Weird Things Seen In Stores: All Video Game Edition

I’m always on the lookout when wandering around in stores for things that seem odd or funny to me.  I can’t help but snap a picture for later amusement and sharing with my friends.  Lately, I’ve spotted a few different things that seemed quirky or odd to me, all in relation to video games.

Wii Baby

I was shopping at Costco, one of my favourite stores to wander around aimlessly in.  I never miss the section with all the books and video games because they’re always at least five bucks cheaper than anywhere else.  I was in the gaming section when I frowned, seeing a stuffed doll and thinking it was out of place.  I was wrong.  This is an interactive baby that’s also a video game.  Yes folks, that’s right.  As far as I can tell, you shove a Wii-mote up inside the baby and it becomes a video game.  Not only does that sound like something that really didn’t need to be made into a video game, but also the concept of putting the Wii-mote into the baby to make it a video game controller just isn’t right.

Bioshock 2: New vs. Used

I’ve been curious about Bioshock for a long time, but was never able to play it until recently when we got an HD television.  I tried on the boyfriend’s PC once and almost threw up because of the first person perspective.  We were checking out EB games one day and as always, I checked the prices on the used PS3 games.  Bioshock 2 used was priced as $17.99.  On a whim, I checked to see what it was priced as new.  I stared dumbfounded at the price sticker on the new copy that told me it was only $9.99.  I picked them both up and looked at them in shock and then smiled happily to myself as I put the used one back and purchased a brand new copy for myself.  I sincerely hope it was a pricing error and I got to stick it to EB games that day because the prices on their used games generally suck.

Mary-Kate and Ashley's Sweet 16

I remember when these two were on Full House and they were funny and cute and we all learned good moral, family values every Sunday night.  I also remember when I stopped caring about them.  This was in the used PS2 game section at EB and honestly, it kind of ticked me off.  for one thing, the price is $14.99.  Who the hell is going to pay $14.99 for a game about a sweet 16 birthday party…even if it does have Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in it?  The part that really irked me, however, was written near the bottom right  of the cover.  It says, and I quote, “Real Games for Real Girls”.  Really?  Last time I checked, I was a girl.  I can’t really see myself playing this and haven’t really missed its presence on my shelf beside games like Call of Duty: Black Ops or Resident Evil 5…both of which are MY games.  I get that there are girls that would enjoy this game, to each her own.  I have no problems with that.  What I have a problem is them making it seem like girls have been sitting around forever, waiting for a game to come along that was all about girly pink birthday parties and turning sweet 16.  Finally the day has come.  It’s almost as bad as the stupid Wii Baby.

Dirty Dancing for PC

I loved Dirty Dancing when I was a kid.  I still love it.  It’s one of my favourite movies of all time.  But I can’t understand who would think it would ever make a good video game.  The concept of the movie lends nothing to a video game whatsoever.  In fact, as far as I could tell from reading the back of the case, the premise of the game was that you were staying at the resort in the movie and all you do is play little mini games.  It is like a million other pieces of shovelware out there and they decided to slap a classic movie title on it, hoping to sell more copies.

Scott Pilgrim at Starbucks

I actually saw this one last fall and it isn’t something I found weird.  I found it to be totally awesome.  I know that the Scott Pilgrim thing is actually a comic book and a movie as well, but it counts as a video game because I own the video game and freaking love it.  It’s also awesome, because I love Pumpkin Spice Latte and was thrilled to see its return with the approaching Thanksgiving/Halloween season.  Whomever drew this rules as a Barrista, a nerd and a human being in general.  My hat off to them.

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Simulation Sickness: A Gamer’s Worst Nightmare?

Over the years, I’ve noticed that gamers usually develop a certain style of game they most like to play.  We all try out the various options and switch it up a bit, but at the core of our collections are the genres we love the most.  Some choose sports games, others like real time strategy (RTS).  I love role playing games (RPG) and adventures.  Let us not forget also, the ever entertaining platformers (another favourite of mine) and shooters, and every indie game in between.  With such a plethora of options, the choices seem almost limitless.  That is, of course, unless you are one of the unlucky population of gamers who are stricken with the horrible affliction of Simulation Sickness.

I, unfortunately, am a member of that sad population.  When I play certain games, mostly those with a first person perspective, I tend to become quite nauseous any time after ten minutes to a half an hour of game play and eventually, if I don’t stop playing, I will be sick.  I had always just called it motion sickness and likened it to the feelings that I would get when going on rides that went in a circular motion at the fair.  After dating the boyfriend for a few months, he asked me why I always refused to play first person shooters, especially since he’s somewhat fond of a particular few.  When I told him my reasons he informed me that there was, in fact, a specific name for my sufferings and it was “Simulation Sickness”.

According to Wikipedia, “Simulation sickness, or simulator sickness, is a condition where a person exhibits symptoms similar to motion sickness caused by playing computer/simulation/video games.

The most common theory for the cause of simulation sickness is that the illusion of motion created by the virtual world, combined with the absence of motion detected by the inner ear, causes the area postrema in the human brain to infer that one is hallucinating and further conclude that the hallucination is due to poison ingestion. The brain responds by inducing nausea and mass vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin.  According to this theory, simulation sickness is just another form of motion sickness.

The symptoms are often described as quite similar to that of motion sickness. Some can range from headache, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and sweating.”

By golly, that was exactly what I experienced every time.  You might wonder why I care so much, being as there are many

Yes, I have looked like this...except for the hands.

games that don’t utilize the first person perspective and I do just fine playing anything that doesn’t, but I will say that I do kind of miss first person shooters.  Not all of them, I’ve never had any interest in games like Call of Duty or a lot of the war based shooters, but during the Nintendo conference this year at E3, I could have cried when they announced a new Goldeneye coming out.  I spent hours of my life on that game in high school.  That one and Perfect Dark for the 64.  They were awesome and great to play with a bunch of friends.  Then, one sad and rainy afternoon in my first year of university, I was playing perfect dark and the symptoms of simulation sickness hit me for the first time.  Ever since then, I could not play any first person games without nausea and the threat of vomiting.  Let me tell you, it sucks.

I’m dying to play Portal and when it comes out, I want to play Portal 2.  The sad thing is, I’m scared to play them.  The boyfriend got me to play Bioshock one day (back when we first started dating and I didn’t want him to think I was a gamer wuss) and I spent about ten minutes in Rapture (the name of the city in the game, for any readers who don’t know that) and then it was either turn it off or get sick.  Now a sequel has come and gone and I still haven’t worked up the courage to try again.

I now find myself desperate to come up with some kind of solution to my problem.  I have Gravol in the drawer in the bathroom, I have purchased a stronger prescription for my glasses (they were so bad) and I have portal on my laptop (thank you Steam) which has a high definition screen.  I’ve been working up the guts to give it a go and plan to soon.  Here’s hoping that I can overcome or at least manage this irritation because I do NOT like to miss out on games.

If anyone out there suffers from this problem, let me know if there are any solutions?  Do you just accept that there are games you cannot play or do you power through it?  Are you fighting a losing battle or do you have strategies that work to get you through the game?  Let me know, because otherwise, I’m playing Portal with a bucket beside the chair.