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Genese Davis: Lark Your Games

Column By Genese Davis on August 08, 2013

Developers are beginning to muse over the fact that synonymous experiences through multiplatform game design may be required in the near future. As internet access, crowd funding, and global collaboration has become more feasible, our gaming options are expanding. It seems every month we’re introduced to more and more gaming tech like Nvidia Shield, Razer’s Edge, Ouya, Valve’s steam box, and Microsoft’s and Sony’s new models. Recently, Irrational Games head Ken Levine referred to the new Chromecast as another example of where future gaming will go.

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Entertainment choices are popping up everywhere and it can be tough to sift through the noise. Ignorance sometimes feels like the only sane option. A lot of us gamers can become creatures of habit, and when a new brand of tech, or a new game is introduced outside of our normal loyalties, we’re most likely not going to be fighting to be first in line. Is this because we’re inundated by tons of new tech and games? Do critical reviews heavily impact our hesitation?

Unfortunately, through these high saturation levels we may not be giving our new entertainment options the time we gave say, to our first console, smart phone, or MMO. When was the last time you had that “That’s cool!” sensation when hearing a game or hardware reveal? Hopefully recently. If not, I’ve found a neat way to preserve that childlike “epic experience” feeling for gaming/tech. It all ties in to my motto Lark Your Life, slightly tweaked to Lark Your Games or rather Lark Your Tech.

The word “lark” has a personal tie back to my childhood. Every once in a while out of nowhere, I remember my father asking, “Who’s up for a lark?” This question was followed by giddy screams and an abundance of excitement. Moments later we were off and on our way. It didn’t matter where we were going. It could have been to a late night movie, or to get a late night treat. The fact that we were trying something new and about to leave the house unexpectedly, spontaneously, and with optimism was what made it special. Crossing this positive spontaneity over to gaming, new tech, and well, all forms of entertainment like movies and books, too, can enhance your whole entertainment experience. Here’s the recipe (some apply more to games, but with a little stretch of the imagination we can apply them to hardware, too):

1) Be open:

  • Before buying new hardware, settling in to play a new video game, watch a movie, or before turning that first page of a new book, begin your experience with a completely open mind.

2) Be optimistic:

  • For games, let yourself get lost in the experience. Assume everything you are seeing or hearing could really happen. For hardware, focus on the positive features before looking at the negatives. Don’t ignore the negatives, just start with the positives.

3) Throw out logic:

·         Let the technical, rigid, and analytical impulses disappear. Gravity, laws of physics, space-time continuum… everything is okay to break for a moment. Let the fantasy world have your full immersion and allow yourself to embrace that suspension of disbelief.

4) Empathize:

  • While gaming, put yourself in the character’s shoes. Allow yourself to feel what they feel. Imagine all the gritty details. You are not a spectator taking notes. You are there. You are the hero, the enemy, the victim.
  • While testing new hardware, empathize with the limitations. Think like an engineer and imagine what design barriers they had to overcome to create the device.

Part of what make larks special is exploring things you never imagined would be your cup of tea. Being open, and trying new things are essential. Push yourself to dabble and explore something new. Even if it doesn’t pique your interest at first, take the opportunity to give it a chance, dive in anyway with these lark-inspired tips. And let me know how it goes!

Find me at GeneseDavis.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Until then remember: write at night, game hard, and lark your life. <3

Every week, Holder’s Dominion author Genese Davis opines about MMO gaming, the issues the genre faces, and the power of shaping online worlds.


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