Several years ago, my older brother recommended Metal Gear Solid to me. Unable to get me to dive into the game, he tried a different approach. He asked me to do whatever else I was currently claiming to need to do, and watch as he played through it a second time. He never had to ask me again. When it comes to games, I want two things: a decent story with it lying in the fantasy genre. I found a new way to experience games outside the vein I normally played by watching as my brother went through them. Instead of taking even turns on our PlayStation 2, my turn would be given to him so that he could make it to the next point in the story. It’s one of the few things that we have ever done, or ever do, together.
It’s gotten to the point where I have a love/hate situation with our arrangement. He’s introduced me to Clock Tower, to Resident Evil, to Kingdom Hearts, to Silent Hill, and Mass Effect. Silent Hill in particular is one we have both fallen for. When he started playing Silent Hill 2, he decided to set the atmosphere for himself. He played alone, in the dark, at night after everyone had gone to bed. That didn’t last for very long, seeing as how he couldn’t play very long then before he was jumping out of his skin. It occurred to him at this point to ask if I wanted to come in and watch. Then he discovered that I was waiting on him for the next part of the story, and he came to realize that I wasn’t nearly as patient as he had thought.
Halfway through Silent Hill 4: The Room, he decided that he didn’t like the game well enough to continue playing it. The game gets significantly more difficult at that point, with enemies you can’t kill and your apartment becoming hostile. I understand all this. But, the story was unfinished. It could go so many different ways at that point. I still remain half-tempted to find his memory card and attempt to play the game to its conclusion myself, despite it being different than my normal type of game. When the new Silent Hill movie came out, I was the one asking him to go with me (because going to the movies by one’s self is over-rated). He finally acquired a new Silent Hill game, Downpour, at Christmas, which we have been slowly making progress through between work schedules.
There are only two games that I have ever experience through someone else, and then went on to play them. The first of which is Lord of the Rings Online. My older brother started it because he had been in love with the series when the movies first came out, though he didn’t find the same feeling again with the game. I think simply because he passed it on to me. I discovered for the first, and currently only, time ever, a group of players that were helpful, and I could get along with. Not having as much money in the gaming department as most online players, I usually don’t interact as much, simply because they’re way ahead of you because they spend the money to get there. I’d much rather spend my time getting there and enjoying the graphics on the way.
The second of these games was The Sims. My mom played the Sims games from the very beginning. I would watch her, simply because I was not allowed to touch her computer at that point. Yes, I am one of those people that enjoys playing the Sims games. In my defense, I played for the sake of building them up, not for trying to see how to have the largest family possible in the shortest amount of time, as I had a friend tell me about her attempts. Apparently I ruined the game for my mother, making it too complicated. She still got Sims Medieval when it came out, which is the only one I still play occasionally. I don’t care for most aspects anymore, but I do for the quests and the different routes you can take.
I don’t know anyone else who can stand to watch someone else play a game, and not be the one playing. It’s a skill I had to develop, and I’m glad I did so. I’m afraid my range of gaming is not as wide as it should be. But even still, I’ve gotten to watch as Heather first saw Robbie the Rabbit (my favorite character of the series, though they messed up his charm and appearance in the movie), and as Sheppard fought the Reapers. There are so many games with great stories out there, and it helps me have new things in common with others.