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To shoot stuff or not to shoot stuff?

That is the question.

Whether it tis... ok screw that, I won't bore you with a bad Shakespeare joke! XD

But I thought I'd ask the question which seems to be getting more and more pertinent in gaming today:

Do we really need to shoot stuff?


Games for a long time have covered a variety of subjects and activities from puzzle solving, to sports, to fantasy, to waging wars long since fought and even household chores and pastimes. From it's humble beginnings gaming has expanded out to allow players to adventure, to explore, to hunt, to shoot, to fight, to play, to make decisions and, most of all, to win.

Which brings me back to what I think is at the heart of the 'to shoot or not to shoot' question: what it is to be a 'games player': Most importantly that's wanting to enjoy yourself, wanting to be somebody else and experience new worlds and new stories. Sure we want to battle evil aliens across the surface of moons or mow down rows of gangsters in old America, but we also want real-life stories, stories that remind us of our own lives but are more exciting. Games have become generally popular not only because they entertain or tell stories but also because they empower the player in ways that a reader of a novel or a watcher of a movie isn't.

Shooting has been one of the go-to mechanics when it comes to gameplay, one of the easiest ways to interest players, but like all things within gaming as the technology evolves and games become more sophisticated it too may find itself relegated to a niche - or atleast garnering less of the limelight - as games mature.

Perhaps the future of innovation lies more with digital distribution than anything, since it frees up developers from having to worry about the cost of putting something on a disc and shipping it round the country (or world) perhaps we'll see more innovation digitally as innovation becomes less risky. Afterall it's not so much that games without shooting haven't existed before or haven't succeeded, but that there's never been that sense that that's where the industry is going. A sign usually predicated by the slew of copycat games that pop up as 'less creative' developers try to capitalise on the success of others.

For now atleast I happy to play the myriad of shooters out there, but I'm hoping we'll get more from games in the future, more experiences, more stories, more innovation.
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About Panzadolphin56one of us since 9:54 AM on 05.06.2011

Oh hey!

I'm former male model and celebrity nutritionist Panzadolphin56. This is my blog. I write things here.

...in case the blog bit didn't give that away.

Anyway! To the left you'll find my latest blogs, and beneath this you'll find a fairly comprehensive list of most of what I've written over the years (unfortunately some stuff does eventually get bumped off the list.)

I like to write from a fairly critical standpoint about games, usually analysis or talking about issues that interest me, I also do retrospectives from time to time, talk about games I've been playing, write the funny things that come into my head, and very occasionally do some crappy art.

I hope you enjoy what you read!

I also do Lets Plays (mostly old horror games) so if that's your thing then click here:


Everyone who clicks will not win a million dollars!


A little about me:

I am mostly a story person, good mechanics are good mechanics but button pressing never does anything for me. I like Horror, I like Cyberpunk, I like Neo-Noir (especially crossed with Cyberpunk), I like good art and good writing, I like games that cut against the grain or choose to challenge social or industry norms in some way.

I don't have a single favourite game but I am a big fan of the MGS games, Snatcher, the Forbidden Siren series, Silent Hill 2, the old-school Resident Evils, Advance Wars and Power Dolls, among many, many others.


Critical Pieces:

How ugly should Horror really be?
Of Inventories and Horror Games
Crafting A Good Game of 'The Thing'
Alien(s), Creative license and Borrowed Ideas
Crossing from TV/Movie to Games
Scope and Depth in the world of gaming
Boss Battles - When do they ever make sense?
Survival Horror Essentials
Colonial Marines: Well, that kind of sucked...
Disability, Disease in Games
Blood 2 and Post-Modernism
Topics, Tropes and Atmosphere in Horror games
Realism Vs. Fantasy - Who Wins?
The gradual drift away from the mainstream
Is There Horror in The Ugly...?
The Fourth Wall and taking games seriously
Are You Always Online?
Hype: Aliens Vs. Predator
To shoot stuff or not to shoot stuff?
Character Design and Choice in Games
Culture Vs. Creativity: Where do Stories come from?
Where you go Isometric-Strategy Games?
What's the Point of Games?
Do Horror games even still exist...?
Why are Characters Always so White...?
Choice in Games: Heavy Rain

A Magical Dolphin Plays:

The King of the Wood


Resident Evil Remake
Aliens Vs Predator 2
Sweet Home
Forbidden Siren
System Shock 2

Pick up and Plays:

Call of Cthulhu and the Spectre of Good Horror
Story Books and Nightmares in Rule of Rose
B-Movie Bliss: Extermination
Along for the ride with Michigan: Report From Hell
Some thoughts on Wargame: European Escalation
Skyrim: Impressions

Funny/Less Critical Stuff:

Get Yo Summer Game On
Lazyblog: Box Art
Escaping into the Darkness of Hellnight
Diversity what what?!?: Black Mamba Edition
Why Do We Still Have Exploding Barrels...?


Dead Space 3, in a nut shell.
CROSSOVER: Mario X Siren
Boss: Learning the Tools of the Trade

Front Pages:
Tales from Skyrim: The skinhead shopkeep
Steam ID:Panzadolphin56
Mii code:This is a thing?


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