Psychonauts and the Bitter Older Gamer
Why did all the cranky older gamers band together and nominate Psyhchonauts as their poster child in their crusade against the gaming tastes of the younger generation?
How am I sure that Psychonauts is terrible? I bought into the early hype and bought two copies as gifts for two separate groups of children in my family. None of the kids liked it. I’ve met tons of kids who love GTA, Halo, World of Warcraft, Wii games, or portable stuff. Those are what younger people play today. Even those who play platformers love Mario, Ratchet, Jak, and Sly, but I’ve never even heard of single younger gamer who enjoyed Psychonauts.
When I was a kid, everyone played adventure games like Sierra’s King’s Quest. Tim Schafer’s Monkey Island series and Day of the Tentacle were very popular favorites and I loved them and have great memories of them. But that was then and this is now. Kids don’t play those kinds of games any more.
Psychonauts has become like the Classical Music of video games. When I was young I remember hearing adult’s bemoan, “Why can’t kids play [what I did when I was young] and listen to [music I listened to a long time ago] instead of doing [whatever kids do today] and listen to [popular style of current music]”. Now the same kind of crusty, cranky, irrelevant attitude has come to games.
What’s worse is that, I’m someone who played and adored the LucasArts games like Monkey Island as a kid. If anyone should be prone to reminisce about a gaming era gone by, it should be me. But even I thought Psychonauts was terrible. It isn’t even nearly as good as the Ratchet & Clank’s and Super Marios of today, the quirky writing and art style was too forced and self-infatuated, and the game would have been completely ignored if not for the developer’s biography and a wave of bitter old-timer attitude.