August 8th, 2008
At the end of the last entry I concluded that the best thing that we can all do to improve the status of video game is to think more critically about what we play. Even better, discuss games critically with others, constructively sharing our thoughts and forming collective conclusions.
When it comes to critical discussion of video games, us bloggers are usually at the forefront, shaping the landscape of critical discussion. It comes to no surprise then that two of my favourite bloggers decided to take the initiative and start up discussion groups within their communities to explore classic video games. Think of it like the ‘book club’ concept where a group of individuals come together to critically read and discuss novels on a regular basis except replace books with games with the conversation present online through forums and blogs.
This is a fantastic way to encourage deep discussion among enthusiast players interested in some good chin wagging as well as promoting the relevance of older games. Causes that both have my full support. This also allows players to go back and sample games that they might have missed the first time around, so far most selection have accommodated for this.
I ought to quickly introduce both of the ‘clubs’, I’ll write them down in the order of conception:
Together Retro – Retro Gaming with RacketBoy
Together Retro by RacketBoy has been running for a good couple of months now covering a great selection of games including Defender, Kid Icarus, Ristar and Lunar: Silver Star. I applaud the selections so far as each title wasn’t necessarily the most popular for its time yet still unique and ground breaking in its own way. The discussion seems very versatile with additional ‘extra credit’ games offered to more savvy participants and play time ranging between two weeks to a month depending on the selected game (for example: a month for Lunar, two weeks for Samurai Shodown). I also like how an emphasis is placed on different versions of the game, high scores and tips.
Vintage Game Club – The Brainy Gamer
The ever popular Micheal Abbot last month began The Vintage Game Club debuting with the brilliant Grim Fandango. Not much more can be said really, the club is a couple of weeks old and response seems enthusiastic despite some difficulty overcoming the game’s difficult puzzles (which itself has become a talking point of the discussion). Excerpts from the forums have also been posted on the The Brainy Gamer blog.
Grim Fandango is the game in question, discussion can be found on the forums, registration required.