The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Erik_Twice
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40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Several posters expressed their interest in this article when I mentioned it a couple days ago and I thought it could make for an interesting discussion so after asking Ack, here it is.

http://eriktwicereviews.com/feature-40- ... lay-intro/

I made a list of 40 games that I feel every critic would be better off playing. They are cornerstones and while there are hundreds more (You might notice I cut all the obvious ones) I think it raises an important point: The average critic is not knowledgeable about the medium he's writing for. He should have played all the games in this list and three hundred more and come back to beat me for writing it.

The list, for later reference. I'll be posting articles explaining each entry very briefly but it will take long and it won't be in depth so feel free to ask about any of them.

Very brief explanations of the games. I don't think I did a good job but it should suffice.
http://eriktwicereviews.com/feature-40- ... lay-pt-ii/
http://eriktwicereviews.com/feature-40- ... ay-pt-iii/
http://eriktwicereviews.com/feature-40- ... ay-pt-iii/
http://eriktwicereviews.com/feature-40- ... lay-pt-iv/

Scrabble (1948)
Diplomacy (1959)
Acquire (1962)
Dungeons and Dragons (1974)
Cosmic Encounter (1977)
Squad Leader (1977)
Zork (1977)
Adventure (1979)
Asteroids (1979)
Civilization (1980)

Rogue (1980)
Call of Chutlhu (1981)
Ultima (1981)
1830: Railroads and Robber Barons (1982)
Microsoft Flight Simulator (1982)
Xevious (1982)
The Tower of Druaga (1984)
Arkanoid (1986)
Die Macher (1986)
Dragon Quest (1986)

OutRun (1986)
SimCity (1989)
Space Hulk (1989)
The Republic of Rome (1990)
Street Fighter II (1991)
Vampire: The Masquerade (1991)
Alone in the Dark (1992)
Doom (1993)
Daytona USA (1993)
Magic: The Gathering (1993)

Myst (1993)
Virtua Fighter (1993)
Settlers of Catan (1997)
Beatmania (1997)
Half-Life (1998)
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Starcraft (1998)
Counter-Strike (1999)
Shenmue (1999)
Deus Ex (2000)

Feel free to discuss while I see if I can put the other three explanations online :)
Last edited by Erik_Twice on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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AppleQueso
 

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by AppleQueso Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:41 pm

I don't think I've ever played any of the traditional/board games.
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:42 pm

AppleQueso wrote:I don't think I've ever played any of the traditional/board games.

Most are decidely hobby games so I don't blame you. Though I find strange you haven't played Scrabble :lol:
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by AppleQueso Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:45 pm

General_Norris wrote:
AppleQueso wrote:I don't think I've ever played any of the traditional/board games.

Most are decidely hobby games so I don't blame you. Though I find strange you haven't played Scrabble :lol:


D'OH!

I think my mind read it as "Scramble" and thought it was talking about the shmup.
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:47 pm

AppleQueso wrote:I think my mind read it as "Scramble" and thought it was talking about the shmup.

Hahaha, the dates are similar too (1948 vs 1984)
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by fastbilly1 Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:54 pm

The only one I question is Microsoft Flight Simulator, which by date you mean 1.0. It was certainly a complex flight sim for the time, and I know it was used as a compatibility title for PC clones, but I hope there are more reasons for it than that.

Jet Fighter and Interceptor are usual considered the best early flightsims, even though they are arcade games.
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:05 pm

fastbilly1 wrote:The only one I question is Microsoft Flight Simulator, which by date you mean 1.0.

Oh, sorry, the titles are meant to represent the series if applicable, I'll add a note. Any version of Flight Simulator will do, no need to play the first :)
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Gamerforlife Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:21 pm

I'd like to refer some of the ignorant, uneducated kids writing reveiws at IGN to your article

Okay, that was uncalled for. It's so hard for me not to bash that site these days. I agree with your premise. A lot of reviewers today don't seem to know their stuff, and I have noticed that many people in the community, be they website journalists, or podcasters do seem to struggle a lot in defining games and even identifying their genres correctly. For me, this usually comes easily and I guess it just comes down to experience and that comes from having played the right games as you say.

That's an interesting list, and using some of the earliest titles in a genre is a good idea. People need to say how most genres began to appreciate their evolution and understand where people are coming from when they compare today's game to the games of old, like when people say that stuff like Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 aren't really survival horror. People need proper context to understand that argument.
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by isiolia Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Gamerforlife wrote:That's an interesting list, and using some of the earliest titles in a genre is a good idea. People need to say how most genres began to appreciate their evolution and understand where people are coming from when they compare today's game to the games of old, like when people say that stuff like Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 aren't really survival horror. People need proper context to understand that argument.


In that respect though, I think the list as presented is somewhat lacking. Granted, there was the caveat given that many "obvious" titles were left out - though nearly everything from the 90s on strikes me as such.


Personally, I would break non video games off into their own category or article. You could just as easily make a list of influential novels, or movies as well, which would in turn have their own influences. Sports are just as valid an inclusion as board games, and are completely absent. That kind of thing. Better to keep it focused on actual video games.

This is also something that would almost be more appropriately be done per genre, with particularly notable landmarks highlighted for those who aren't necessarily fans of it.

For a lot of reviewing, it'd be far more preferable for the reviewer to have more knowledge of the recent history and current state of the applicable genre. For an informative analysis on a particular title anyway. Anyone can write up whether or not they had fun playing a game.
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Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:04 pm

Gamerforlife wrote:Okay, that was uncalled for

Why? They are clearly part of those unqualified critics I mentioned. :lol:

In fact, they are very clearly the target of this list and many of the choices were made with IGN or Kotaku in mind. I'm just tired of so many empty comments that failed to even check Wikipedia or showed a complete lack of perspective.

By the way, the Warhammer example is an actual quote.

isiolia wrote:Personally, I would break non video games off into their own category or article.

I know, that's why they are here. :twisted:

The distinction between cardboard and code is arbitrary, it's smaller than the difference between live action and animation and the lines are so blurred it soon becomes silly to make a distinction.

Think about it. Civilization. Panzer General. Heroes of Might and Magic. Archon. X-COM. Final Fantasy Tactics. Source of the Nile. Heroes of Might and Magic. 1830. Boardgames in digital form. It's impossible to talk about Baten Kaitos without talking about Magic, it requires mental gymnastics because videogames and boardgames are one and the same. They are both games!




Concerning sports, they may or not belong based on a given definition which is a can of worms I'm not willing to open right now (The same goes for toys vs games, if you are going to ask :lol: ).

There are many omissions, though, it's a very short list.
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