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PSP gathering moss, my cure for dystopia??


weremichael
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I would title this: "PSP gathering dust" but I can't help but realize that I haven't touched the damn thing in two months.

 

I am as much disappointed in myself as I am in the game selection and hand cramping controls. I know the game selection and difficult controls have been discussed before so I won't say anymore on that subject. Besides, I feel that I am letting the PSP down by not playing it more.

 

The fact that the PSP will interact with the PS3 was keeping it on my shelf. Now that I've read that the PS3 will have "issues" with scaling (especially with 1080i), I am thinking that it will be a long time before I even hook a PS3 up to my gear. I don't want this to turn into a Sony bashing thread either (as that smacks of fanboyism). Deep down I know I can't blame my lack of PSPing on my, prerelease influenced, PS3 disappointment.

 

The last time I used my PSP was when I headed down to Denver. I hauled around my PSP to just act as an internet browser to find reviews of restaurants, bookstores, breweries etc. My ipod supplied me with my walking soundtrack. I brought hot shot golf, lumines and xmen legends 2 but they never saw the inside of the system. I lived in Denver over a decade ago so it wasn't that I was a stupefied hick from Wyoming visiting the city. I was in the prime portable gaming environment (urban America). I used public transportation and I sat in coffee shops while my wife was in a conference. I just didn't want to game. I felt like a porn star who couldn't get it up.

 

Now you have to realize that I love gaming. I defend gaming to ludite friends back home in Oregon, parents who don't think games are art, and anyone who think that gaming leads to violence (Hilary Clinton even got a letter from me). So it surprises me to even think (let alone type) this next sentence. Is portable gaming a sign of a dystopic society? Is it a social disconnect in a bankrupt society?

 

For example, I can't help but have some strange prejudice against families that allow their children to play gameboys in restaurants. Are we training these kids to avoid social interactions with, not only their family, but the larger world around them? Gaming is so interactive that the user is engrossed to the point of being completely removed from their environment. They don't have to interact with world around them. Can I portable game in a society where the majority of people are alone in a crowd?

 

Am I onto something or should I ditch the PSP and buy a DS lite?

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I have noticed kids playing in restaurants just like you mention and agree thats its "building" socially inept kids. It especially bugs me to see them in a movie theater playing because - as I'm sure you've seen too, they keep playing even after the movie starts... Uggghhh. As with all things though, my feeling is that moderation is needed more than anything else. Let people play on trains, let kids play their DS's waiting in the Dr.'s Office but, I don't think parents should encourage kids (or people in general) to play when the occasion or place is specifically built for people to interact (like a restaurant). And I'm not talking about a guy going alone to a restaurant for lunch or those types of exceptions - thats just my feeling though.

 

And on the subject of the PSP itself, I am surprised with the plethora of games available for it now that you haven't found anything that grabs your attention. I'm personally flooded with games on PSP right now and there are still more on my B Day list :) but to each their own. The only reason to own any system is to use it so: If you're going to use the PSP - whether as a media player or gaming system (or both) then go for it and if there are DS games you'd rather play then I say trade in the PSP and get a DS. Whichever "clicks" for you should be the system you have and if I may say (don't want this to come off as a reprimand) don't let anything you spent that much money on gather dust/moss :) If you aren't playing on it or satisfied with it, try another system. even if the DS isn't the system for you there are tons of other options (GP2X, older GameBoys, PocketPC, Etc). Have Fun man :)

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When my wife and I got married 3+ years ago, we drove across the country from Michigan to Las Vegas, out to California, 3-day cruise, and then back home.

 

My wife brought excessive amounts of DVDs, we brought the portable DVD player, I jacked in the PSone to it, and we brought my wife's GBA SP.

 

We spent I think 8-9 days driving, many 10-12 hour drives. I played about 4 hours of FF1 (PSone) and a few hours of Castlevania. Wife watched some movies but most of the time we just hung out.

 

I really prefer just hanging out over gaming on a trip. My DS saw most of its play time at work on 3rd shift (not anymore though :() and some gaming while we stayed in a hotel in Detroit (wife was training for a job). I haven't powered it up in at least 3 months.

 

If I was an urban dweller and there was time to kill on a train, I can see spending some game time there. I don't think it's healthy, socially, to have a kid playing games specifically on a social outing. I think I agree with the original post altogether.

 

For the most part, I own each console because it has unique games or unique gaming experiences that I want. The DS has many unique games and that's why I keep it. I do have a weakness for a few games I want portable, mostly old 2D favorites (Chrono Trigger, FF) , but, for the most part, I have no interest in playing 'my favorite PS2 games" on the go.

 

To date, there's only a very few PSP games I'm interested in, for that reason. I may not have a lot of game time at home, but I'd rather play PS2 games there than on the run.

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I, too have seen kids with their faces buried in Gameboys in restaurants and other public places and my first inclination is to cluck my tongue in disapproval as well. But then I remember how I spent most of my childhood with my head buried in some escapist book...Hardy Boys early on, DragonLance and Shannara books later...and I'm not sure there is a huge difference. My mom was constantly telling me to get my nose out of a book when I was kid because I was missing life, and looking back now I can see she was right. There were many a road trip that my family enjoyed looking at the scenery or singing songs while I was re-living the madcap adventures of Arthur Dent and friends for the 30th time.

 

I guess my point is, portable videogames didn't invent the concept of kids losing themselves in a fantasy world in restaurants, etc. There are a lot of ways for kids to disconnect from the outside world while in public...cell phones, ipods, gameboys, books, etc. It's important for parents to remain vigilant against the idea of their children choosing to unplug from reality for extended periods of time, no matter what the medium they choose to do so with.

