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What are some popular video games?

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Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:31 pm
crescent says...



I'm currently writing a novel and one of my MCs is an avid video gamer. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about video games and which ones a typical adolescent boy might play. Educate me, please?
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Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:32 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



I have a lot of gamer friends/my dad.

Legend of Zelda (more female fan base)
Final Fantasy
Halo
Call of Duty Black Ops
Elder Scrolls, Oblivion
World of Warcraft
Batman, Akheram Asylum

Top names:
WoW
Halo
Black Ops
Batman
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:02 am
RachaelElg says...



It depends on the age of your MC, the friends of your MC, the division of gamer, and the system.

Rosey mentioned some popular games. I'd counter that Legend of Zelda (my favorite) isn't so much of a more female fan base, simply noteworthy because it does have a large female fan base. Legend of Zelda has a great story, plays great, has incredibly high fan expectations of quality, and runs on Nintendo platforms. It also has an enormously huge amount of possible playing time, with countless side-adventures. And plenty of spoofs about the side adventures. Huge cult following, but not exactly what I'd call hardcore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_Zelda

Final Fantasy ups the difficulty slightly. It also has an incredibly rich story line (I used to watch my brother play just for the story). FF fans tend to be anime fans as well. And there are plenty of avid FFers, who also tend to like Kingdom of Hearts (a Disney-inspired FF-style game). Note that this is an RPG, which means you get to play with several characters. The most popular FFs include XII and X and X2, but there are also adamant followers of the other FFs. I usually associate FF with Playstation, but apparently it originated as Nintendo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy

World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls are online RPG originals. Very addictive, involves interaction from people from all over. Has its own lingo, which you'd want to learn.

Black Ops and Halo are first-person shooters. Plenty others fall into this category, including various Star Wars shooters. These tend to be a little lighter on the story, but can require huge amounts of skill. Also have their own lingo.

Another incredibly popular favorite at the moment is Assassin's Creed. I'd say this is the top game of the hardcore gamers--with the exception of WoW, I have friends who play all the others just as sort of something to do when bored. But Assassin's Creed... friend of mine got the emblem tattooed on the back of her neck, if that gives you an idea. But, unlike the others, I'm pretty sure this is rated M or maybe even A for Adult, so not something a young MC ought to be playing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin%27s_Creed
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:43 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Rachael- I'd just like to add that Elder Scrolls has the option of playing solo. My dad used that method for a loooong time.
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:08 pm
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Tigersprite says...



Possibly Bioware games, like the Mass Effect series and the Dragon Age series. As Rosey said, Arkham Asylum but also Arkham City (which I need to get myself ;) ). Also Gears of War (a series) and the lesser known Crackdown games. Mass Effect and the last two are shooters, and both ME and Dragon Age are RPGs (roleplaying games). They're all pretty popular.

Oh and to expand on what Rach said in regards to system: PC games are usually strategy or shooter (and are very open to third-party hacks), Xbox 360 games are mainly shooter games (though I believe that is slowly being changed) and for more serious gamers, the PS3 is is for serious but not really shooter games. The Wii or anything from Nintendo is considered kid's stuff. 360 and PS3 fanboys are almost always having a go at each other, and a gamer who plays mainly one wouldn't be caught dead with the other console.

But, unlike the others, I'm pretty sure this is rated M or maybe even A for Adult, so not something a young MC ought to be playing.


And also, no-one pays attention to the age rating. Most parents don't know or care about them, and even if they do the kids borrow them from their friends or get them off Amazon. Heck, most game retailers sell games regardless of age, even though they are supposed to check for ID (here in England anyway). Until June, I wasn't legally old enough to play any of the 360 games I have on my shelf. Now I'm old enough to play two. :P

And don't you love that all the replies for adolescent male games are coming from girls? ;)
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:55 pm
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Rosey Unicorn says...



