Gotta Turn Off The Xbox

I can’t play Grand Theft Auto anymore.

The feather-sensitive gun controls and the difficulty of driving and worse, flying the airplane, have caused me endless frustration. I crashed the airplane literally twenty-nine times in a row, and I cannot complete the mission. The more I fail, the more determined I become to succeed. Combined with the insanely bad language, intense and gory violence, and pervasive cruelty infused into the dialogue, it finally got to me.

I stalked about for four hours today in a terrible mood. I said mean things to my wife I didn’t really mean. I’m impatient with my pets.

A video game should be fun. And it should be something you can walk away from. Good for Rockstar Games that they’ve made something that intense.  And maybe if you’re really good at video games you won’t encounter the problems and frustrations I did. But the real-world social and psychological expense, at least this weekend, was too high. I’m taking the disc out and not putting it back in until I know I can handle it.

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4 thoughts on “Gotta Turn Off The Xbox

  1. I used to play computer games. FPS games only stirred up the mud in my soul, strategy games were interesting but ultimately boring. I finally got down to Flight Simulator as my only timewaster. I played two scenarios: landing a Learjet on an aircraft carrier deck — and a Learjet on final approach to 27L at O’Hare in bad weather.

    Learjet 35 has a stall speed of 100 knots. To land it on the aircraft carrier, I would bring it in with no forward thrust, dipping down a few feet off the ocean, then full flaps, pulling up, stall hard and roll the length of the deck, taking a right turn onto the flight line. No arrester wires. The approach to O’Hare was even rougher. Maybe one in five landings was successful.

    Games. I suppose other people can find something interesting in them. To me, they’re nothing more than learning to work within the parameters of some scenario without much of a spec. Some of them are gorgeous. Nothing against games, they always attract the best programming talent. But I am all through with games. I watched them grow, from the earliest Star Trek games on PDP and VAX. Maybe games grew and I just didn’t evolve. But I’ll be damned if I am going to waste any more of my life inside someone else’s AI.

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  2. Ah. yes. The airplane.

    I suppose that I shouldn’t offer pointers like “turn with the shoulder buttons, not with the joystick” at this point…

    But if I were to tell you to play a fun video game, I’d tell you to play something like the first Mass Effect. It has some challenging combat, some fun customizability, and gives you the opportunity to make Moral Choices… and even the “bad” ones aren’t “bad” as much as “hard-assed”.

    I suppose it’s good that you didn’t see the interrogation scene. That was jarring.

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