Category Archives: Videogames

Gateway

It is very difficult to persuade people to try video games because entry into the world requires a lot more effort and expense than other types of art / entertainment.

You can cultivate interest in movies by watching the classics on cable TV before making the decision to invest in a Blu-Ray player and home theatre system. It is possible to listen to the classics of any genre of music on the radio or Youtube, before investing in a hi-fi system or a vinyl player. And literature? Books are cheap and convenient.

In the case of games, it’s much more complicated. Popular games are always recent ones, requiring powerful computers or specific consoles that are almost always over €200 in cost. Older games, the equivalent to movie classics, are mostly inseparable from proprietary platforms that either are no longer made, or are as expensive as new ones, or work poorly with today’s televisions.

The best way for someone to get started in video games is through the platforms that are looked at with disdain by connoisseurs – the phone. There are some reasons for such disdain: most mobile phone games are terrible, absolutely lacking in quality. And even when a classic is available on the phone, it is presented in a way that takes away much of its quality.

(Imagine if the only introductory way to see The Godfather was through a cell phone camera video shot during a cinema screening of the film.)

I’m thinking of a way to introduce people to the medium of videogames. I would like to formulate a list of 10 high-quality games (representative of a variety of genres) that are available to play (legally) on medium-range mobile phones and/or low-performance laptops.

Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments.

The Most Important Gift You Can Give Today

Sometimes it pays to do the things we love.

When I found out that Felipe Pepe was recruiting volunteers to help him create a compendium of the history of computer RPGs (“Role-Playing Games,” for those less familiar with videogame acronyms) I immediately knew that I wanted in.

I never imagined that one day my work would be part of a printed book, much less a book from which 100% of the author’s profits would go toward charity – in this case, the Vocação institution, which grants education and finds employment for young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Brazil.

But it did. You can order it here, and do so knowing that once the first print is done, there will be no more. It is a single, limited edition.

I can only thank Felipe in triplicate:

Thank you for engendering such a passionate project.

Thank you for having endured my delays and edited my words for the better.

Thank you for finding and taking the opportunity to use this work to improve the world.

Video games are not always a waste of time.

Better With Friends

Some things that are boring – or even of poor quality – done solo gain brilliance by adding friends. Quality is situational, contextual.

Back when I had a video game show, the Mario Kart game for Switch was a frequent point of contention between me and my co-host Daniel Costa.

For me, the game represents the worst example of what a racing game can be. The tracks brim with visual confusion, it is not clear the effect of the various parts’ characteristics on the performance of the cars, and – the worst sin within the genre – it’s sometimes difficult to understand whether the car is accelerating or not. As a racing game, it’s a stain.

But still, it’s my most played game on Switch. Why?? Because it’s the game that I booth up whenever I have friends over. Because when we’re playing with friends, it does’t really matter if the game is well-crafted – it matters that it’s visually stimulating, and that it gives us a way to tease each other.

The latest Mario Kart is a bad racing game but an excellent party game.

Context is more important than quality.