Structured writing - A random game of yours

I started doing this a while back just for myself to try to think a little bit more in depth about the games that I own, and why they are worth owning. This also was brought forward by my noticing that I often got nearly as much enjoyment out of thinking about a game as I would while playing it (in some cases even more).

Creativity grows from constraint so here are the ‘rules’ I came up with:

Materials needed:
Some means of randomly choosing a game from a set of games you want to write about.
(Some options below, but do how you please!)

Process:
1) Use your random method to choose a game from your set. **Identify the game** associated with your selection method (e.g. find that number in your list, open your eyes to your randomly pointed item, etc), resist the urge to re-roll/pick if you can.
2) **Write for 5-10 minutes** (adjust to fit your comfort), stream of consciousness, initially **considering the prompt: “What value do/did I get out of this game? / Why is this game worth owning?”** but any further meandering is welcome.
3) Cross that item off your list and repeat whenever

The idea here is to get some pleasure from considering the experiences/feelings/memories/mechanisms that made that game worth considering, without expectation about the game being particularly impactful or profound. Doing this in a thread will give us a chance to spiral off some conversations that otherwise may not happen.

Tips:
It’s totally fine to mostly be uninterested in the game you picked. What circumstances led to you owning it? What are the barriers for exploring it? What are you not sure about?

If you find yourself needing rerolls, you can give yourself a three pick set, from which you choose one. Boundaries help!

Options for selection methods:
Random eyes closed pointing at a single item on a shelf of items.
Use a number generator to choose a shelf, then another to figure out which item on the shelf to consider. Rough estimation for the size of that set is sufficient!
If you have a list of games you own or want to consider for this task (I used a spreadsheet of what I own that I exported from Gameye, could use any digital game library, order doesn't matter), use a number generator to choose a random element.

76: Megaman 2

I’m recalling some story I heard about how Megaman 2 was developed as a result of the success of Megaman 1, right on its coattails, with the attitude of “Hey what are the extra ideas you had that didn’t get into this game? Do all those!”
Of course, this game is notable especially because of its soundtrack, one of the touchstones of the retro sound. I don’t know too much about the composer for this game, or across all the megaman games. I’ll always connect the bubbleman theme with one of my friend's glitch videos from Max Payne 2, adding extreme slowmo and high bullet count to cause massive rotations of the rag models ([oh someone might enjoy this](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCnImeikdOw)).

In a game like this, I wonder how much Capcom knew upon the release of the first game that this would become an institution, and how do you change your approach when facing down a potential legacy of this magnitude? Or, was it all blind track laying, responding to facts on the ground and making do with what you have? I wonder if that’s the case with any large franchise, some systematic gearing up having been taken after recognizing the degree to which they had a “hit”. I suppose Marvel is the example.

I always wish you had the charge buster in these earlier games. The idleness of holding down fire while platforming somehow adds substantial mental engagement, rather than spamming. Holding your breath until needed.

@“Syzygy”#p66319 yeah the way I got started was having put together that catalogue for myself, looking for some use for it. A digital library would be fine too, if you just have the number of items and don’t mind counting down.

Ah, the other solution is if you have any shelf or physical heap, is to just get a rough estimate for your total (or number in one shelf), and to count along whatever order it’s in. Goal is to be forced to select something arbitrarily, so the fidelity of the list isn’t really important. I’ll add this as a note in the original instructions. Thanks for voicing the encouragement and hesitation.

I like this idea! I’m going to opt for a list of games I have owned at some point in my life, since I currently don’t own that much. I keep going through cycles of getting a bunch of stuff, then feeling I have too much and downsizing.

219: Ozzy and Drix (GBA)

I sought this game out specifically because of the 3D engine in it. A platformer with some intermediary driving stages I believe.

Ultimately, I never played this game for a significant period of time. More than a game, this stands for the show … movie? it came from. Some moment of the 90s, shortly after the window in which Big Guy and Rusty existed. A heyday of non-disney one off cartoons, without the presumption of a sequel or larger universe.
Osmosis Jones also taps into some aspect of the mindset of the ‘small world’ trope that was explored by animated films as I grew up. A Bug’s life specifically.

There is some larger scope in which this theme runs through a lot of different pieces of media… Bugdom, Magic Schoolbus especially. Conceiving of an imagined tiny world with a system of organization, things shuttling back and forth beyond your conception was somehow delightful.

So different is the feeling when the scope points the other direction. Systems running at the scale above us can often feel scary and inherently malignant, while any system below us is fundamentally under our thumb, so what is there to fear. Is this how leaders feel? Perhaps this is one thing that drives people to grow above their system, take the reigns and then float above the fray. Our problems we face in our lives are so much more significant than what we’re looking down upon, so we are right and good for our focus on ourselves.
“I matter; let me play in the realm of the insignificant.”
(Sorry that got a little extravagant)

  • 256. Super Meat Boy

    I really like this game, Edmund Mac Millen makes great platformers.

