so often, social media comes up with a great question.
great by any standard or wide-ranging definition of great, mind
you. Not great questions as in fantastic and brilliant and mind-bogglingly
wonderful. But great as in meaningful to some and timely.
meaningful for a single person. Perhaps for a group. Something
that connects and potentially generates conversation, answers,
and occasionally both.
Twitter, someone is asking other writers about favorite books
Facebook, a person on the road is looking for restaurant recommendations.
another, a friend is reaching out for a reputable contractor to
do some emergency home repairs.
Not great stupendous. Just… well… great.
the crazy thing is that people respond.
morning a simple, utterly silly, and yet I suppose qualifying
as great question got me thinking. For hours.
was no reason the concept should have connected with me, sparking
curiosity and plenty of memories. No reason I should have given
it more than either a passing glance or impulse thought. But think
about it I have, and I’m not sure it has an answer.
question at hand was this: Name the greatest video game ever.
I told you. Not exactly a great question by handy definitions.)
problem for me… and source of ongoing pondering…. comes from how
to approach the question.
it something where a universal agreement is needed? Or—hey, this
is a social media debate—are we looking more toward personal feelings?
are good that if we are considering all-time games, somewhat emotionless
in our approach, the classics come to mind: Pong, Space
Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Tetris
and such. The titles we all know and recognize as the beginning
of it all. Arguments made for Super Mario Bros. for literally
bringing it home. Defenses lined up for how Duck Hunt
and The Legend of Zelda contributed to what is now routine.
from there, we’ll find a batch of people that will point to sales
charts and free download statistics. Discussions might take place
on the importance of availability and gaming platform options.
all of this is looking to generate some way of measuring and quantifying
what might not be measurable or quantifiable… still, it’s the
leads us to the personal.
kids, our house was home to an Intellivision system. Some friends
had Atari. A smattering of others were occasionally spotted. And
we all added to our collections of titles, playing the latest
and greatest at the appropriate house.
mastered playing the two-player baseball game on my own, basically
by controlling the team at bat with my feet. To this day, I still
recall the edge-of-the-seat games played with one friend, where
the scoring of a single run often decided the winner. My sisters
seldom played the sports titles with me, meaning games of Snafu
and Sea Battle were the norm against them.
can recall a neighborhood house that was home to a Radio Shack
computer. I believe it was the TRS-80 model, and we often played
Polaris. Later, when the Tandy computer craze arrived
at our house, some of the thrills of gaming involved the struggles
with games that played using cassette players. Yes, video gaming
on tape recorders. (Top that memory.)
of video games will almost certainly never find Astrosmash
or Utopia on any list unless nostalgia and deep thought
are being applied. (And yet the t-shirts and civilization-building
that followed would support either getting at least a mention.)
of the biggest problems with Intellivision was the controllers.
They were so unique in design that honestly no current style compares.
Makes it next to impossible to enjoy any classic video game collection
for the system, since the games aren’t even close to capturing
the playing style.
college, I remember getting addicted to Xybots. To this
day, every so often I glance around to check and see what kind
of availability might exist to find a version that will play at
home. (And then talk myself out of purchasing it.)
point simply comes back to this: Do you want to find an answer
(which means creating some sort of top ten list, with the hope
being that most people will nod at those included while debating
the order)? Or, do you want to search out for the connections
the games have made with people and why certain titles have specific
reality, for video games or anything else, is that there quite
likely is no answer that works for the questions of greatest.
(But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to ask.)