As a rather passive gaming enthusiast, I don’t know all that much about the history of video games; I have just enough information to appreciate the fact that the 8-bit games that lived in cabinet-sized machines have evolved into photorealistic adventures that fit onto a compact disc. I’m the perfect audience, then, for the Discovery Channel’s Rise of the Video Game, a documentary series on the growth of the gaming market. From Pong to, I imagine, PS3, the series takes a comprehensive look on what makes gamers tick and how the market has responded over time. Tonight’s installation is neatly summarizing my formative years, including the introduction of the NES and Sega Genesis. For anyone who’s interested in gaming, or anyone wondering why people would be interested in gaming, it’s a worthy watch.
For as long as the series has existed, Guitar Hero has fascinated me. Whenever I would walk by an open demo station in my local Best Buy, I couldn’t resist stopping and playing a song. Or three. But, as my console ownership has a history of both brand loyalty and generation skipping (I went from the original NES to N64, running both into the ground before buying a Nintendo Wii), I had precious few opportunities to get more acquainted with the high concept game. All that changed last week when the series’ newest member, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, came to the Wii.
Okay, so I’m the owner of one of the most coveted, coolest gaming systems out there, the Nintendo Wii, and I’ve got a MacBook that runs Windows for all my Lego Star Wars II and Madden 2007 needs. I’ve spoiled myself a little bit when it comes to gaming entertainment, even if I consider myself anything but a gamer (I don’t ever recall having “fragged” anyone, nor do I claim to know what the hell that even means). But until recently, there was still a gaming itch I’ve been dying to scratch. The need was fulfilled this weekend when Movie Hawk cohort Pat bought himself an XBox 360 and passed his previous-generation XBox along to yours truly in exchange for a couple beers. What do I plan to do with this new-to-me system…play some Halo? Get my Knights of the Old Republic on? Get a dance pad and hit up some DDR? Not quite yet (real answer key: no, probably, maybe some day once I get the bobbleheads off my entertainment center and out of harm’s way). The very first thing I did was run to my local gaming establishment and right up to the “used” rack, where I bought EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness 2004 and began recreating my beloved Hawks’ 2003-04 perfect season.