    He is one of most well known indie developers.
  • I always wanted to play this game, i did even get it in Humble Freedom Bundle in 2016, i bought it to get The Witness and many games that i didn't hed any chance to play because of money reasons.
    Still i couldn't play it even if i owned it, i remember that i was to late to get a steam key, and the executive file didn't work on my macintosh computer.
    I did finally played it 2 years later and loved it, super meat boy is fast and well paced, even if levels are quite big compared to later made The End is Nigh or other "precise platformers" it is never boring, you never have to wait if you play well.
    And playing well is kind of the point, that's why you respawn right after death, dying doesn't mean anything, (outside of special levels) game is about that flow between every jump, the excitment of panicky wall jumping because every second counts after a level ends.
    Graphics are also great it's that special style that makes it really look well in movement, keeps screen clean of things interfering with gameplay.

    Ok, so I finally compiled a list of 68 games I have both owned physical copies of and played a significant amount of at some point in my life. This doesn‘t seem like very much seeing how big the numbers are on Samograj’s and MDS-02's entries!

    I'm not going to actually link the list and I won't say anything more about it other than that it's in alphabetical order. It seems like it could be fun for someone out there in this vast universe to try to reconstruct people's lists based on the games that are randomly picked from it.

    Here is the first entry the random numbers have selected for me:

  • 25. Final Fantasy III
  • It seems very fortutious that this was picked, since at one point on this forum I said that Final Fantasy III is my favorite Final Fantasy game. I could in theory just [link to the post I said that in](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/430-final-fantasy-thread/70), though that would spoil the spirit of this thread.

    To be clear, the version of this I owned was the 3D DS remake, which I've beaten twice. Though before owning the game, I had played the fan translation of the original Famicom game. This was the first Famicom RPG I played a significant amount of, though I had played some of the first Dragon Quest game, and I had played other 8-bit RPGs on the gameboy (Final Fantasy Legend and Dragon Quest Monsters are what come to mind).

    Even though this is one of the most fleshed out RPGs for the Famicom, there was a very noticeable chasm between me the player and the world within the game, a much vaster seeming one than what I'd encountered playing those Gameboy games. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the game itself, or if I had just reached the age where with each game I played I started to wonder what sort of people made it. I don't think I had heard Hironobu Sakaguchi's name yet at this point. But encountering "Onion Kids", and characters like Cid of Canaan, which I of course identified with the Biblical Canaan, it all seemed so mysterious to me. I think I viewed the game as an artifact of the world inside the brain of its creators -- still anonymous to me. It was a sort of hologram that had captured the complete state of that world for a single moment. The distance I felt from the game world, and the unknowable mysterious person I identified with that world, made me all the more attached to it.

    Of course later on I would learn a lot about the people who made this game, and none of them really seemed anything like the person I imagined. For example I remember being very surprised to see Sakaguchi has a mustache. Even though I had no clear picture in my mind of the creator's face when playing the game, imagining him with a mustache seemed so shocking to me. (And of course I'm writing as though Sakaguchi were the single creator of Final Fantasy, which of course is not the case at all. But this is how I thought about it when I was first learning about these games.)

    I suppose I have a similar story about the author Kurt Vonnegut from around the same time. I was 12-ish when I first read anything by him (Deadeye Dick). The back cover of the book described him as "a black humorist," which I interpreted as meaning "a humorist who is black." There was no author's picture in the edition I read, so for awhile I thought Kurt Vonnegut was black, which may or may not have changed my perception of the book. For instance, all of the main characters in the book are white, though I got the impression that the handful of black characters in it were the viewpoint we the readers were supposed to identify with and see the story through (especially since the white narrator is a very weird guy). A little bit later when I borrowed another one of his books from the library with a picture of him on the back flap I was so incredibly confused.

    @“MDS-02”#632 Interesting topic idea! The “numbering your collection” part of the deal is indeed pretty scary…

    This concept is kinda how I personally approached the [Last Letter Game in Your Collection](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/610-last-letter-game-games-in-your-collection) thread, to be honest. That was a nice random rule to discuss random games I would have never considered talking about. >!But then I started writing about NoËL 3 and it became such a daunting deep dive into the history of Pioneer’s corporate strategy, the rise of virtual idols and the context of Serial Experiments Lain’s production that I got scared away and gave up…!<

    So, similarly, I think you could try to find one (or a few more) similar random rule(s) to avoid having to go through the numbering / listing setup necessarily. Maybe something like using RNG to decide the hardware and first letter of a game? Or to decide the year of release?

    Wouldn‘t shutting your eyes and swearing to write about the very first game in your shelf/bookcase/box/drawer/pile you touch no matter what do the job? It’s not going to be as truly random as the list/number combo, but it's a heck of a lot easier for people to participate that way.

    I have another idea to make this easier and still random.

    Take a picture of one of your game shelves.
    I'll give you two random numbers, those numbers indicate the x and y coordinates on your shelf.
    Locate the game.
    You have to write about that game.
    If one of the numbers is to high divide it by two until it is low enough.

    @“chazumaru”#p67167 @“穴”#p67196 @“Kimimi”#p67193 Word to all these ideas, the selection method should just be somewhat out of your conscious control! I wanna hear about games! : )

    ["Structured writing - Game appreciation ",“Structured writing - A random game of yours”]