Make Me Play Videogames: The Brand New Rack

OK kids, it’s time for this year’s experiment. Our 2010 project will be game-related, huzzah. The idea goes something like this: I, Sonic Rob, will present to you, the community, two (2) games that I posses, each of which probably ought to have been played by any well-rounded gamer by this point. You will spend a week voting on which one I will play; tie votes will be decided by The Baker, who has to live with the consequences. I will then play that game, becoming a better (in some nebulous way) gamer in the process.

The part that’s going to kill me, but that I swear I will stick to, is this: I will play the chosen game, and only that game, for as long as it takes to complete it. For our purposes, “complete” will be taken to mean “experience the entire single-player narrative arc at least once”. Games without stories will thus be disqualified, as will games that are strictly multiplayer.

Yes, you’ve noticed it: this is really just another test of my willpower disguised as something informative. I have a ton of games in my backlog, and you’re going to accompany me as I work my way through an unspecified quantity of them. My awful habit of playing a single game religiously for 2-3 weeks and then forgetting it is going by the wayside as I try out a brand new gaming paradigm: finishing the games I play, and then moving on forever. We’re going to get rid of the quota system that was central to Film Century 1.5, as I think the pace will be self-regulating in this case: my natural urge to move on to a new game will inspire me to finish the current one, and then I’ll get to try something else. In my mind I am secretly hoping to complete a game every month, but I promise you infidels nothing; if the game chosen is short it will be done sooner, if it is long I will be working on it for a while. I’m one of those grown-up gamers who have something to live for when they set the controller down, and I won’t be endangering that just so you lot can read a hatchet job full of low-blow one-liners that much faster.

For the sake of my sanity, the 1-week voting period between games will also constitute a free-play time where I can frantically gorge on as much game variety as possible before I lock myself back in the hyperbaric chamber with my next digital dance partner.

Oh, as I alluded to earlier I’ll be writing a review of each game. Not a single sentence, like last year’s lark. This time I’ll be spending a lot more time with each test subject, so we’re going to get more in-depth with them. Something tells me that, kind of like last year, the tacked-on writing excercise will become more important than the actual consumption of media that the experiment is an excuse for.

A couple of rules for the review portion of the project:

1) I will not be providing a review score. Trying to render an analog opinion as a digital number is both futile and ridiculous. If you want to know what I thought of the game, read the review. That said, I may or may not include a dollar amount I’d be willing to pay for the game in question.

2) The review will be at least 1,000 words long. That sounds like enough space to really get to grips with a game without being so much that I have to pad it out with bullshit or anything undignified like that.

3) I’ll be informing you of how I acquired the game for disclosure purposes, although you can rest assured that our pissant little operation has not garnered the sort of attention that gets review copies flowing in. These are all going to be retail copies that were purchased with my food money.

4) I’ll be hewing to Quinn’s Rules for Writing About Games when it suits my mood and purposes. Given that the entire spirit of this project violates rule #16 off the bat, we can gather just how serious I am about this point.

That ought to do for now, rules-wise. I reserve the right to completely upend the bylaws of this little project anytime I wish given that a) nobody is particularly paying attention and b) it’s my freaking idea. Dissidents may disembark now. All others please prepare to vote via the comments section provided at the bottom of the inaugural experiment, which will appear hot on the heels of this post.

May God have mercy on us all. Here we go.


One thought on “Make Me Play Videogames: The Brand New Rack”

  1. Some further clarifications, structures, regulations, etc:

    1) All games will be played on Normal difficulty or the equivalent.

    2) Games will only be submitted for vote a single time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *