I was so thrilled that video game designer legend Scott Adams viewed and commented on my last post! Read the post and comments here. I sent him a short email after I was finished writing but I never thought that he would respond in such a way. What a great and humble person.
I pre-ordered and downloaded a demo of his latest text adventure, The Inheritance. I look forward to writing a full review when the final version is released on Feb. 14, 2013. When I played the demo, it was difficult at first as I had to relearn the way that interactive fiction works. The other night, I searched for an hour just to find a single item. Then the next day, I started over with a friend and we worked on it together. I was amazed that the first thing he thought to do was to search for (and find) the item that I had originally spent so much time looking for. I found that I was enjoying the entire experience so much more with a friend – just the way it used to be back when I was young.
There are many ways to play games, but I have found that my best experiences have been playing with a friend in the same room. From playing Combat and Asteroids on the Atari 2600 with childhood friend Robbie, to playing text adventures on the TRS-80 with Scott, to playing Street Fighter 2 on the SNES with Hannibal, and to Ocarina of Time on the N64 with my son Nate – my best and happiest times in gaming were when I had a friend by my side. When I was with a friend, I didn’t always have to play, but I would participate by listening and looking for things that might be missed – or maybe by looking something up in a player’s guide.
Then there are the times when I want to be by myself. I might turn the lights down, put in a game, and turn the volume up just for an immersive experience. I tried that recently with a free game on the Playstation Plus Network called The Living Dead (Correction: The Walking Dead). I was intrigued for a few reasons. Reason one: it was free. Reason two: I had heard about this show on TV and learned it was filmed in Georgia – which intrigued me. Reason three: I had heard that the game really put you in some unusual situations in which you have to make choices that can really affect the game play. So I installed the game and played some of it. After about 40 minutes I couldn’t play it any longer. Dealing with zombies was just too nerve wracking on my own. I needed a buddy!
How do you find yourself playing a game? Do you have a gaming friend or do you prefer to go it alone? There is no wrong way, but for me gaming is better with a friend.
By the way, my friend Hannibal – that is his real name and he is a marvelous professional magician (chrishannibal.com).