Sunday 31 July 2011

Playing games

In my house (unless you want to get down one of the board games or chess sets) there are four ways to play games.

First (my favourite) the Xbox 360 - I currently own over 30 games - ranging from RPG (Assassins Creed and Fable) to quasi-platform games; Spyro, Sonic and the Lego games - and a few more besides. I can easily spend a whole day attached to the Xbox. I am limited only by when my hands seize up!

Second (the most inadvertently time-sapping) internet games. There are dozens of games sites which do nothing but serve you games; the ones I use most are probably, Kongregate and Shockwave. I discovered these when I was laid up in bed with an MS relapse and couldn't do much but lie there with my laptop for company. Just be warned - a lot of these games are addictive! 

Then there are the games that Facebook serves you up - Farmville is probably the most famous. Once upon a time just a side-line for those with some time on their hands these have now become big business for companies. There is so much you can do for free but nearly every iteration of these games has some in game currency which translates to actual money IRL (in real life).

At first it was a few items here and there, but profit is profit. Those hardest hit are probably those who play most; those with little money and a lot of time - the retired, the long-term sick, the unemployed and the stay at home parents. There hasn't been enough of a backlash against these companies who have forgotten who got them where they are.

Third are the Smartphones. There is an iPhone and and Android in this house. Waiting for a late train or sitting in a cafe waiting for a friend it is an easy way to pass five or ten minutes. I favour strategy games, and Shredder has been teaching me (kind of) to play chess.

Lastly (and slightly forgotten these days) are the portable games consoles. I have had a succession of Nintendo offerings (from the Gameboy to the DS) and the better half has the Sony PSP. Somewhat superseded by the Smartphone they are the ultimate for lying on the sofa and doing nothing but gaming - the screens are larger than a phone and the games more involved.

So - now we know why things such as tidying my desk and sorting through junk mail never get done!