Monday, December 18

Why Platformers Should Come Back

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In the elder days, before I became indoctrinated into the world of shooters such as Halo and Call of Duty, I was a fan of the realm of Platform gaming. In many ways, it was the realms of Mario the Plumber, Gex the Gecko, Banjo the Bear, Kazooie the Bird, Sly Cooper the Thief, and Ratchet the Lombax that transformed a simple enjoyment of games to the full love that has remained untainted throughout the rest of my life. Without them, I would never have become the man that I am today. All of my creativity, persistence, and critical thinking skills I can attribute to recklessly diving time and time again into a puzzle I had trouble solving. I was forced to rethink my initial directions, discovering new ways to tackle a problem until I found one that worked.

Now, I work through college work, life challenges, as well as relationship developments with the same mindset I have playing those platformers. The persistence developed searching aimlessly and then methodically throughout Delfino Island translated perfectly to mathematics, especially in the higher levels when proofs became the order of the day. The ability to switch tactics which became so necessary in the various adventures of Ratchet and Clank came in handy when attempting to reword an essay in English class, since more often then not, the wording was the only thing my teacher had a problem with.

Don’;;;t get me wrong, shooters, RTS’;;;, Sports games, Racing games, all of them, they have their place. We learn plenty of things from them too, regardless of all the pre-N64 generations’;;; beliefs about games rotting our brains, but this age of shooters and NBA2K13 or whatever we’;;;re on, we need something that can teach us again. Once more, the Platformer, that greatest of coordination and methodology tutors, must return to teach all of the successive generations. Namely my kids, when I have them…


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