Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
27 February 2007
Where is GNU/Viva Pinata when you need it?
On Sunday while out shopping with the family, my four-year-old son and I stopped in a nearby GameStop. I skimmed through the used PlayStation 2 and PSP games and he found his way to the Xbox 360 kiosk which was running a demo of Viva Pinata. He stayed glued to that for about five minutes, and as I was finishing up a peek at the GameCube games he came over to ask me to start "the pinata demo" again for him. We fired it up, to his visible elation, but he was soon bored with the series of chatty cinemas that run before you can play.

I looked at the time and realized we would need to leave soon, so after a few more minutes I prompted him that we needed to head next door and find his mother and brother. He dropped the controller and off we went.

As I was leaving, I realized I had glimpsed a bit of my future.

I don't provide rigid rules about which books he can get when we go to a bookstore, which movie we can watch together on Friday nights, or which friends he plays with at school. I do make suggestions, and the books and movies are for kids his age, but within reason he has mostly been free to pursue his interests.

So what happens in the next five years when he asks for a game console of his own? And what if he asks for an Xbox 360, hardware that I don't intend to own for myself until it has ceased production, at the earliest? Or Microsoft's next system? Or some future Microsoft handheld system?

In short, what if he wants to play Viva Pinata, or some other game that can only be had on a system that I refuse to buy for myself?

Labels: , , ,

--Matt Matthews at 09:05
Comment [ 11 ]

Comments on this post:

I'm sure this has been well documented elsewhere, but why do you refuse to purchase a 360?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 February, 2007 09:46  

Probably a deep seated anti-Microsoft thing.

JVM clearly doesn't subscribe to the what have you done for me lately school of video game loyalty.

By Blogger Jeremy, at 27 February, 2007 10:19  

I don't understand the elitist thinking behind NOT purchasing consoles. If it's a price thing (like the PS3), I can understand, but if it's a "M$ ONLY WANTS MONEY LOL ROFL" kind of thinking, I don't get it. Microsoft will live one way or the other. And, you deprive yourself of alot of GREAT games that have came out for the 360. Personally, I don't really care for Sony, but i'll buy the ps3 when more games come out because i don't feel better, morally, for not buying their system when others are having fun with god of war 3.
/end rant

By Blogger Corey, at 27 February, 2007 11:14  

What I don't understand is how Sony provides any sort of easier to swallow alternative. Review the rootkit. (Nor do I understand, if one does have a huge beef with MS, now relenting and considering an Xbox 1, and having a giant MS commercial in the form of the box (if not that, then the games on the screen) in his living room.)

I believe the end result is that one can only minimize the moral implications of purchasing a commodity, never eliminate them. Like those who believe eating animals is wrong in theory, but only get so far in practice as to eliminate red meat, it's still a good, productive start.

(Me? I've only gotten as far as lobster.)

By Blogger rufbo, at 27 February, 2007 11:24  

I'm pretty vocally anti-Sony, so I'm really not the best person to comment, BTW.

If any of their platforms had provided a game that was attractive enough to me, I would have bought one by now though, despite Sony's abysmal quality record (on items that I've bought from them in the past).

Ironically, the 360s games are so compelling to me that I would easily buy a replacement if my system failed out of warranty (and have, probably would again).

By Blogger Jeremy, at 27 February, 2007 12:26  

Not that anyone asked, but the reasons I still haven't bought a MS console are the following:

1) Not that interested in the FPS, Sports and Driving genres (yes, I realize there are other things available, but the majority of MS exclusive titles seem to be aligned in these directions).

2) A fair amount of games I am interested in on XBox/XBox360 have been or will be ported to the PC.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to these reasons (Viva Pinata being an obvious one), however I don't see the trends changing soon. An example: with XNA, MS is making it easier for developer's to port to the PC.

Sony/Nintendo, on the other hand, have stuff that I know I'll never see on any other system/platform outside of a virtual console download 7 years from now.

By Blogger Dan-o, at 27 February, 2007 12:41  

Here's what you do if that happens:

Explain to him why you refuse to purchase these consoles. If that makes no impression on him, tell him that if he's willing to raise the money to purchase one himself, he can purchase one. If he does that, then you'll just have to live with it..

By Anonymous phanboy_iv, at 27 February, 2007 12:56  

Jesus Christ, what th efuck is wrong with all you Stallmanite fucks? Don't be such an asshole. If you'd be willing to buy a system when it's dead, why don't you buy it now and save the hassles of hunting down the games you want when they are years out of print? Your rhetoric and bullshit makes me want to piss myself.

P.S. Fuck GNU

P.P.S. Jeremy, you have once again proven your idiocy.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 February, 2007 21:12  

Illegal to fuck a gnu in most states and principalities that I know of. Covet not they neighbor's ass, nor his free software mascot, etc.

But yeah this is another of Matt's somewhat ridiculous wrenching moral dilemnas. The answer is simple:

1) you don't have to buy anything for your kid that you don't want to
2) let him buy it with his own money
3) and even then if he's still living in your house you have the right to forbid the ownership thereof

Ihren Papieren, bitte, ihren Papieren!


By Blogger Michael, at 28 February, 2007 11:41  

Oh for the love of Pete....

There is a certain outlook on the computer world that posits Microsoft as the source of all evil, and while that's not *entirely* accurate, a lot of problems we have, from hosts of insecure personal computers running zombie bots for the benefit of spammers to the real threat of ubiquitous DRM to intrusive software licenses to a dozen other things, are at least partly, and often wholly, the fault of Microsoft. Let's not forget that. I won't even get into the antitrust thing.

They have done good things, certainly, but as people tend to forget, a pound of evil is worse than a pound of good is nice, and Microsoft's scales are definitely tilted towards the evil side. A lot of people recognize this, and see that historically it is unwise to trust Microsoft. Call me a Microsoft hater if you want, call the horde of other people who distrust them that as well, but remember that when people decide to hate, it's not always for a bad reason.

It does not help things that I cannot name one truly original, unique, inventive X-box 360 title, other than Viva Pinata, that I would like to own. The system's strengths in a very straight-forward, advance-the-technology, better-verson-of-what-we've-seen-before kind of thing. And we have already seen one amazing travesty for the system too, don't forget.

By Blogger JohnH, at 28 February, 2007 12:23  

Isn't it amazing that the mere mentioning of GNU or not wanting to buy something causes such vitriol? Or that you NOT wanting to do what everyone else does is "Elitist"?

I didn't own a game system for years because... I DIDN'T OWN A TV! I was called everything from stupid to stupid luddite.

My opinion? While the kid is young, you don't need to justify your action. Once the kid can have an intelligent conversation about it, then open up the discussion before the kid asks for an Xbox. Let him understand what you are doing and why.

When he's old enough, he'll choose differently or not, based on his experience.

By Blogger Bob, at 28 February, 2007 15:30  

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