One day, there may be mini-me’s walking around. And when, if, that day comes, I’d like little Artorias and Gwyndolin to have some of the good memories that i’ve had growing up with the story telling medium that is video games. Some of the names I’ll list here will be of no surprise, but others might be. Let’s start with the obvious stuff.
The Souls Games
Pretty much a hallmark of its own genre, the Soul games are the epitome of cool story telling, aesthetic, and moral teachings layered well beneath the hidings of a vague world and incredible gameplay. Any person could benefit from the lessons this game has to offer, both in patience and in the value of time on earth, but I feel children just above the age of ten or so could gain something special from uncovering the truth and philosophy these games have to offer (If they can stomach the learning curve, that is).
The Last of Us, Part I & II
Its a shame I need to specify that yes, I do mean BOTH games, but alas, the internet makes up its negative opinions in mysterious ways. The two games both stand for something that are worthwhile to take note of. The first, a game about companionship, and the flawed nature of human relationships and the lengths at which people are willing to go to protect those close to them. The second, a game about loss, and the lengths at which people will go to complete their fantasies of vengeance, even at the cost of their own demise.
Plus, top tier writing and a score by Gustavo Santaolalla is a solid teacher in how to make a good piece of story great. These games are a must.
Counter-Strike: Classic and GO
Taking a break from the story driven games, we have a competitive shooter. Unlike me, I know, but I actually think there’s a reason this game has stood the test of time when so many before (and after it) fail to last, even in the best of times. There’s something in this game, at its core, that helps players retain interest. Whether its the steep learning curve, the depth of the mechanics, or just the satisfaction in pulling out a couple USPS headshots, this game has what we call incredible craftsmanship.
I mean, it originally came out in 1999, and it’s still kicking as a top-dog in the Esports scene. This game is a gateway into both future and the past. Not to mention its ties as a mod with the Half-Life series, which opens a whole other world of story telling in itself. And anyway, I’d rather my kids play this game than get sucked into the McDonald’s of video games that is pop-contemporary shooters like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Don’t get me wrong, they have their strengths as pieces of art, but also, do I really need to explain myself or can I move on? Moving on.
Nintendo Games In General
Don’t get me wrong, I have very little experience when it comes to Nintendo. I’ve played through about a quarter of Ocarina of Time and that’s about it, aside from some Mario Party and Smash here n’ there. But what I do know, even in my lesser experience, is that Nintendo puts out quality games that you can sit down with for a couple of hours and actually enjoy yourself with before being done with it for the day. Most games, these days, are designed to be time sinks. To pull you in until your paying the company who designed it with all of your attention and time. With Nintendo, I get the sense that the effects their games have are far more wholesome than that. I’d like for my kids to be able to enjoy themselves every once in while, you know?
A crazy idea, I know. But not everything needs to be a lesson in art or philosophy. Sometimes you just wanna smack some goombas for the hell of it, ya dig?