Yes, I’m still around, though I’ve turned into quite a lurker on Twitter and Buzz. I’ve not really had a lot of strong opinions lately, and to be honest, I’ve not been playing a lot of games.
But this past weekend, I tried to change that by buying a 3DS. As I explained elsewhere, I bought a 3DS for a couple of reasons–
- First, I lost my DSi to my son, who along with my daughter has become a Pokefiend. And I’ve been missing my DS, of taking it with me to work or wherever to play a few minutes of a game.
- Second, mobile games have done little for me. Part of it is the device: not having physical controls greatly impairs it as a gaming platform because it means taking up precious screen real estate. The other, smaller part is that I’ve not found the games quite as engaging. So, my phone has been a poor replacement for my “lost” DSi.
The 3D was a small reason for the purchase. I could have gotten a DSi on the cheap, but hey, I had a bonus that I mostly stocked away, so I felt I could indulge myself.
The other thing is that I bought my first Pokemon game–Pokemon White. My daughter got Pokemon Black from my brother [who is into Pokemon Black as well], and my son bought a copy, too, with money he’s been hording for a long while.
I confess that I was really surprised at how such a repetitive game like Pokemon is still so captivating. I took it with me as we shopped for new clothes for my niece’s wedding, and we all ended up playing as we waited for my wife to try on dresses or my daughter to try on shoes. It has that wonderful pick-up-and-play aspect as well as depth. I do feel a certain bond with my starter Pokemon [Oshawott], but I know I have to play others. And then there’s the anticipation of learning a new maneuver and deciding which of the four existing moves I’ll forget to learn the new one.
And then there’s the experience of sharing a geeky little obsession with my kids. As the picture shows, we sometimes play together at night before bed, playing our individual games but also watching status updates of what the others are doing. ‘What? You ran from a fight?!’ ‘Oh, congrats! You beat the gym leader!’ It’s an intriguing experience of the individual and shared experience at the same time.
And we find that we can turn any space into a gaming space–in the shoe department, after dinner in a restaurant, waiting for the rail. Yes, we’re mockable for gaming in public. But we know it, and we’re laughing at ourselves as well. Yet, that seems much preferable than the guy who’s making his phone conversation about work public for everyone to have to listen to. With us, you just have to endure the giggles and the occasional Pokemonese.