I gave up playing computer games once it became obvious that I couldn’t get anywhere without reading the instruction manual and then dedicating hour upon hour learning strategy and shortcuts (oh and having three kids didn’t help). However with the upcoming Wii from Nintendo that just may change, an article in this weeks Economist states
“The main problem with modern games, he says, is that they require players to invest enormous amounts of time. As lifestyles have become busier, leaving less time for gaming, the industry has moved towards epic games which take dozens of hours to complete. This is leading some occasional gamers to stop playing and deterring non-gamers from giving it a try, says Mr Iwata. There are other factors too: novices are put off by the need to master complex controllers, festooned with buttons, triggers and joysticks. And not everyone wants to escape into a fantasy gaming world. “That attracts avid gamers,” he says, but can make it “difficult for people to become interested in games”.

Nintendo set out to reach beyond existing gamers and expand the market. This would involve simpler games that could be played for a few minutes at a time and would appeal to non-gamers or casual gamers (who play simple games on the web but would not dream of buying a console). They would be based on new, easy-to-use controls. And they would rely on real-life rather than escapist scenarios. This was not an entirely new approach: dancing games that use cameras or dance mats as controllers have proved popular in recent years. But Nintendo began to design entire games consoles around such ideas.”

Looks like I’ve got a present on my xmas list (for the kids of course 🙂 )

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