This is an interesting article by a woman who has never played a video game in her life and she was asked to review some. There are a few people in the gaming community who were a little upset by this, but I feel they are missing the point. The point can be found in her conclusions. What’s great about it is that she walks away not necessarily liking games, but she understands them more. Even though her tone throughout remains fairly condescending, she sees a glimpse of what can be appreciated, even if she doesn’t care for it herself.
I can’t blame her for her brief review of Mass Effect 3 though. It’s a terrible introduction to the universe with its blockbuster, Hollywood action and violence, as well as its dip in quality in terms of narrative and role-play. Compare this to the original Mass Effect opening, with its slower pace, Normandy introduction, and later exploration of the Citadel. I’m not saying she would’ve had a radically different opinion, and she would still be missing context, but that introduction would have hopefully shown her there was more to the universe than drab combat. Oh well.
Really, I think what opened her eyes was the game Journey, with one of its characteristics being modeled after none other than The Hero’s Journey. And I actually wonder if the conclusion she reaches about games at the end would have been different had Journey not been on the list, as it almost seemed to be the final deciding factor in her impressions. I suspect she would reach a similar conclusion, saying that sure, there’s more to games than meets the eye, but I also think that impression on her would be nowhere near as strong as it is, and would be reflected in her closing statements.
Also, for Extra Credit, I would highly recommend checking out this short presentation on Journey and The Hero’s Journey.
See? See what I did there? … with the pun? …