Don’t Hate The Game

I first mentioned David M. Grimm here. We enrolled in the same campus at different times, but graduated at the same time. The bespectacled chap studied Print Media meaning he is a writer by profession. I reached out to him, while we were still in school, after being reliably informed that he possesses linguistic intelligence.

My source, whom I will not disclose, was on the money. David M. Grimm is a damn good writer.

Going through his work, you can easily tell he is not trying to be or sound like someone else; he simply speaks his truth and stands by it. I find myself constantly pondering over his words, especially his occasional 3 a.m. musings which he puts up on his WhatsApp status. Any millennial can relate to his writing, but don’t take my word for it, check him out yourself.

***

Kenyans, and a lot of them rightfully so, still have the notion that video games, scratch that, any game for that matter are meant for children.

Personally, I have had a lot of confrontations with my parents over the nature of this pastime that I choose to engage in ever so often. I cannot count the number of times I have found myself at the end of a chair overlooking the disappointed faces of my folk going through the conventional old age practice of a good lecture. It never stops, and it probably never will. So why do they choose to judge us so?

I would like to state for the record that not every gamer happens to be a social reclusive. A lot, okay some, actually have lives. And pertinent social ones at that. They have jobs, have more than a thousand followers on Instagram (apparently this means something for some reason), are not all geeks, and yes others even have girlfriends (stop judging the rest of us who do not). However, where my old man gets me with his nugget of wisdom ever so true is when he asks if there is any future for gaming in Kenya. In Africa, maybe. But in Kenya (where we are still not responsible enough to handle social network sites amid turbulent election times, forcing our electoral body and other established institutions to put in place measures to curb the hateful and spiteful happenings being broadcasted), not so much.

The stagnation of our country’s gaming industry stems from the fact that we do not even have our own personal game developers. We all influx materials from the West like the over-reliant hogs we are. And the games we do actually make tend to be utter balderdash. And those that aren’t entirely bad, get no support. Bungoma Hangman anyone?

Now, before we go on accusing the developers, we gamers also play a significant role in the continuation of the societal perception that video games cause bad vices, albeit how cliché they may be. I, for one, am sick and tired of always being dragged into arguments about the effects of video games on the human brain. It’s a never-ending debate, as old as the gaming industry itself.

To a gamer, and I am speaking for those I have observed, the definition of a good time is locking themselves up in a room, the dingier the better, binging on junk food from Friday evening till Monday morning where only responsibilities will force them out of their cocoon. The rest of the time one usually stays shut in, only pressing the pause button to answer nature’s call and (probably) shower. So it does not help when we vehemently deny that games are actually doing us more harm than good, yet we are the poster boys (or girls, no judging) for irresponsible living. Seriously though, how do you explain the clatter and stench emanating from your room when people come to visit?

Price is another factor undermining the embracement of video games as an art form in our country; more so now that we are edging ever so close to the future, technology wise of course (our morals standards are still light years away from ever getting better). The eighth generation of video game consoles began in 2012, and consists of four home video game consoles: the Wii U released in 2012, the PlayStation 4 family in 2013, the Xbox One family in 2013, and the Nintendo Switch family in 2017. A video game for the aforementioned consoles usually retails for around Ksh. 3000. The price charge, mark you, is separate from the DLC (the extra content game companies force you to buy instead of putting it in the actual game). This, folks, is way too absurd a price on a pastime Kenyan parents are supposed to be backing.

If the price of all video games were to be levelled so that the common mwananchi can afford, then there’s a high likelihood of parents coming into the fold. At least it would be better than them giving you money to go out with friends, because, let’s face it, good choices and a group of youths is a non-existent combo.

Back to my earlier point as I wind up, video games deserve to be respected and no, I am not talking about mobile games you noob; I am talking about the cinematic art form. The same art form that generates more revenue annually than Hollywood and the music industry combined. The same art form parents complain are for children, which is ironic because literal grown men and women (some with children of their own) make them. And, not forgetting, the same art form which dares to defy the limits of storytelling.

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2 Responses

  1. Haha, it goes full circle when one writer I like writes about another writer I like. And yeah, your source was on the money 😅

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