When people recall their earliest memories of gaming, there are feelings of nostalgia. We miss the simple platforming in Mario or blazing new trails with Sonic. Memorizing cheat codes was normal and playing one game for months until you mastered it was the true measuring stick for greatness.
While many 30+ year old fans are still in love with gaming, times have changed. There are too many releases in the same window cutting the time we spend with each potentially iconic character short. We spend more time gaming online and focus less on mastering each new release unless of course you are a trophy collector or Gamer score enthusiast.
For a while now, I have wondered why companies have not approached the next generation of gaming in a new way. They have the innovative tools and promising motion controls that even toddlers can use.
Why are there no video games allowing children to rearrange the Alphabet or draw large numbers in the air? Maybe a game could use the color changing ball on the PS Move to demonstrate what happens when red and blue paints are mixed together. What about games that allow you to be a Cowboy, scientist, or space explorer? Where are the games that allow you to interact with historical events or teach children math skills with visual aids.
I eventually gave up on the idea. I scrapped the different articles I was working on and abandoned thoughts of my children learning anything educational on my consoles. That is until I heard about Double Fine’s Sesame Street Kinect game where Elmo and company explore a storybook entitled Once Upon a Monster.
Sure the Wii has games tailored towards children and there are titles on handhelds that may teach them a thing or two but with technology like Kinect and PS Move, games could be interactive education for the whole family.
Games like Sesame Street Kinect will pave the way for a new generation of gamers. Toddlers that grow up knowing what Microsoft Kinect is and then become teenagers requesting the latest Microsoft gaming venture. Why not teach them something while they play? It is quite a creative way to build brand awareness and generate future brand loyalty.
Don’t think so? Which do you prefer…Sonic or Mario? The PS3 or the Xbox 360? Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter? EA Sports or 2K Sports? We all have preferences for one or the other because we grew up in a time when owning one console was standard.
But we are adults now. We purchase an Xbox 360 and PS3 hoping to experience the joys of gaming again. Why should companies not use this to their advantage. Use the microphones to help correct speech patterns. Make games like the “Milo” demo where the AI could read or even fact check your homework. Pump out the Yo Gabba Gabba Sing & Dance game or Super Y! Adventure Game with new downloadable books to explore every month.
You have the tools, an audience of approving parents, and the next generation of gamers just waiting for you to reach out to them. Children are eventually going to play games. Why not do all us adult gamers a favor and give us the tools to teach our children and show the world that gaming is more than just violent acts, power-leveling characters, or saving a princess.