Last night I went to participate in the Rock Band party of the Garage Geeks. The Garage Geeks events’ atmosphere is of social and of business networking. A place where you can meet people you’ve read about on the internet-business parts in the news papers and in the big sites on the web. It’s an atmosphere where it is fun to meet, great to collect ideas and to get to know people. i’ll get back to that later.The last game I seriously spent my time playing was called “Sim City 2000″, and it was back in the 90’s. I used to play for hours a day, full days, and I remember once I had nothing else to achieve in a city I built, it was all made of the mega ultra buildings of the 23rd century (with time fast forwarded). I called this city :”The Enterprise”. since than I stopped playing games in general, 10-12 years ago.
Now, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are great games to play, alone and togater, but there are few things about them that are counter productive socially, and remember, I’m talking about a party and about a networking event-
First of all, when you’re playing Rock Band you need to concentrate, there are rules you need to follow, as in every game. The game makes the player play for the total score of the team, but really, who cares about the score, the most important thing for you is to finish the song. So, it’s not really about being social, it’s about doing the best you can, and handling the hand and eye coordination obviously (except for the singer, of course).
Second, when you’re in a party where some of the people are playing computer games and some of the people are eating/talking/dancing than there are two groups in one place that do not communicate.
Few weeks ago I went to another party by FunTactix. About 8-9 people played games all night on the computers there and there were about 30-35 people, maybe less. how much is that in percentages and how do you think 8-9 more people could have donated to the atmosphere of the party???
Third– last night they had 2 sets of Rock Band and one set of Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero is anti social in definition. You might have some fun playing it and becoming better, but giving it in a party where other people are involved is like standing in the corner of the class, as a punishment, where no one can speak with you for the time spent, and if you’re standing on the side and want to play, wait in line.
So of course, nothing there was even like punishment, I myself tried to sing Roxanne for 3 times with guys i’ve never seen or talked before, but really, I think attractions in partties are great, but video games, even when they are meant as a group game (wii included) have anti social elements in them that made me think about all of that last night.
For conclusion, games for me, when I was a teen, were a way to spend my time, they were a way to explore this new thing called computer, there was nothing social about them, nothing. Games for me were something I do with myself, having fun, alone.
Even today, if I play a game with other people, how much of it is really about provoking the interaction afterwards? What interaction will be left after the game is over, after elvis has left the building?
Last, but not least, my own version of Creep, originaly by Radiohead, with my friends: Oded, Hagai, Roxi and lotem at the camera (creep)