Proof that the stereotype of men being the only gamers should be vanishing. ;)
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:02 pm
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Kyllorac says...



I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Tales series. It's by Namco, and it's got quite a long history as a quality cross-platform RPG series that's still going strong. A sequel to a prior game was released for the Wii not too long ago, and a remake of Tales of the Abyss for the 3DS is set for February 14 in the US. The series is most notable for its unique real-time battle system that, from Symphonia onwards, allows friends to join in at any time.

Tales of Symphonia is by far my favorite (as evidenced by my current series of avatars), though Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Vesperia are also quite good.

But, depending on how old your character is and when this is set, the games he'll play will change.

Right now, most adolescent boys I know play Paper Mario, Super Mario Bros., StarFox, the hand-held Zeldas, and Sonic. All of them (except for Paper Mario, which is one of several offshoots of the Super Mario Bros. franchise) are long-running series that their parent(s) likely played growing up.

As for the Wii, it's by no means a slacker when it comes to gaming. The Wii has built-in backwards compatibility for the GameCube, and there are a few games like Pikmin (real-time strategy), Okami (action-adventure), and the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword that, while not graphically "impressive" are quite challenging and incorporate the Wii's motion controls quite ingeniously.

As for the Zelda series not being hardcore, only if you started playing in the last decade. Those of us who have been playing since the 80s and early 90s find the newer (pretty much anything post-Majora's Mask) Zeldas extremely easy, and getting easier with every release. Supposedly Skyward Sword will change all that, but we'll see.

The nice thing about the Zelda series is that there's more to the games than just the gameplay. The stories and characters, not to mention nostalgia factor, play a very large part, as does the figuring out how all the titles correspond to one another in the timeline (unless Word of God is just messing with our heads). The graphics, on the other hand, have never been spectacular, though they've always been more than decent for the times the games were released, and the art style can be very hit-or-miss (Windwalker is actually a gorgeous game, once you get past Link's creepy, soulless stare/smile/combo thereof).

In general, the hand-held Zeldas tend to be more kid-friendly than the console Zeldas, which tend to be darker in nature. Don't be deceived by Windwaker's artwork: it's quite easily got the darkest story of the entire Zelda series thus far.

And if the rambling didn't tip you off, I'm a longtime Zelda fan. XD
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Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:48 pm
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Blues says...



As said, it really depends on the age and personality of your MC. I won't be surprised if they have any of these on their shelf:
Call of Duty Series (includes Modern Warefare, Black ops etc)
Halo (Sci-fi, apparently)
Battlefield (fighting)
Need for Speed (car racing)
FIFA (Football)
Grand Theft Auto (pure fun)

And as Tiger said, NO ONE cares about age ratings. To be honest, I thought they were there as guidance for parents. I know if I played GTA, I wouldn't go on killing sprees, fly cars or do some very ... illegal and morally wrong things. However I know people who abstain from similar games because they know they might do these things. Could be an interesting subplot, actually. If the MC is easily influenced. Maybe.




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Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:02 pm
YuriStrike says...



I played God of War when I was 14! Nobody cared about ESRB or whatsoever. Borderlands, Fallout, Uncharted...they are popular. Heck, one of my friends is a boy and we play Kirby and Yoshi together.




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Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:27 pm
Dynamo says...



Speaking as a gamer myself, there's a certain stereotype attached to adolescent gamers, specifically with them being those angry, high-pitched headaches who do nothing but play Halo or Call of Duty while constantly screaming obscenities into their microphones. Not all gamer kids that age are like that, and it's definitely an unfair stigma for those decent individuals who fall under that age group, but it's an issue most online gamers face day-to-day. It might be something to consider for your book, having the gamer character come across one of those kids in one of their online matches and then bring up the issue of how he might consider most players think of him in the same light as that bad apple whenever they hear his voice. It'd be an interesting social study to experiment with, and one that I don't think has been explored as much in writing. In visual media such as machinima most definitely, but not in a book.
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