Two Kinds of Games I Don’t See Enough Of Anymore

Starfighter Cockpit Simulations

I love everything about starfighter games.  I love dropping my mind into the game, letting the real world fade away for a moment as I climb into my cockpit, fire up the engines, and go save the world.

I was a Wing Commander fan; I played all the primary games in the series and loved them.  I loved Starlancer, which took WW2 battles and translated them into the future.  I was an INSANE fan of Independence War and I-War 2–in fact I’d still be playing I-War 2 if my stupid PC hadn’t died and left me with a half-functioning archaic machine.

My love of this genre of game translates into my writing–my years of playing I-War 2, in which I basically ignore the plot and just fly around getting into trouble in the open world play, inspired a piece of flash fiction years ago.  That piece of fiction popped into my mind one day in class, and it combined with the class subject (Modern Irish Literature and its relation to the Troubles) to become my novel-in-progress.

But these games are now almost nonexistent.  They had their heydey in the mid-90s, but then they fizzled out.  There are signs the genre is making a comeback, but we’ll see. Apparently Elite: Dangerous is good, but I can’t play it on my PC, so I don’t know, really.  The Xbox One version will supposedly be out sometime this year, but we’ll see.

Superhero stories

I’m not just talking about games based on Marvel or DC properties.  Those can be good (though they’re mixed, really), but stories like inFAMOUS, which I never got to play as it was a Playstation3-only game and I’ve got an X-Box (can I mention how much I hate console-exclusivity in gaming?).  From what I’ve heard, the game is great, and is original, with choice in how you play–you can be the good guy, or the jerk.  I like that .

I want games where a protagonist–and I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman, honestly, though I do like to be able to design my own character when possible–gets some kind of paranormal ability and then sets out to save the world. I’m ok with games that allow you to choose your morality, though I rarely see both sides of the choices given, as being a jackass in a game world makes me feel almost as bad as being one in real life.  I’ve played many Star Wars games, for example, and I’ve only once or twice played the Dark Side, because it just feels creepy to be that big a jerk.  I want to be the hero, not the villain.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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