Sunday, April 8, 2012

Monkey Ball...what a game...

Monkey ball is what comes to mind when I think back to growing up. Being at friends houses for sleepovers, competing each time at a somewhat stupid game. However, as I've gotten older and have become familiar with more intense, better made games...monkey ball is still my all time favorite. Something about the ability to make yourself balance, flip, roll, and perform these crazy moves was always invigorating. It was so competitive, which is kind of funny being that the goal was to roll your monkey along paths. Although looking back on it, it was dumb, it was and is the only video game I have ever been competitive with. My friends from middle school and high school who were not interested in video games at all, found this bizarre competitiveness within it. Was it the familiarization of the different monkeys? Our attachment to it? Or was it one of the only video games that didn't have a male aura around it?

4 comments:

  1. I think everyone has that one game that they loved and were really good at regardless if it was a complicated game. I remember playing Super Mario for my GameBoy and thought it was the best game ever. It was so simple, just jump and run and maybe throw fireballs. Video game makers must know what they are doing when they make a simple yet fun game like Monkey Ball or Mario. Simple games can attract many more people from a wider demographic. I feel like games can only be fun if they are challenging to an extent, a game isn't fun if you win easily every time or the reverse and lose most of the time. That's why games like Monkey Ball and Mario are the best, they provide the best balance and even more importantly-they're nostalgic

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  2. I agree and think that monkey ball was a pretty sweet game. Definitely played monkey ball a good amount and think that it was similar to like a mario party or something because of how it had a bunch of mini games along with it so that there was always some new game to play within the game itself. It is a pretty funny concept when you take a step back from the game and look at the game from an outside perspective. What the hell were they thinking when they came up with the idea? Were they just like, "Let's put a bunch of monkeys in balls and see what happens?" I would like to know the thought process behind the design of the game.

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  3. Although I've never played Monkey Ball, there were definitely other games that I played obsessively in my childhood. Growing up, my cousins and I were absolutely addicted to Mario Party, Mario Kart, and any other Mario-themed game we could get our hands on. We were sure that no matter where we went, we brought along our Nintendo 64 (even all the way Up North for our annual summer weekend trip), as well as our Game Boy colors for when we were on the move. I remember being younger when my family got our first large flat-screen TV; my dad was excited for football games, my mom was excited for her weird Sci-Fi shows she's always loved, and we were thrilled to see Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi blown up on the big screen. Now, sitting in front of a television for hours on end, even when it's beautiful outside, seems absolutely ridiculous. Instead of depending so much on the real world, we were focused on the make-believe aspects, such as these video games. But, now that we've grown up, we focus so much more on social and real interactions with other people, rather than saving Princess Peach from her castle. I guess that when you're young, and you don't have much responsibility or dependencies in the outside world, we take these silly games and we make them our realities. So, while they now may seem stupid and useless, then, that was what made our lives so exciting. I think it's really interesting to look at the aspect of the games we play now as opposed to the games we used to engage in, and then see why we think our lives are so much more complex and important than they were with Mario, or Monkey Ball in your case.

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  4. When I think to back to growing up, I was always forced to play outside (during the nice weather days of course!) when friends would come over. I lived on a small street and our home was the only one with kids. I never played in the street with my neighbors, so when friends would come over my sisters and I would play outside with our play dates. In retrospect, I think my parents were excited to have us out of the house. One outside, non sports, game that comes to mind is playing "camp". It is very easy - in fact it only has one rule: Just pretend that you are older and a camp counselor. I am very unclear as to why these, what I've come to realize, high school juniors were such iconic figures in my eyes but at the time, it was very cool. We'd wander around my backyard, talking to essentially no one/nothing, imitating the cool, older camp counselors that were in charge of our groups at day camp. While this pretend "camp" has very little to do with Monkey Ball, I find it funny which game different people remember as being that one, stand out, childhood game. For future generations to come will it be an Iphone/Ipad game such as angry birds or draw something? Are my days of playing/imitating camp counselors comparable to my mother's references to the doll "Chatty Cathy". Oh god - sure hope not!

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