Today I want to share an observation I made with my son and his friends, but also something that seems to be very popular these days in gaming, and that is creative gaming. Now games where you can make things such as levels, characters, music, pictures and whatever have been around for years. Hell, as a kid I spent a ton of time making my own terrible movies in Mario Paint. But I think that these days kids (and probably some older folks too) get a real kick out of being able to create their own worlds, characters and story……. Perhaps even more so than just sitting down and playing through a game.
In my house it started with Minecraft. A friend of my sons recommended the game to him one day at school and it was like crack! All of a sudden it was all he wanted to do, talk about and watch what seemed like a million hours per week of YouTube videos about. Him and his little buddies were all obsessed with this game. Now I am not going to pretend to be a Minecraft expert…….. far from it. I just do not get the game at all! I know there is a point to the game where you have to “survive” by exploring, hunting and making stuff. But my son and his friends do not seem interested in that. All they want to do is build these what are actually pretty impressive cities, characters, monsters and tons of other stuff as well. They will spend hours and hours making stuff in Minecraft all the while ignoring that there is an actual game in there!
While Minecraft may have started it for me it, was Disney Infinity and more specifically, Disney Infinity 2.0 where I noticed how my son and I were starting to have different ideas about what a fun game is. For those that do not know Disney Infinity is kind of two games in one. You have your adventures where you can play through a story in this case either The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man or Guardians Of The Galaxy. You do missions, fight bad guys and play from beginning to end in other words, it’s a normal, and what you would expect video game and I loved it.
But the other part of Disney Infinity is the Toy Box mode. Toy Box mode lets you create your very own games from beat em ups, platform games and racing games to name a few. If you can imagine it and have the skill, then you can make it happen in this mode. My son had no interest in playing the actual story modes of Disney Infinity 2.0. In fact if it was not because playing through the stories unlocked stuff for the Toy Box mode, then I do not think he would have bothered at all! I just find it very interesting how technology has progressed so much where kids these days (and adults too) can make their own games fairly easily, and that some would rather do this than play through an already made adventure.
It may sound like I am against this type of thing, but I actually am not. When I was a kid I would design my own video games, but I did not have something like Disney Infinity or Project Spark to do it. Instead I had to make do with bits of paper and imagine in my head how a game would be. Kids these days are really lucky in that they can use their imaginations to make their own games, and actually bring them to life and play them. I would have been all over this as a kid. I wish I had the imagination and the free time that I had when I was a kid, and I am sure then that I would love these types of games, however as an adult I think I will just stick to playing games rather than making them.
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