Sunday, October 10, 2010

Feeling the Age Gap

I've been feeling my age for the past few weeks. No I am not yelling about "those darned kids" yet but I feel close to it. No this isn't exactly a WoW related post but WoW does play a part in why I feel this way. What has me feeling the gap is my views on entertainment and what it should and shouldn't do for me. Now what exactly do I mean by this? Well its simple. I see that my tastes in games, movies, music, and the likes are much more demanding than those younger than me it would seem. I prefer the quality of my entertainment products to the flashy, overly marketed package most things try to pass off as quality these days.

Now its not like I just starting thinking about this for no reason. A podcast I was listening was the trigger for me when they brought up teenage relatives and how they want more gore and in your face graphics in their horror movies. Now at first I just ingested this statement and thought about it quickly and found I agreed with it for the most part. I didn't really dwell on it though, so that podcast came and went and I didn't think about it again for a while. But its like that statement flipped a switching that was partly on to completely on and I started to actually pay attention to comments on various media I was using. For example, I was in Dalaran watching trade as I chatted with some guildies and somebody popped up and asked if anybody remembered Q-bert. I was surprised by not because of the normal trade banter on my server but rather because Q-bert wasn't the kind of game someone after a certain age would know about at all unless they were some sort of collector or game historian. Keeping this short, I whispered the guy and we had a little chat and he was indeed older than me and though neither of us really got into the old "new verses old" game debate the feeling still presented itself.

Next up is looking at my love for horror movies. I was watching a Cronenburg movie that was from like '79 and out of curiosity I started reading viewer comments as I waited for the movie to load. One of the first things my eyes landed on was a post by somebody that said they couldn't get into these sorts of old movies. First thing that clicked in my mind about this was even though I am a child of the 80's, I never really thought of a movie that isn't from the early 70's and back to be "old". Next I felt sad for the person that wrote that since that was closing yourself off to a lot of really good movies that blow anything made in the last 10 even 20 years out of the water. But that is a matter of tastes and conditioning. American horror movies are a shell of their former greatness with constant hashing of poorly made remake after remake of classic movies that in no way needed remakes and recent Asian horror that has no business being Americanized because the cultural details that made it work in the first place are lost in translation, as well as gore porn movies that have no purpose other than to shock and gross the audience out but cant even do that well anymore because there are 10 other movies on the market at the same time with the same gimmick. Now while I have a personal dislike for those shorts of movies I wouldn't hold it against the people that happen to enjoy them. It's more I just find it interesting that I would feel that way towards a comment like that when I am probably not very much older than the guy that posted that. (note: i have no idea how old the guy was exactly)

As for games, these have made me feel the gap more than any other form of entertainment. Maybe its because the technology has progressed so far in games or it could simply be the fact I was blessed enough to be born around the time that games looked like colored blobs vaguely resembling people and object so they had to be fun in other ways to keep people buying them. Story and game play were the selling points rather than how pretty something was. Now I am not just rambling about the hay-day for no reason. Last night I was looking at the sales email from Gamestop and saw the link for Cata on it so I decided to check it out since I haven't made up my mind how I wish to purchase the game yet. First comment on the page was somebody saying they couldn't understand how Blizzard could still have so many fans using outdated engines and what not. So wait. As long as a game is pretty and requires you to pay out the ass for a system that came play it, its worth spending the money on because it has to be good? I understand WoW isn't the most up to date game in looks but it must be doing something right to keep millions of people playing it for all these years when its competition can't. I'm not trying to say it couldn't look better but to be as widely playable as it is the game is damn pretty. Also why should you care it doesn't look like Age of Conan or the newer mmos that are coming out or have come out? As long as my game can pull me into its world, keep me there, and keep me entertained, I don't really care its not the best looking thing on the market. I would take Final Fantasy VI over any FF after 9 gladly because the story isn't utter crap. The original Silent Hill still makes my pulse race even thought the graphics look horrible. The first Fatal Frame still scares the crap out of me after all these years and it certainly isn't as pretty a game as things that came out just a few years after. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is one of the best games I ever had the pleasure of picking up but its still ugly by today's standards. I would take any one of those over 80% of the games out today. Still I know that I most likely couldn't sit any of my teenage cousins down and expect them to have a good time with those same games. Its not their fault, its the fault of marketing and sellers. Still if I could sit one down and get them to play Streets of Rage and admit it was fun I would find it a moral victory.

The age gap isn't a bad thing, its just a weird feeling. Its the feeling that I am the odd one out. Its the feeling of a wall being built and its one I am not sure if I like or dislike. All I know is I hope one day I can come across someone younger and we can have a nice talk about some classics so I know that there are still people that respect quality being born.

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