Monday, July 30, 2007

Fantasy Worlds

I'm 35 and I love video games. I can't help it. Can you blame me though. My generation grew up with them. I've had them all - Atari, Intellivision, Vectrex (look it up), Nintendo, Sega, PS1, PS2, XBOX, and XBOX360. I think modern games are great. Many are better than a lot of hollywood movies and much more involving since you have control of the action. Lots of people though don't get it and think they are just for kids. I mostly play 3 types of games - shooters, sports games and car games.

The car games are probably my favorite though. Lately, I've been addicted to Forza Motorsport 2 for the XBOX360. I spent about 10 hours playing just this weekend. It's a standard racing game but the amount of detail and customization in the game is great. Realistic damage and physics add to the realism of the game. Hundreds of cars are available and customizable with everything from paint, decals, rims, tires, body add-ons and various speed equipment. It's really amazing. There is racing against game generated opponents and there is also on-line play. There is also an on-line auction area where you can buy and sell your cars.

Another great driving game that I love on the XBOX360 is Test Drive Unlimited. This game isn't just racing, its a whole alternate reality. The game takes place on the island of Hawaii. The creators of the game have mapped all of the roadways on the island and you can "free roam" anywhere you want. The game starts with you arriving at the airport with some money for a house and a car. You grab a rental and head out to make your purchases. As you progress through the game you come across races and challenges that help you earn money to buy more houses, cars, motorcycles and clothes. The best part is the on-line aspect where players from all over the world are all just cruising around on the roads at the same time going about their business. You can challenge each other to races, formal or just a spontaneous drag race or game of highway tag, you can just sit and chat or form a car club. It's great fun and really a complete fantasy world. Right now in the game I've got about 20 houses, hundreds of cars and over $1million in the bank. If it were only real!

I just like the escapism that these games provide. I love playing after a day at work. It helps me relax and forget about whatever has been bugging me for a few hours a day. My wife doesn't get it but it's something I just really love. Plus it helps me bond with my son and that's the best part.

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