When I was a kid, I remember my parents bringing home a brand new, VHS, 50th Anniversary edition of Casablanca. They went on and on about how great it was, even going so far as to call it the ~ gasp ~ best movie ever. When they would try to get me to watch it, however, I wouldn't even give it a chance, and I imagine most kids were probably like me. Casablanca simply is not a kids movie.
Well, now I'm older, I've seen Casablanca many times, and I've come to understand what good ol' Mom and Dad were talking about. It has become one of my favorite movies, and, on some days at least, I do place it at the top of the 'Best Movies of All Time' list. But what is it about Casablanca that doesn't interest a kid yet does interest an adult? Well kids, get ready to put your hands over your eyes and say eww! The secret ingredient is romance.
I remember reading an article awhile back by James DeRosa called "Violence, Victory, and the Difficulties of Making a Cheerful Game." In it, he argues that there needs to be a fundamental change in the purpose of video games, from achieving victory to… something else. What that something else is is unclear. http://www.bitmob.com/articles/video-games-need-to-grow-down
This is a very interesting line of thought. I'm not sure, however, that 'victory' is necessarily the problem, as sometimes getting the girl can be a victory. And I, nor do I think DeRosa, is arguing for getting rid of violent games. What I am saying is that romance is virtually nonexistent in video games, and that it may be the alternative to violence and children's games many of us are looking for.
Frequent mention has been made lately by older gamers, gamers who grew up with Mario and Sonic, that the new side-scrolling versions of these classic games, while well-done, do not hold their interest like they expected them to. Indeed, even the old classics like Super Mario World and Sonic The Hedgehog have lost some of their appeal. This should be of little surprise, as our needs as adults are not the same as the needs of children. (I do want to note, too, how strange I think it is that children, teenagers, and adults are basically buying and playing the same games.)
But I think it is possible that an inevitable progression is going on in the world of video games right now. Those of us who spent our childhoods rescuing a princess in what amounts to the video game equivalent of a Disney movie have grown up. We can appreciate the creativity of games like Mario, but it really is kids stuff. Where are the games that only adults want to play? Where is the video game equivalent of Casablanca?