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Offline Munchy

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So I've been walking my dad through Rondo of Blood...
« on: January 05, 2021, 03:19:29 PM »
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Hey y'all, long time no see! Thought I'd distract myself from today's horrific election proceedings by writing about some stuff I've been helping my dad with in his retirement. Because he's got the free time, he spends a lot of it gaming. He loves SotN and Bloodstained, and he's been slowly introduced to old school Castlevania via Requiem on his PS4. I apologize if this needs to be moved; it could be considered off-topic or general gaming related, but Dad plays a lot of Castlevania which is why I put it here.

Dad actually introduced us to Castlevania when I was about 8 years old. He is one of those types who likes the idea of having electronics around - not so much the idea of learning how to use them in depth (and I say this with all the love in the world; I come by my ADD honestly). Christmas of '91 he got us kids a SNES with a buttload of games, and some months later a copy of Super Castlevania 4. This was one of the games he really liked himself; the gothic, haunted house setting was a little off-putting to young me, being easily scared, but Dad loved the visuals and the weird jazzy style of the soundtrack, himself being a huge music nerd for Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Stravinsky, and so on. I eventually grew to love the series, but Dad to his own admission did not understand a lot of what he bought video games-wise for many years.

Fast-forwarding to maybe 3 years ago, Dad retired and had a lot more free time on his hands. Before this point he tended to like watching me or my brother or sister play stuff rather than using his PS4 himself. But he loves his gadgets, and kept getting more games, asking me for recommendations. Mind you, he's in his 70s, and SCV4 and Dr. Mario until recently were the most mechanically complex games he'd played. But his loving SCV4 caused him to get one of those mini SNESes so he could play on his gigantic TV. My brother and I helped him dip his toes into a wider variety of games. He clocked a couple hundred hours into Super Metroid, which my sister and I watched him beat with much anxiety and shouting on everyone's part. Liking that format of game, we walked him through Symphony of the Night, and again he clocked a staggering amount of time into it. He even got the 200.6% rating and found two Crissaegrims, the Alucard Shield + Shield Rod combo, all that good stuff!

We recommended Red Dead Redemption 2, remembering his love for westerns being a formative part of his childhood, but the controls were very complex to him. At that point, he told me he just kept returning to SotN to fill out more of the map on his Richter file. So my brother and I pointed him to Bloodstained, which he tore through with just as much vigor and time spent as SotN and Super Metroid beforehand. He constantly apologizes for the amount of questions he calls with, but it's always interesting to hear his view of games. He and I both largely share a professional background in education - his in psychology and mine (so far, fingers crossed) in speech pathology - so it's given both of us a new perspective on what goes into playing video games. For Dad, he admits that he never realized how complicated they were, compared to watching TV or reading a book. (Obviously those aren't 1:1 analogues and different skills go into each.)

As he tried Rondo of Blood, he had a very rough time with it at first. He couldn't believe it came after SCV4 as it lacks the multi-directional whipping and the more lenient mid-air jump control. And in walking him through it, I realized just how many different skills and subsets of skills I take for granted having played games basically my entire life. Very basic things, like the general direction of the stage from left to right, what the score is for, the difference in jump style from SotN, and what subweapons are good for what situations - all of these layer and iterate upon one another so much. In educational psychology, before introducing a lesson, teachers may do what's called a "task analysis" - basically taking stock of all the things students need to learn before doing a new lesson. This was kind of what I found myself doing mentally when thinking of games to suggest to Dad, and each time I have to remind myself that there is so much knowledge I take for granted. Needless to say, for Rondo, I walked Dad through to finding Maria and playing as her, and he's having a much better time than as Richter. It was amazing watching him progress from struggling against the stone golems in the village stage to just... eviscerating Dogether with doves in about 4 seconds. He's found these weird things in the game that I don't think I've ever encountered, like that the turtle shell can actually hurt things when you jump out of it, or the weird dude in Stage 4 who puts the iron balls out (who I call Reg the Intern). He does me proud.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. As a general chronicling of Dad's skill progression it's kind of a mess. But it's curious to find ourselves at kind of opposite points in our lives than we were 20 years ago. Dad is screwing around with video games and having fun, and I'm about to undertake grad school for professional development, and most of my gaming time nowadays goes to exercise games like Ring Fit Adventure. It's one of those funny things where you see yourself and your parents in not only your own behavior, but watching your parents mess with something for the first time. It's something I honestly feel very lucky to witness. Especially in these turbulent times, it's good to have the opportunity to see the other side of the fence your parents grew up on, and in speaking with one another, come to appreciate things you didn't know before or perhaps didn't fully understand.

Also, he's starting the Devil May Cry collection with DMC2. God help him.


Offline whipsmemory

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Re: So I've been walking my dad through Rondo of Blood...
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 03:19:06 AM »
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Really enjoyed reading this post, also found it extremely fascinating and interesting. Thanks for sharing it

Offline X

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Re: So I've been walking my dad through Rondo of Blood...
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 09:06:47 AM »
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That's an awesome family relationship to have, and sadly, most people don't. Thanks for the read!
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Offline Shiroi Koumori

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Re: So I've been walking my dad through Rondo of Blood...
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2021, 11:57:27 PM »
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That's amazing!

I fail at DMC hahaha. I know the feeling.

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