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...But then I remember how I spent most of my childhood with my head buried in some escapist book...

 

 

I was, and still am, a voracious reader. I read in cafes, parks or wherever and my book choices go from pulp to hard science. I purposely avoided bringing up books as a form of escapism in this thread because I feel that it is a different type of interaction (social disconnect).

 

For example: I was recently at a coffeeshop downtown and reading James Morrow's Towing Jehovah. I spent over an hour sipping on drip coffee, people watching, ease dropping and reading over 40 pages (I'm a slow prodding reader). I am in charge of the interaction with Morrow's protagonist. I can pause when an attractive woman bends over to pick up some change, I can chuckle when overhearing the romantic foibles of the couple behind me and I can be more readily approached by a stranger. While gaming, the game designers dictate my interaction. I can't pause here or I will not make it around this corner in Burnout. I can't take my eyes off the screen; because if I do, just for a moment, I won't see the pattern in Lumines.

 

Say what you will about gaming, but the masses judge us as immature, maladjusted and poorly hygienic. I know this is prejudicial but could it be, like so many stereotypes, based in some fact? My buddy Jack is from the silent generation (the generation too young to go to war in WWII but still suffered the Great Depression), an intellectual (two post-secondary degrees one from Univ. of Chicago and one from NYU) and I met him in a coffee shop because I was reading. Say what you will about my buddy Jack, but I know we wouldn't have talked (and become friends) if I was killing mutants on my PSP.

 

Now I've talked to kids (people <35) that are gaming in cafes, and to grossly generalize them, they are more standoffish than the people reading books. It could be that I am not "cool" enough to talk to, but I think that it is the engrossing distraction that games provide that make them withdrawn. Gaming is a disconnect unlike other forms of media. The level of attentiveness requires us to avoid the outside world, while books (in my opinion, at their best) help us understand this world (people, trees, ladybugs, bidets, whatever). Books give us a trace to the root of the imperfections of the romantic couple in the coffee shop.

 

By the way, I am glad to know that I am not the only one that doesn't want to see kids gaming in restaurants (and during movies). The best solution to kids gaming during a movie, is to huck jolly ranchers at their gaming screen in hopes of breaking it (just kidding). And to be clear, I also don't like seeing kids read in restaurants either.

 

Michael

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Am I onto something or should I ditch the PSP and buy a DS lite?

I had a similar thread a few months back. The game selection on the PSP isn't there for me, it may be someday. I wound up selling mine and playing my DS Lite. Another reason I prefer the DS is there seems to be a lot more games that are easy to pick up and put down quickly, as well as stuff that my wife will play occasionally. The only time she ever touched my PSP was to play the NES emulator on it, I should get one for the DS I guess. ;)

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Another reason I prefer the DS is there seems to be a lot more games that are easy to pick up and put down quickly...

 

That actually is one of the most important qualities in a portable game. I think that is why I actually enjoy Hot Shot Golf. I am not a sports gamer, but the ability to put it down quickly is quite appealing.

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I'm still holding on to some hope that UMDs are going to be very discounted when retailers start dumping their inventories, and I will be able to pick up a bunch for $5 or less. I think they are great for watching on a plane ride. And I eventually want to get back to finishing Daxter, there are just too many games fighting for my attention at the moment.

 

While I do think its sad that parents let kids play Gameboys while at a restaraunt, I'd rather have them playing a game than throwing a hissy fit and ruining my dinner. (said by someone with no kids).

 

Portable gaming on the DS or PSP is also a fun way to unwind at night before bed if I'm not currently reading a good book. My wife also plays a few rounds of Tetris every night before falling asleep.

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Excellent (and relevant) point about reading in restaurants as compared to gaming... As Poison Jam and Dogbert pointed out video gaming didn't invernt the behavior so maybe it isn't becomming a social issue so much as it has been a social issue for some time now... In other news, I will be buying lots of Jolly Ranchers with the sole intent of harming dumb kids in the movie theater heheh ;)

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The one that bothers me more than the gameboys in restaurants is the kids with gameboys in grocery stores that I seem to see every week. It's not the gaming that I mind, it's the trying to play a GBA game while walking and being completely oblivious to where you're going and whose way you're getting in :) I agree that there are times and places for gaming though, and that social interaction shouldn't suffer because of it. Part of that also depends on parents actually wanting to interact with their children though-not just the children wanting to interact with the parents.

 

BTW-off topic, but good call on Towing Jehova-certainly a great book. The sequels (Blameless in Abadon and The Eternal Footman) are both interesting reads as well, although not quite as good as the original.

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My on topic point for the thread. If the PSP is not doing it for you, give the DS a try. Game selection is an incredibly personal thing, so if it's not there for you try something new.

 

As for the kids using their portable games in inappropriate places. My worst is going out to a beach gathering with a bunch of friends, and their kids all brought their GBA's. I couldn't believe it.

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I had a similar thread a few months back. The game selection on the PSP isn't there for me, it may be someday. I wound up selling mine and playing my DS Lite. Another reason I prefer the DS is there seems to be a lot more games that are easy to pick up and put down quickly, as well as stuff that my wife will play occasionally. The only time she ever touched my PSP was to play the NES emulator on it, I should get one for the DS I guess. ;)

 

Grab a Supercard. They come with Pocketnes & I think Game gear/master system support built in.

 

No messing with a flashcart, they take CF/SD/miniSD cards (depending on which one you get).

 

:D

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