Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One coin, one play

If you haven't listened to Wil Wheaton's keynote speech at PAX, you really must do so as soon as possible. (You can listen to it here, but a fair warning -- it's nearly an hour long.)

When he mentioned Dark Tower, I clapped aloud, even though I was alone in my car. And when he mentioned Blades of Steel -- "the best hockey game ever in life!" -- I think I got choked up a little. (You know how I feel about Blades of Steel.)

He speaks very fondly of arcade games like Asteroids and Wizards of War, and while I like those games, playing them is like listening to the Rolling Stones or the Who to me -- they're obviously fantastic, but they don't have the immediacy of newer music, simply because it's already classic by the time I hear it. By the time I came around to video games, the arcade stuff was already obsolete. But it's still fun to listen to him speak of it so fondly.

I also very much dug his description of games as a social activity, especially his joy in playing them with his brother. I remember very fondly the role video games often took in my house. I was obviously the expert there, but my mom and sister drew their own enjoyment from them. When he spoke of developing "level specialists" to get through certain games, I remember the (many, many) times my sister would play through a level and then thrust the controller at me to get through a boss. Ah, nostalgia.

Anyway, it's a good speech.

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