My Dad is looking for a new gaming console.
At 55, he’s always watched my brother play games from afar. That’s not to say he hasn’t played any himself. He played Ocarina of Time and was one Skulltula away from completing the game 100% back in the 90’s. Most recently he’s lived out his dream as a horse riding gunslinger (he grew up on a farm and was a huge fan of western movies and horses) in Red Dead Redemption on my brothers handed down Xbox 360.
My Dad is in the market for a gaming console and he asked me “are there any games that aren’t about shooting or violence?”. I had to stop and think.
Now, I know there’s a ton. I just played through Firewatch which was narrative driven game in a beautiful outdoor setting. Minecraft is an option as well although it features killing things with swords, even if at a minimum. Of course, there are sports games, racing games, and puzzle games. One of my favorite games is Stardew Valley, which at its core is about farming and attaining wealth although it also has minimal combat with killing monsters in the mines.
Needless to say, it’s difficult to find a good platform for non-violent games. My Dad sat with me to watch most of this years E3 press conferences. We watched Xbox’s show of Metro Exodus, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, Anthem and Assasin’s Creed. We watched Playstation’s show of the ultra-violent Days Gone, Destiny 2, Monster Hunter World (which we were both pretty pumped about) and Call of Duty: World War 2.
Then we watched Nintendo.
Zelda introduced a bird that could play the accordion.
Mario introduced hat throwing combat and a colorful world to explore.
Even the lovable Kirby made his return.
Dad, the Nintendo Switch might just be the console for you.
As I was watching Nintendo’s short but sweet E3 showing I couldn’t help but feel like it was a breath of (the wild) fresh air. While Microsoft and Sony are pushing ultra violent games as their mainstays, Nintendo seems to be the only company that remembers what their core business is. That is, making toys.
PlayStation pushes the envelope, attempting to always transcend the medium turning their games to art. Microsoft works to ensure a seamless and enjoyable playing experience with your friends. Nintendo makes toys. That’s not to say a game like Breath of the Wild can’t be considered art or that Nintendo isn’t working on multiplayer experiences. It’s just Nintendo doesn’t to shove anything down your throat. They don’t insist upon themselves. They seem to just like making games with the characters we all know and love in bright and colorful worlds they know we’ll enjoy.
At this year’s E3, Nintendo shone like a bright light in an industry that’s really gone dark and serious.
My Dad is now looking for a Nintendo Switch. Now if we could just find one somewhere…
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