Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland Nov 27, 2012 @ 8:47pm
Amnesia players: The terrified, the bored, and my dad
Some people find Amnesia terrifying, because of the atmosphere, sense of helplessness and exploitation of the imagination. Others find it bland and boring because of the slow start and lack of general action. And then there's my dad, who tried to turn it into Grand Designs.

One night, i decided to introduce my father (49) to the world of video games, and sat him down to a game of Amnesia, thinking he would appreciate it more than a frantic shoot 'em up like Call of Duty. Now, my father is not what you'd call a gamer, and i was willing to be patient with him as he learnt simple things like using the AWSD keys to move and the mouse to look around, things most of us take for granted. However, never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) did i think he'd be so completely and utterly oblivious to what he was supposed to do.

I started him from the beginning, thinking that the lack of any real danger and drip fed tutorials would be enough to ease him into the game. I couldn't have been more wrong. After learning the basic controls, he asked what he was supposed to do next. I suggested he follow the trail of 'strange liquid' (You know, the red stuff) the screen was aimed at. Instead, he walked over and glaring at a random puddle for no less than twenty seconds.

Now, Amnesia DOES start out softly, so I didn't expect my father to jump at every spooky sound, but I didn't think he'd use the time to try his hand at some home renovation. Yes, you heard me right. Now, there's something to be said for experimenting with a game's physics engine and testing for 'realism' before getting to business, but what would have taken maybe twenty minutes to complete the area took three times as long simply because he insisted on picking up every damn thing he could get his hands on, examining it, complaining that he couldn't set it on fire or read it if it was a book, then setting it away neatly on a nearby bookshelf (or at least trying) or desk.

Just before the end of our session, ignoring constant prompting from me to ignore unimportant items and to get moving, he spent a full five minutes (and I am NOT making this up) trying to rotate and re-position a fallen chair, claiming he 'just wanted it to look tidy'. After said five minutes he dropped the chair, got up from the computer, turned around and said 'This is boring. I don't see how anyone can find this interesting or fun'.

I feel like I've taken someone to Disneyland, watched them pick gum off the bottom of restaurant tables, then have them complain about the experience. Now Disneyland isn't for everyone, but one does assume you're there to ride the roller coaster, or at least the ♥♥♥♥ing Mary Poppins Merry-Go-Round.

I think I'm being fair. Maybe you folks don't. Please leave comments and thoughts, I'd love to hear similar experiences!
Last edited by Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland; Nov 29, 2012 @ 12:32am
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ZapRowsdower Nov 27, 2012 @ 9:48pm 
Well told story. Ol' Pappy sounds a little anal, although, I did spend some time myself at the beginning of the game picking up a lot of books and seeing if they were useful--maybe it was the Myst in me. I also spent way too much time building a stack/stairs of boxes to get me to the second floor after the stairs collapsed at one point, rather than simply moving some debris that quickly and handily formed ramps (saw later in a Let's Play). I did the same thing with some boxes in Portal, making what I thought was a necessary launch spot high enough to get the momentum needed to scale a wall. Maybe you should let your dad loose in Gary's Mod.
Israel Gonzalez Nov 27, 2012 @ 9:52pm 
Hahaha, nice story. I suggest you try to make him play a videogame (maybe another one?) at least one more time.
P4NDOR4 the cockblocker Nov 28, 2012 @ 10:43pm 
A close friend convinced me it would be a great idea to record me playing amnesia - I am afraid of horror, zombies, monsters and the dark. needless to say, after walking around the start area for about 10 mins, screaming multiple times, almost crying, not being able to move due to my noob status in gaming, I gave up in utter terror and was unable to continue. It was only then, I was informed that there are no monsters in the first intro part...
Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland Nov 29, 2012 @ 1:16am 
@P4NDOR4 IKR? Even after you see one, you're in no actual danger until the water stages

@ZapRowsdower Physiiiiiiics...
Malbrocksamsonsadlynotskynet Nov 29, 2012 @ 12:50pm 
Maybe convince him to try it again,or possibly try another one?
Yuno m8? Nov 30, 2012 @ 7:05pm 
bury Nov 30, 2012 @ 8:08pm 
That's really cute. ><

