Sunday, October 07, 2007

Game Rating Dreams

I hate numerical ratings for games. Most people are aware of the weaknesses of these things, so I'll just go ahead and not describe them in detail.

I want to rate games based on what percentage of the player base dreams about the game.

I find that every good game - each one - gives me a dream or three. This seems to be pretty common... to the point where I think it's probably universal. Unfortunately, since most of you don't remember your dreams very well, this ranking is basically impossible. I can, however, rate games based on how many dreams they give ME.

This makes my ratings pretty skewed towards gameplay. After a bit of playing, I dreamed about Disgaea, about Bookworm Adventures, about Skate. But I never dreamed about Bioshock.

Personally, I think it's because I only dream about games that have a deep level of skill to develop. I'm sure some people dreamed about Bioshock, but it wasn't hard enough to make my subconscious notice.

The funny thing is that this method produces numbers almost identical to those I would normally produce consciously reviewing games. The differences show up only with games like Bioshock, which I feel compelled to rate more highly because of overwhelming peer pressure.

So, I think it'd be easy and effective to rate every game as "no dreams", "few dreams", "lots of dreams".

Unfortunately, rating games like that makes you look like some kind of new-age curmudgeon. "Your game didn't give me enough DREAMS, so it SUCKS. Yeah, yeah, cry me a river!"

At least when I insult someone's favorite game in my normal way, it's something they can respond to. On the other hand, maybe that's a reason to rate by dreams. They can't really call you wrong that way, can they?


Anyway, do you have dreams about games you play? What seems to cause them?


Olick said...

I can hardly ever remember my dreams. Maybe I do have sleep apneia, but the 'cure' causes me not to sleep at all.

Anyways the only video game dream I can remember was some kind of.. Final Fantasy 7,8,9 game.. only the setting looked like some sort of underground area with crustiness that I know my mind got from Pirates of the Caribbean. The only specific thing I remember about the game is that you had to play the expansion as the bad guys before you'd be allowed to fight the final boss and see the ending.

Personally, though, I think daydreaming could take the place of night dreaming for me. I daydreamt a lot about Disgaea, a little about BioShock. I used to daydream about WoW some. Ever since Phantom Hourglass came up I've been playing/daydreaming about Zelda. But I haven't actually played Phantom Hourglass itsself. Aside from having to spend money, I think I'm afraid it won't be very good.

TheHighFive said...

Two nights ago my g/f shoke me awake because she thought I wasn't breathing properly. She said that I was taking a breath and then holding it for too long a time and it sounded like I was choking or something and then I would let the breath out. It was funny because I had been dreaming about sniping people in Halo 3, and I definitely remembrer that I was using breath control, holding my breath to get a steady shot :) So my dreams were fucking up my real life breathing ! Now that is some good shit :)

P.S. I am trying to write a gaming blog. Please check it out:

David said...

I like this system, only for me, just the very greatest/most compelling games would have any kind of listing. The only game that I can remember dreaming about (I'm sure there were a few more) was Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. I'd gotten to the face shrine and was stumped by a particular puzzle. That night my mind ran over the entire dungeon structure and gave me a few more alleys to explore when I woke up. That was a compelling game, with really good puzzley dungeons.

Craig Perko said...

Hmmm, apparently most of my commenters remember fewer dreams than I do. I wonder if you dream a lot then forget them, or whether I just dream a lot...

I haven't played any Phantom Hourglass. But, hey, it's Zelda.

Eric Poulton said...

I had a dream about the hacking minigame in Bioshock. I played the game for like 8 hours that day and hacked so many things that the repetitive motions of the minigame just imprinted themselves on my brain. It was actually a pretty annoying dream.

Like most people I rarely remember dreams, so I'm not sure how often I dream of games.

David said...

I remember alot of dreams, just rarely about videogames. They're usually a small snippet of narrative that fits into a larger, cohesive whole. For instance in seventh grade I dreamt that I was returned from another world and found myself among a simple forest tribe. I broke a seal on an ancient evil and went on to defeat him. A few years later, in a dream I visited a shrine that had been built to the man who had defeated the ancient evil. It was lovely.

Craig Perko said...

Yeah, I dream a lot about games that don't exist.

Recently I started having this dream about parkour, and how to use an XBox 360 controller to control it... it's an exciting control scheme, but it requires a game engine that supports limited inverse kinematics.

David said...

Half-life 2 does IK... speaking of which after all this talk of dreaming about video games I had a dream last night that I was playing a networked racing game based in HL2s engine with vehicles from "halo" Of course the only two vehicles actually from halo were the warthog and the banshee, but it was a super-fun dream. There were loops and weapons and parts of the track rotated.

Which also made me realize that HL2's graphics, while not as bling-mapped, are much more subconsciously "real" to me.

Craig Perko said...

Halo's visuals are tight: the theme is rock-solid. That's not something you can say about most games.