The real reason I won’t be buying a videogame system this week.

John Dies at the EndDavid Wong’s comic horror novel John Dies at the End posits a race of inter-dimensional beings who can play with our universe’s timeline as they see fit, inserting and removing people and things at will. Towards the end, a middle-aged character pontificates on his first encounter with a videogame system (which is one of the things they’ve inserted): Continue reading

New Videogame Consoles! Because…Why, Again?

Also available in black!

Also available in black!

Like all members of my generation, I have a rather ambiguous relationship with videogames.

I believe in the medium. It’s a fascinating new art form, and certain games have been central to some of my fondest memories.

And yet, every few years, I look around and realize I haven’t really played a videogame in almost forever. And then I try to remind myself why I used to care.

Part of this is just a time issue. A truly great single-player game can take as much as 50 hours to complete, and every time I get through one, I look at my watch and realize that (a) it’s three a.m., and (b) I could have read five books in the same amount of time it took me to finish one game. And when you work full time and have kids, that sort of time is at a premium.

But I think there’s more to it than that. Namely, that the games companies haven’t given us a reason to get excited in a long, long time.

This is particularly striking now, as we’re currently in a moment where all three console manufacturers are making bids to be on top in the next hardware generation, and literally nobody I am aware of is at all excited about any of the three new consoles.  Continue reading