EDGE - - SECTIONS - www.face­book.com/ ed­geon­line Dis­cuss gam­ing top­ics with fel­low Edge read­ers

Edge read­ers share their opin­ions; one wins a New Nintendo 3DS XL

Protest demo

One of the prin­ci­pal joys of read­ing Edge each month is the chal­lenge it of­fers to our thought pro­cesses about games.

Read­ing the in­tro­duc­tion to Edge 281, I was struck by the brief ex­po­si­tion about who Edge read­ers ac­tu­ally are. If I’m be­ing can­did, de­spite be­ing an Edge reader of many years, the ques­tion was one that I’d not se­ri­ously con­sid­ered prior to the ed­i­to­rial. How­ever, the ques­tion struck an emo­tive chord and planted a seed of thought which I’ve been dwelling on since (hence the lapse of time in my writ­ing).

The re­sult of my self-re­flec­tion was the agree­ment with Edge that ‘tidy de­mo­graph­ics’ would not do jus­tice to what is Edge’s clearly wide read­er­ship. In many ways, I sus­pect I am atyp­i­cal of, to use the rather lazy moniker, a ‘gamer’s’ sta­tus. I am fe­male, in my late 30s, mar­ried with two chil­dren and in a pro­fes­sional oc­cu­pa­tion. How many lazy stereo­types are busted there? I can imag­ine the mar­ket­ing men (whoops, another as­sump­tion) go­ing into melt­down with that pro­file to con­tend with.

My love of games stretches back to the trusty ZX Spec­trum and has seen me through the joy of sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of con­soles and games since. In­deed, within my own nu­clear fam­ily (a very tidy de­mo­graphic), I have been in­te­gral to our shared love of videogames to the ex­tent that I of­ten find my­self the first port of call for help from my chil­dren when stuck upon a par­tic­u­larly tricky as­pect of their latest gam­ing foray, much to my hus­band’s ‘mas­cu­line’ cha­grin. Dur­ing this time, I have never felt com­pelled to re­flect upon my sta­tus within our hobby in the way Edge 281 prompted me to do so. Per­haps it’s an age thing. Per­haps it’s a de­mo­graphic thing. Per­haps it’s sim­ply the re­al­i­sa­tion that videogames present us with such an in­trigu­ing para­dox: that within their rich di­ver­sity there is unity, namely the com­mon pur­suit of that de­li­ciously in­de­fin­able ‘sweet spot’ when en­joy­ing our games, what­ever form of game that may take. This sort of fun­da­men­tal unity does not take note of ‘tidy de­mo­graph­ics’.

So, long may Edge seek to pro­voke the won­der­ful (in the truest sense of the term) videogame in­dus­try in its voy­age of self­dis­cov­ery! Now, ex­cuse me, I must get back to my list of rea­sons as to why the chil­dren’s pleas to fi­nally up­grade from PS3 to PS4 are so un­rea­son­able… Joanne Rais­beck

This was just a way of se­cur­ing a New 3DS XL with which to keep the chil­dren quiet un­til you’re ready for a PS4, right? Well, it’s done the trick.

“Games have cul­tural value. De­priv­ing chil­dren of that is a missed op­por­tu­nity”

Chil­dren’s menu

A few weeks ago, I saw a woman, shop­ping with her young son, won­der aloud: “Where are the kids videogames these days?” I thought it was an ex­tremely per­ti­nent ques­tion. I’d pre­vi­ously not given it a sec­ond thought. Be­sides sports, driv­ing and the odd movie tie-in, a child’s choices on mod­ern con­soles con­tinue to be lim­ited.

Roll for­ward a lit­tle to another en­counter, this time with an old friend who is now fa­ther to two tod­dlers. He doesn’t want his chil­dren play­ing videogames. In­stead, his pref­er­ence is that they be more ac­tive. I re­minded him of his own Su­per Nintendo fix­a­tion but had to con­cede we spent a lot of time on our bikes and play­ing in the street. I asked if he would let his chil­dren play in the street like we did. You can guess the an­swer.

So in a world where kids are now less likely to play in the street, videogames of­fer an al­ter­na­tive way to learn about the world in a safe en­vi­ron­ment. Yet cur­rent con­sole game de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties are fo­cused on an

older au­di­ence that ef­fec­tively serves as a bar­rier to en­try for the young.

Over­all, I think the game in­dus­try is in a good place right now. The breadth of ti­tles avail­able through a sec­ond in­die gen­er­a­tion and the scale of am­bi­tion of big­ger re­leases ( GTAV, The Last of Us, et al) has re­vi­talised the in­dus­try. But this en­try bar­rier for a new au­di­ence is trou­bling.

Games have ed­u­ca­tional value along­side other medi­ums, con­ven­tional teach­ing and good par­ent­ing. They have such po­ten­tial for the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of ev­ery­day knowl­edge: read­ing, maths, physics, route find­ing, sys­tems logic, cre­ation, prob­lem solv­ing, re­source and bud­get man­age­ment – the list goes on.

Games have cul­tural value. De­priv­ing chil­dren of that is a missed op­por­tu­nity. No won­der Minecraft has be­come so big, with that younger au­di­ence es­pe­cially, when there are so few al­ter­na­tives.