I don't think Amnesia is a good starting video game for someone, though. The objectives can be be very, very unclear. Start him on Mario, or let him watch you play.
Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland Dec 1, 2012 @ 12:07am 
@ barrie Oh, he's seen some of my games, but he thinks it's all mindless shooting nonsense (he's not entirely wrong). And i'm pretty sure he's tried Mario and thinks it's pointless too... but then again, at least then he knew he had to go from left to right XD
ninjamunkey7 Dec 20, 2012 @ 5:58pm 
I understand that getting used to video games is kind-of challenging at first. Especially for a FPS. IF he's not interested in that kind of stuff, let him be, or play with him (like you could be controlling the mouse and he does the keyboard). But you should have started with something simple, like Tetris, or something.
Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:32pm 
@ninjamunkey7 To be honest, I should have been more clear about what I meant by 'introducing' him to video games. He's not a 'stranger' per say to video games, seeing as he's got three kids who are into computers. He HAS tried out things such as Mario (not sure about Tetris, but good thought).

Basically, he's one of *those* adults who think video games are either silly bleeps and bloops or senselessly violent war simulators (quite a bit of contrast between the two, eh?). I wanted to show him video games could use pacing and creepy suggestions to send a shiver down your spine, rather than throwing a monster at you every twenty seconds (btw, I half expected him to ask what button pulls a gun out, though in retrospect that was still asking for a bit much...)

Maybe it was because he's not the biggest fan of the horror genre either...
Last edited by Fidget, Foghorn of Cykaland; Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:33pm
Breadbeard Dec 22, 2012 @ 4:40am 
Cool story. My parents have little to no intrest in video games. They have more important things to do, I suppose. But I'm sure if I somehow managed to get them sat down at the computer, they would either have a ton of fun, or have a horrible time because of the computer freaking out.
FluffySnuffy Dec 22, 2012 @ 6:19am 
Make him play Journey.
Sublime Dec 22, 2012 @ 6:34am 
Wow, this thread made me think about something I've never thought of before... My parents gaming. *gasp*

Man, that would be an experience. Although I do agree Amnesia is way too heavy as an introductory game, I can't help imagining my parents' reaction to the game. They've heard me talking about it, though. If I ever managed to make them play it, I'm sure they would give up on the first sight of danger and be very mad about it.
Hydroponics Deck Dec 22, 2012 @ 1:55pm 
I can't imagine my parents playing Amnesia. They would not like the plot, instead of being interested in the mystery they'd probably reject it for all the gross/disturbing/cruelty involved. My mom isn't desensitized like most people these days and I just don't get my dad's tastes, he'd probably not be impressed though.

I have spent a lot of time trying to get my parents to play games with us (my sister and I)- most hurdles are getting them used to controllers (this has proved impossible so far) and getting a game they are interested in. They were both into arcade games, my mom was pretty hardcore, my dad liked them too but mostly tolerated her playing for hours on end. For her anything with an arcade feel will get her interested, she has played several hours of Bit.Trip Beat and really enjoys it: she tried playing it and said she felt like she needed to insert quarters every time she got a game over, so I got her a stack of quarters and she put one on top of the CPU for every new game. Likes the Centipede game on PS2 too, says it brings her back. She also loves Guitar Hero, plays on easy but she never gets tired of it. She watched us play Heavy Rain and got into the story but I dunno if she'd play it herself. I'm ready to say mission accomplished with her.

My dad on the other hand, sounds a lot like your dad. He complains a lot that our games "all look the same" and when prompted further says "they all have a guy running around in the middle of the screen" which I actually laughed at, because he's sorta right. And I will tell you, in maybe 15 years of trying to get him into games with mild success (he will play racing games sometimes but never for more than 30 minutes) the only game he has ever liked and finished is Flower. Yeah, that game where you are the wind and bloom flowers and get this long train of petals- no dialogue no characters just you and fields of flowers. He loves that game. He has at least 6 hours of Flower under his belt. Actually finished every level on his own. He even asks to play it if we're off doing something else. My mom ended up liking Flower as well, and it has gone down in history as the only game that all of my family have played and completed.
I am trying to see if they will play Journey next, it's a little more complex but just as pretty and emotionally involving. No dice on computer games however.
ARBITER WARPIG Dec 28, 2012 @ 7:35pm 
.............No offense to your dad but my dad is really used to pc games. And I mean classics like DOOM and Duke Nukem.
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Date Posted: Nov 27, 2012 @ 8:47pm
Posts: 21