I have a confession to make: I’m just not a gamer.
January 18, 2012
You’d think that because I like horror movies and other pulp fictions I’d be into console gaming. I am not. While I adored the trailer for Dead Island I did not buy the game. I have seen all the Underworld movies, and will go to the latest, but I am not the least bit interested in the game(s) based upon it.
I’m just as disinterested, if not more so, in social games. Angry Birds, Scrabble, Farmville and all the others do nothing for me. I do not game. Not on my computer. Not on my mobile. No, I do not like games on a plane. I do not like them on a train. I do not like them with my friends. Or all alone semi-undressed. I do not like games, I do not!
Yet, I respect gaming and gamers. I get it. Games fill that gaping maw between boredom and thrill seeking, a chasm of which much could and has been written.
Pragmatically, I also understand the powerful synergy between gaming and modern marketing. Even if the experiences are like body copy nobody reads, online games and gaming are hot commodities for advertisers and creative people. Knowing how to monetize them is part of the brief. Many in Adland like to play these games. But just because I don’t doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its value. As a copywriter and creative director, I’ve worked on countless things that do nothing for me personally. I don’t play golf but I worked on a campaign for the PGA. I no longer drink alcohol but I sold Effen Vodka. That’s the job. Besides, understanding why people enjoy something I don’t is inherently interesting. Like appreciating other religions, political parties or Harry Potter, I think it’s important not to be too ignorant of anything. A liberal arts education lasts forever.
In our household the girls use their iPads primarily for games. My wife enjoys Facebook. They all like to shop online and view the occasional video on You Tube. I am far more aggressive. I took to blogging and am hopelessly addicted to Twitter, Facebook and other such goodies. Lots of people –gasp- don’t care for those experiences. Kind of like me with games. To each his own.
I think those of us vested in popular culture (marketing, entertainment, design, etc) have an innate fear of being out of the loop. Therefore, we pursue every new-new thing as if it’s mission critical. There is some virtue in that. Nothing baffles me more than an agency CEO who talks a big digital game but hasn’t a Facebook or Twitter account. The hypocrisy is worse than the ignorance. You’d be surprised how many of them there are.
That said, I’m guessing most of us pick and choose platforms to master and are satisfied merely comprehending the others. A working knowledge. That’s me anyway. Hell, if I really wanted to improve myself I would learn to speak Spanish or Chinese. And that’s not happening. Frankly, I’d rather start gaming.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the badass trailer for Dead Island. I’ll eat someone’s brains if it doesn’t win at Cannes.