When I was younger, I used to love playing video games. After school, weekends, and during vacation, my friends and I would go to the local arcade and play Street Fighter 2, Strider, driving games, Moon Patrol, and others for hours! The home machines were fun, but nowheres as cool as the arcade machines. Today they have been replaced by home consoles. Before we had kids, I used to play the Xbox 360 and PS3 — not for hours on end, but a few hours a week. Nowadays I play video games maybe 30 or 45 minutes a week, but only with my kids.
What changed? Well, I got older yes, but the games changed. When I was a kid, you could play through a whole game like Pitfall in 30 minutes or less (Google Atari 2600 if you’re younger than 35). I also played games like Kings Quest and Space Quest on the computer. Those games took many hours to complete, but you could save your game, walk away, and then resume play days or weeks later where you left off. Gaming was fun, it was casual, it was something to do when you had free time. Most importantly, you could walk away and have a life away from gaming.
Starting with the Nintendo Entertainment System, the whole gaming culture changed. Games took hours to complete, you couldn’t save your game anyplace — if at all, and you had to devote a large portion of your life to completing the games.
Then first person shooters came onto the scene. It seems as though even to this day, most games are first person shooters. Things jump out at you and scare you, you need to be on the edge of your seat, gore, and violence prevail. Personally, I play games to relax — not get all hyped up. Also, I don’t like getting scared — it’s not my idea of fun.
Today, I’d much rather play with the kids, take photos, edit pictures, go to karate, play on Facebook, or watch Doctor Who than play video games. However, once in a while they are fun.
Last year, I bought a PS4 on launch day — no I didn’t have to wait in line, I ordered it on Amazon. With it, I purchased Battlefield 4. In the past year, I’ve played the game less than ten hours total — some online, some offline. When I played online, I was getting killed left and right by seasoned gamers and didn’t stand a chance. I suppose I could have bought the book with all of the cheats and hints, practiced, and then held my own, but what a waste of time! It’s supposed to be a game — for fun, not a skill that I have to devote time and energy mastering.
Shortly after I bought the PS4, I also bought a Wii U to play with our six year old daughter. Over the past year, we’ve played Mario Kart and Just Dance. They are fun games that you can play for 15 minutes, and then turn them off. What a concept! Over the past year, our Wii U has been played a few times a month, while the PS4 played Netflix or a Blu Ray once in a while. Moreover, after looking at the new titles on PS4 and the Wii U, there’s nothing on the PS4 that interests me in the slightest.
I decided this weekend that I’d rather sell the PS4 and buy yet another camera with the proceeds. If I used the camera just an hour a month over the next year, it would have seen more use than the PS4 had since I bought it. So, the PS4 went up on Craigslist and was sold in less than 24 hours. With the proceeds, I bought a used Fuji X100S camera — also off of Craigslist. The photos in this gallery are straight out of the camera — my early impressions are that the X100S takes better photos than the PS4 — smiley winkie face.
The funny thing about the buyer of the PS4 is that he’s a young father with a two year old. He was late to meet me because his “kid was having a meltdown.” Also, when we were talking, he said that he should have more time when his child is older. Maybe he should have bought a camera or a Wii U instead.
Well, now that I have no PS4, we can no longer play our Blu-rays or DVDs in anything other than our computers. I suppose it’s inevitable, but the days of buying a DVD, Blu-ray, or CD are going away. I’ve been fighting them for a long time, but iTunes and Amazon have made purchasing media too easy. In fact, later this evening I’ll be watching this week’s Doctor Who on that I purchased on iTunes on my computer.