Wil­liam Wood

There’s a sense that young chil­dren have moved away from con­soles and to­wards iOS/ An­droid, which may ex­plain it. That and the fact that very few seem will­ing to face up to the all-con­quer­ing Minecraft, of course.

Fo­cus at­tack

As a gamer you can’t spend more than three sec­onds on a fo­rum or in a com­ments sec­tion with­out see­ing a com­ment about the ‘PC master race’ or ‘con­sole peasants’. I’ve been a con­sole gamer for all of my gam­ing life: it started with PlayS­ta­tion, and doesn’t seem like its go­ing to stop any time soon. I’m al­ways asked by my PC-lov­ing friends why I don’t in­vest in a PC, where I can play

The Witcher III in 60fps and per­haps see more leaves blow­ing around. In be­tween me tire­lessly point­ing out that it makes no dif­fer­ence to me, and I’ve en­joyed play­ing

The Witcher III in 900p/30fps on my Xbox One just as much as I would have on a beefy gam­ing rig, I sought an anal­ogy, and be­lieve I have found the per­fect one.

Gam­ing sys­tems are like cars. PlayS­ta­tion 4 and Xbox One are equal to the Ford Fo­cus: they are rel­a­tively cheap and get you where you need to go. High-end gam­ing PCs, with their i7 this and GTX SLI that, are like the ex­otic cars that you find on the road: the Audi R8 or Fer­rari 458. Sure, they look nicer and go faster, but the speed limit is 60mph and you can’t legally go any faster. Sure, your Fer­rari sounds nicer, looks bet­ter and ac­cel­er­ates faster, but at the end of the day on the com­mute to work you’ve only beaten me by a few sec­onds and paid four times the price. You may be­lieve you’ve had a much bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence that is worth the money, but the bot­tom line is we are still both driv­ing on the same road.

The anal­ogy stretches fur­ther. My Ford Fo­cus doesn’t take up much fuel whereas your 700w-plus power guz­zler uses three times as much. My Fo­cus will last for years whereas your Fer­rari will break down, and the re­place­ment parts will cost a for­tune.

Don’t get me wrong. Ev­ery­one wants a Fer­rari, but not ev­ery­one has the money to af­ford one, or keep it run­ning. Maybe some time down the line I will in­vest in one of these ex­otic cars, but at the mo­ment I’m happy with my Ford Fo­cus. And as for the Wii U? Maybe it’s one of those Smart cars.

Matthew Cheetham

This, as you know, is a multi-ve­hi­cle pub­li­ca­tion. We use our Fo­cus for the daily com­mute and keep the Fer­rari in the garage un­til we know we’ll be driv­ing on roads that will do its for­mi­da­ble horse­power jus­tice. Then we get stuck in a BSOD loop af­ter a poorly re­searched over­clock, have to re­store our BIOS set­tings and re­in­stall Win­dows, and, uh, the anal­ogy rather falls apart.

Sailor moan

Say what you like about DLC, but you can’t deny that if the player wants it, it’s ac­ces­si­ble and not go­ing to in­flate in price on the mar­ket. If peo­ple want to buy Ami­ibo be­cause they’re so damn ir­re­sistible or they’re build­ing a col­lec­tion, fair enough. But what about peo­ple who don’t have the shelf space to spare and just want the un­lock­able con­tent? Let’s face it, Smash Bros aside, Ami­ibo func­tion­al­ity so far has been stan­dard DLC fare like ex­tra skins, game modes/chal­lenges and playable char­ac­ters. I don’t see why Nintendo doesn’t make these ex­tras avail­able at a later date on the eS­hop and not be at the mercy of eBay hustlers. If any­thing, it adds even more rev­enue to the al­ready whop­ping sales of Ami­ibo.

It’s not just DLC, though. While clas­sic game li­braries do ex­ist on dig­i­tal stores, it was only when Nintendo be­gan to sell Wii ti­tles on the eS­hop that it hit me. Metroid

Prime Tril­ogy, a game re­leased in such lim­ited quan­ti­ties that it was go­ing for dou­ble its orig­i­nal price on eBay, sud­denly re­leased dig­i­tally for ev­ery­one at a dis­count?

What a great way to stick it to those evil cap­i­tal­ists treat­ing games as com­modi­ties, and give the play­ers what they want. OK, if peo­ple want to re­ally col­lect rare phys­i­cal car­tridges, I’m not against that per se, but games are made to be played, and the only way to pre­serve their history is to make them ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple to play.

I guess what I’m re­ally try­ing to say is that I re­gret hav­ing sold off my Dream­cast and games a decade ago, and now that

Shenmue III has been an­nounced, I want to play the first two games all over again with­out fork­ing out for an old con­sole and over­priced copies of Shenmue I and II. On a re­lated note, is there any chance of

Edge trans­fer­ring all of its old re­views and fea­tures over to Games­Radar, or are you go­ing to make a fast buck by hav­ing me buy all the back is­sues?

Alan Wen

Per­haps Shenmue III’s Kick­starter suc­cess will con­vince Sega to fi­nally re­lease HD re­makes of the first two games and save you a few quid. That way, you can spend the bal­ance on some rea­son­ably priced back is­sues. Look at that: we’re all win­ners!

Is­sue 282

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