To Live and Die and Respawn in LA – Vidjagame Apocalypse 405

Los Angeles is the setting of roughly 500% of all motion pictures, and yet relatively few games have tried to turn its sun-baked sprawl into a game world. So this week, let’s grab PNB‘s TL Foster for a look at five games that turned the City of Angels into an open(-ish)-world playground, after which we’ll dive into The Medium, EA Sports bringing back college football, Stadia shuttering its studios, and the games you think should be adapted as anime.

Question of the Week: How did your parents feel about you playing videogames? (With apologies to Kotaku.)


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9 thoughts on “To Live and Die and Respawn in LA – Vidjagame Apocalypse 405

  1. My mother didn’t like the idea of me playing video games early on, at least in part because it seemed to her a boy’s thing. But come my tenth birthday, all I wanted was a Game Boy Color and Pokemon Silver. Turning ten is a big deal, so she relented, and I finally got my own game stuff. And then she didn’t like how I was constantly needing new batteries to play this game, and why couldn’t I just be into super girly things like she wanted. And things just kept going downhill from there.

    Every game was a further wedge between her and the daughter she wanted. “Why can’t you just want Winnie the Pooh that I know and like instead of this Harry Potter that makes you pretend to be a boy? Can’t you play nice with your brothers without this Rock Band with its loud plastic instruments and rock music I don’t like? Can’t you just be a nurse and have kids like I want you to do instead of being inspired by Mass Effect to become a writer?”
    We haven’t spoken to each other for about ten years, and things haven’t been better. Thanks Video Games!

  2. QOTW
    My mother had a very negative opinion of video games. Still to this day she tells me non-stop that it’s nothing short of a waste of time. And again and again I’m explaining to her that it’s not more a waste of time than watching TV or movies. It’s even better since you’re not just passively consuming something but you always have to make decisions and choices, it’s way more stimulating for the brain. I could play 2 strides of half an hour a day during week-ends which made games without any save system frustrating and repetitive since I never had enough time to beat them… When I look back at growing up I still thank her for being able to look past her prejudices and provide me with an Atari 2600, then a NES and finally a Sega genesis with 2 of the best games I had the chance to play in my life, Shining Force 2 and Fantasy Star 4. Thanks mom.

  3. I seem to have been one of the lucky ones, my parents were quite liberal when it came to video games. I remember having access to an Atari 2600 as one of my earliest memories, and my dad buying me and my brother a Spectrum and then an Atari ST later on. Games was just something like toys or the various Games Workshop stuff we used to play… never any real judgement about them.

    My dad was a voracious consumer of all media. We had countless films on tapes, cassettes, books, cds.. all stocked high in piles around the house. I guess he saw it as an extension of that, but he never really shifted from curiosity to a consumer or gamer. I guess if he were a little older or had sightly better life growing up he might have had the luxury of developing his hand eye coordination a little more to prevent them being so imposing…

    Although according to the family stories, playing Wii tennis was one of the very last things he did before dropping dead at work of a heart attack. So maybe that was for the best

  4. QotW: So, I’m 41, and my parents never disapproved of video games. I think mainly because my dad was an engineer and worked in tech and quite a nerd himself, so he was always supportive of video games. And I just did it so much that eventually, my dad and mom both became gamers themselves.
    When I was little, we all used to try and figure out King’s Quest games on the PC. And dad always liked playing various wargame simulation games like Command HQ, Kampfgruppe, Steel Panthers, etc.
    And I remember when I stopped using my NES regularly because I was just playing SNES full-time, I set it up in my mom’s room for her. Her favorite games were Arknoid, Dr. Mario and Kirby’s Adventure.

  5. QotW
    My mother didn’t really care about games. Just felt it was a boy thing. My Dad however thought they were somehow reinforcing homosexual ideas in my impressionable mind and pushing me away from Jesus. Samus was a woman, he didn’t like that. I always played as Kitana in MK, He really didn’t like that. At the rental store, I picked up Athena for NES, no son of his is going to play Athena! He once bought me, for no reason, a 32x with virtual racing and afterburner because he thought it was masculine and I showed interest.
    My father passed away ten years ago. Before then he confided in me that he didn’t care if I wanted to be gay and he just wanted me to be happy.
    (note: Im not gay)

  6. QOTW!

    For context, I’m 34! My parents were never against video games. As a matter of fact, my father was obsessed with Burger Time via his Intellivision II. Sometimes if my sister, brother and I were annoying him to get off the TV because we wanted to play the NES, he’d make us play an Intellivision game against him. I’ll never forget my brother openly crying after my dad crushed him in Baseball, 50 something to 0. That was easy to do because he never shared how the damned controller worked. In case you don’t know, the Intellivision II had little plastic papers you had to slip into the controller based off the game you were playing. This meant if the paper was even just a little off, like my brother had it, you’d have your catcher running into the outfield to make a damned play. Meanwhile my dad was laughing at my brother all while getting constant inside the park home runs!

    My mother, though, when she was on the warpath video games were the first thing she targeted.

    I don’t remember exactly what I did, but my mom was just NOT having it that day. She took away my NES for days and told me that I needed to go do something more constructive, like reading, drawing, playing sports or the dreaded word, ‘outside.’ The thing was, I spent a huge amount of time outside, was on school sports teams and loved to read and write; she was just being a cotton headed ninny muggins. Anyway, I wasn’t about to let her win this battle, so I took old boxes, loose cardboard (like paper rolls), string, tape, etc and I made my own cardboard NES.

    Looking back on it, the thing was actually amazing. I drew an assortment of pictures of scenes from my favorite games like Mega Man, Super Mario, Metroid. etc, taped the papers together and then rolled them up between two paper roll inserts. If you’re having trouble imagining it, just picture how you scroll up and down on a webpage. All the images would just roll from top to bottom (or reverse), one at a time, according to how fast I manually rolled the cardboard paper towel holder inserts. The cardboard NES was complete with cutout controllers tied to the console with string because, you know, wireless technology wasn’t invented yet.

    My mother was so impressed she ended up giving me back my NES early and I was so damned proud.

  7. Just wanted to pitch in on a couple of things!

    – I was born and raised in San Diego, we pronounce it Sandy-Egg-Ins.
    – The Rockstar studio in San Diego was the one they absorbed to get Red Dead Revolver (Angelfire Studios I believe) and from what I understand a lot of the core GTA designers are in the East Coast/UK studios, so the L.A. fixation is not really related to their San Diego location.
    – My friends and I would go up to L.A. for concerts or other events that didn’t come all the way down, but there’s enough to do down here that it’s not usually worth the 3 hours of mostly traffic it takes to get all the way up there.

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