Charlie Brooker hits the nail right on the head

December 11, 2009

Normally I’m not a huge fan of Charlie Brooker; I find his overly cynical and acerbic views quite irritating. But this article is spot on. The picture he paints of a typical non-gamer picking up the controller for a quick go is not only laugh-out-loud funny, it’s also so, so true. Although my girlfriend is slowly getting to grips with the operation of videogames (she has to really, doesn’t she) I’ll never forget her first steps in 2-player co-op with Gears Of War – she spent the entire time either looking at her feet, or, overly-compensating, looking at the sky.

Unless you grew up with them, learning their unique language, videogames are different to other forms of entertainment. TV and films only require the use of your eyes, music requires the use of your ears – things that you already possess. Gaming requires something extra – the controller, and a knowledge of gaming conventions that you can only learn by playing them.

Perhaps Microsoft’s Project Natal, where your body becomes the controller, will remove these barriers, and perhaps not. Perhaps mass-market acceptance will only arrive when videogaming has been around as long as film and television.

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