complex games in the controller. So many @#$@% buttons. Portal is a great place to learn to walk and navigate the video game universe. Before Portal I was fairly limited with first person style games too.

I really do hope my mom sticks with it. It would be crazy fun to play TF2 with my mom… and it would be crazy fun to tell people I play TF2 with my mom. We’ve got a ways to go to get there though.

2 thoughts on “Gaming Guide for Oldsters”

  1. Uh, Me? My parents bought me and the boy an Xbox.

    I DO have clue #0 what to do with it as far as plugging it in and turning it on, but that’s about it. I probably know more about the architecture of the kernel that the Xbox uses than how to use the control thingies.

  2. I totally recommend Portal as a nice entry into using the controllers without too much pressure. No one is shooting at you while you’re getting the hang of it. I really sucked at first person “run around and do stuff” games before that. I just tend to panic and spaz (I still do) in the face of enemy attack.

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