A Game for Everyone

    Believe it or not, there are still among us those who have not discovered the joys of gaming. They might see gaming as something that takes away from the joys of reading, movies, or social interaction. They might think that all games are violent and evil and should be banned. But regardless their reasons, there is a game for them somewhere. The problem is getting the lost one to the gaming aisle.

    Many of these non-gamers are already closet gamers. They play a little innocent time wasting, mind-numbing click fest called… solitaire. Figures are released every now and again on the number of hours that office people waste playing solitaire. The numbers, and dollar signs, are rather impressive. Solitaire might be the most expensive game ever created, when the value of lost work-time for employers is factored in. But be that as it may, these card-clickers are not roaming the software stores looking for a new fix. It should not be too hard to change that, however.

    Start with the online version of the role-playing card game, Magic. Or perhaps the card game that is part of the plot in some of the Might and Magic series? Or, leaving cards aside, the slightly more ambitious solitaire addict might trade one point and click for another, such as classic Diablo. The Myst series, particularly the original are also wonderful games for those whose gaming experience does not go much beyond the slow pace of online card games. Unfortunately, everyone is not easy to guide as the solitaire players.

    For much of the rest of the rest of the population, the link to gaming will come through something that person already enjoys. Consider for a moment a person who visits a movie theater rather often. They see the movie, and if they like it, they buy the tape or DVD a few months later. Perhaps they would like to try the game as well. Looking over a list of movies, several game/movie pairs leaps out. Matrix Reloaded and Enter the Matrix are obvious, as is the X-Men game and movie. For the younger audience, the Veggie Tales movie Jonah has a companion game. The strategy fan can turn from Gladiator to Praetorians, a game in the same time frame as the epic movie. Fans of Orlando Bloom (Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movies) will likely see Pirates of the Caribbean in a few weeks. Why not steer the giddy movie goer to Tropico 2: Pirate Cove? Science fiction fans are easily guided from Star Wars or Star Trek to any of the plethora of good games under those titles. Fans of movies should have an easy transition to being happy members of the gaming world.

    The transition for avid readers is almost as easy. There are a few games in which books are featured prominently, and can even be read within the game. Myst and Morrowind immediately come to mind as having in the game numerous of volumes begging to be browsed, and many of them are very readable. More likely, however, the transition will come from the style of literature the reader is fond of. For some genres, this is almost too easy. Anyone who reads fantasy has a realm of RPGs begging to be played, including many, such as Icewind Dale, which are derived from popular books. A fan of science fiction will likely find happiness in the likes of Star Craft or Alpha Centauri, both of which have solid science fiction roots. Romance fans will swoon at the emotional scenes in Jedi Knight 2. Provided they get to the end, that is. Fans of literature in general might find a home in Siberia, or with Alice, two titles which helped bring back the adventure game.

    Then there is the fan of the History channel, the person who likes watching all things World War 2 nearly nonstop. Allied Assault was made for that viewer. Civilization 3 would be appealing as well. What better way to apply the lessons learned from Hitler?s defeat than in conquering the world yourself! For the food channel fanatic there is Restaurant Empire. Animal Planet addicts can make their own critters with Impossible Creatures. And for every Playboy subscriber, there is a copy of a beach volleyball game with his (or her) name on it. For the loyal Cubs fan, like myself, there is always patch 1.10 for Diablo 2. Yes, I know, it hasn?t arrived yet. Oh well… maybe next year.

    Whomever the person, there is a game for that person. But why should we loyal gamers encourage the rest of the world to find their gaming niche? Economics. The more gamers, the more game demand, and the more profit from making games. The more profitable the industry is, the more companies will produce games, leading to more competition among gaming houses. That, in turn will drive down prices, and hopefully uncover a new company or two like Blizzard, which keeps cranking out great game after great game. Not that our motives should be totally selfish. There are many people who would enjoy spending and hour or two each week in front of a computer screen building a brand new city. It is a good to take a break every now and then, and to do something to reduce stress and provide entertainment. Thus, by encouraging our friends and neighbors to buy a console , we are not only doing good for the economy, but are looking out for the health and well-being of those around us. We gamers are such nice people.


    Disclaimer: Salem’s Fire was written by Luke Blaize and hosted by diabloii.net. The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

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