What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Illustration for article titled What Are You Playing This Weekend?

When I travel, I usually frontload my gameplaying, trying to pack in progress in an RPG before I leave, and then kill time with handhelds in transit. But Monday, I'll be flying to Washington. My grandfather will be buried at Arlington. Forgive me, I'm not in much of a games-playing mood right now.


It's not because Granddad disapproved of video games or that playing them somehow fails my memory of him. I lived with the man for four months in 2009, while I was writing for this site. I still had review duties, so I hooked my Xbox 360 up to a computer monitor, rather than put it on the television in the family room, which would have been painfully awkward.

If I had to characterize my grandfather to another person (obviously, his love for his family is what distinguishes him in our minds), I think I'd start with his relentless intellectual curiosity—which did not discriminate. He gave a lot of concepts a fighting first chance. So it was remarkable to see him take an interest in video games—not in playing them, or in their design per se. But when I crudely explained the games industry's similarities the studio system of moviemaking, that clicked. When I talked about the licensing involved in sports titles, he understood. When I brought up sales, growth and the big brands playing in the space, its legitimacy was apparent. My grandfather was a bank executive and a Harvard MBA. That was his second career; he was a Marine officer in his first.

Granddad did have his own peculiar influence on the discussion, though. To his friends, he called them "visual games." I think he understood, subconsciously, how trivial the "video games" label sounded to people who didn't know all they had to offer, especially older Americans. Yet he wanted this to be a subject we could discuss when his friends asked me what I did for a living over dinner. "Visual games" became a kind of personal endorsement. "My grandson reports on visual games."

I know my grandfather loved me, and I know he and my grandmother were very proud of me and of what I do with my skills, whatever subject to which they are applied. But his approval means a lot. And don't overlook the fact that it comes from a lifelong willingness to consider new things, and to always try to see the value in them. I hope all of you will remember this, into your own old age.

For now, what visual games will you be playing this weekend?

(Image by Francisco Diez)



Am looking to try to get further, if not finish Skyrim... At least the main campaign. I want it done before Mass Effect 3. Other then that, gonna do me some Vita with Uncharted.

Holy crap Uncharted Golden Abyss is a LONG game.