I realized that Comics! Games! Anthropology! still lacks a games article so here goes. While I’m vacationing in Poway I’m having a severe case of game withdrawl. At my parents house, the only machine capable of playing games is my mom’s G3 iBook. It’s so old it couldn’t run Warcraft III. Well, it could, but it’s hard to get into the medieval strategy when all I can see is a green and red blob attacking a blue and yellow blob at five frames per second. I bought the Starcraft Battlechest at Target, and that was a lot of fun. I haven’t played Starcraft since it was the newest thing when I was an undergrad. The gameplay still holds up. It’s a lot of fun for such a simple system of upgrading one’s units. I wish my armed forces would know when to attack and retreat on their own though, but I guess there has to be some control on my part.
When I’m bored of Starcraft (and Diablo II, which I also installed), I found that reading about games was a good substitute for actually playing games. In particular I found this website, Hardcore Gaming 101, which as many articles about old games. They’re all very thorough, detailing every version of a particular series such as Altered Beast or Prince of Persia. There’s also articles about niche games like Cho Aniki (um, probably not safe for work). I could read these articles all day… which I sometimes did.
There’s another site called NFG Games which has some nicely researched articles on the history of different characters such as Sonic and Mario through the years. They focus on how their graphics have changed as they starred on more and more advanced articles. Fascinating!