Top-10 things that shouldn’t be made into games

With their boundless possibilities, people tend to get crazy with video-games. People seem to think that you can take almost any everyday thing and if you turn it into a game, it’ll be awesome. However, a strong rule in my view applies which is “if it’s more fun in real life, it doesn’t need to be a video-game”.

For sports, that’s up to everyone’s personal taste, so you won’t be seeing Cricket up here (yes, there is a cricket video-game out there). Here are, in my view, ten things that really shouldn’t warrant a video-game dedicated entirely to them…

10. Pinball

I can understand peoples’ fascination with pinball. Heck, as a kid, I used to be extremely fascinated by pinball cabinets and continually pissed by the fact that my parents would never let me play a pinball machine. So video-games at least offered a virtual substitute in all those instances.

However, as the years have gone by, I now realise that the actual fascination of a pinball game is in the actual physical board, the flashing lights and the crappy digitized sound-samples you heard the machine sputter from its beat-up speaker. If you want to play pinball, take some coins and go play an actual pinball machine, I say.

Now, pinball games aren’t entirely without worth which is why I’m only putting them as number-10. When done well and doing things that can’t be achieved on an actual pinball machine, they may be somewhat interesting. But on the over-all, there’s no reason to make the effort if you’re just trying to copy the real-life experience.

9. Math

Now, even though I should probably list all educational games here, I want to stress the redundancy of mathematically inclined video-games in general. Why? Because basic mathematical skills are already necessary for playing most video-games to begin with.

Most video-games by definition will hold a mathematical score and at least the number of lives or tries depending on the game. Even if it’s a game where you can’t die, like a racing game, there’s usually a speedometer, a timer and lap-number posted all over the screen. And let’s not forget RPGs, which in my view are just glorified Math dressed up in a video-game.

The point is, mathematics are an integral part of what video games are, what they do and even how they do it (it’s called code). Making a Math-video game is liking teaching a professor of literature how to read their ABCs – it’s serving a non-existent audience.

8. Football/Soccer Team Management

Football games (a.k.a. Soccer games)? Yes. Soccer Management games? No. Hell no. God damn it! No!!

Now, I do realise that people take the sports they love seriously, but this is borderline idiotic. Why would you want to spend hours, staring at stats and simulated games where your virtual team either wins and loses, instead of playing a game where you get to pretend that you’re actually in the field?

Football Management games just blow my mind with their very existence. The fact that someone would think that such a game really needs to exist just makes me wonder, how fucking bored can you get. And funny enough, one such game even managed to cause a controversy for recognising Taiwan as a country and getting itself banned in China.

If I could decide, I’d ban the whole damn game out right. ’cause it’s stupid…

7. Presidential Races

World management, government simulation and Civilisation type strategy games are all acceptable in my view. I don’t necessarily care for them, but I can accept them and I can accept that people find those types of games interesting. However, there’s no excuse for a game where the whole point is to simply run for president, but never actually get to rule the country.

These games have been cropping up since the 1980s and I don’t understand why people still haven’t caught on to the fact of how dumb of an idea they are. Now, if you could create your own candidate and promise to pass ridiculous laws like – everyone has to wear tin-foil hats on July 4, women have to walk topless at a certain temperature or abolishing dentistry – that would be a pretty funny game.

But instead it’s a poor excuse for a strategy title with a lame premise to boot and usually an actual election to give it any market value. These games simply don’t need to exist and are a waste of space and potential.

6. Corporate Mascots

This should be a no-brainer by now, but after M.C. Kids, The Noid and Cool Spot – it seems game companies just refuse to learn. Sure, the video-game business runs on money – it’s understandable. So why can’t game companies spend that money on actually good and fresh ideas, rather than doing something stupid like giving Ronald McDonald his own video-game?

While not all Corporate Mascot games are universally awful, much like not all movie tie-in games are necessarily awful, they just embody the sort of behaviour in the gaming industry that shouldn’t be encouraged. There’s already so much crap in the video-game market that it doesn’t really need to whore itself to the Gods of Capitalism even further to make the point.

But as long as big companies are big enough to pay gaming companies into thinking that making games out of their mascots is a good idea (and not just a horrible waste of time) we will probably be seeing even more corporate mascot titles from here till infinity.

5. Aquaman

The lamest DC Comics superhero of all time? Maybe not, but pretty damn close. Aquaman is the elephant in the room when it comes to anything Justice League related. He’s the guy no-one wants to touch or even talk about. Because he sucks. And we all know he sucks. But he’s a JLU OG, so he’s gotta be worth something. Maybe one day Aquaman will fade out of public consciousness with dignity.

But as long as people keep making stupid crap based on him, like the god-awful 2003 video-game, it doesn’t look like its gonna happen. You can tell these people didn’t give a shit about Aquaman and that they didn’t put any serious effort into their game. All they saw was DC Comics crying out for someone to do something with their super-hero and offering a handsome sum for their troubles. Lucky Chicken Games took the money and ran.

Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis is sobering reminder of why Aquaman games shouldn’t be made, but I have a bad feeling that this is a lesson no-one is gonna learn. Watch out for Aquaman 2: Electric Boogaloo for the WiiU, PS4 and Xbox 720  in 2015.

4. Mowing the Lawn

This idea is at least so stupid that I can thankfully only think of one game in the category. Still, a boring, medial task of grass up keeping turned into a video-game. Someone must have been smoking something when they thought it would make for a good video-game. I mow the lawn, it’s smelly, sweaty and tiresome work. Why the fuck would I want to do it in a video-game?

The example that most people may remember is the ill-fated Mamma, Can I Mow The Lawn released for the failed Gizmondo handheld system. Even more amazingly, it can be considered one of the star-attractions of this shitty system. Very fitting considering the asinine concept.

I can’t even fathom how drunk or high does someone have to be to think that Mowing the Lawn could be at all fun. We can only hope that no-one will ever have a similar asinine idea for a game ever again.

3. The Bible

I’m going to be quite honest here and say that I think any video-game based on the Bible is bordering on blasphemy. It’s like a sick joke, nobody wants to hear it. Why would any video-game company think it would be a good idea to make video-games based on stories from the Bible. It falls into the uncomfortable category of educational titles, in this case liturgy, that no-one wants to play, ever.

How can the teachings of Jesus be turned into fun-filled hour of gameplay? How can Moses and Jews’ journey in the desert be turned into an epic video-game trek? How can the story of David and Goliath be turned into an RPG? The simple answer is, they shouldn’t. Making something funny out of the bible is best left for comedians, the whole idea of a bible inspired game just makes me nervous and borderline nauseous.

Making games out of the Bible is just a bad idea. Nobody will get behind it and no serious gamer, Christian or not, would give them the time of day.

2. Board Games

Before anyone gets angry, I’m not talking about Mario Party, I’m talking about actual board-games: chess, checkers, Monopoly, battle-ship, Othello etc. Now, admittedly the advantage of a virtual board game is that you don’t need to set any of the pieces up – but for me, setting a game up is part of the experience. And if you don’t have the time and energy for it, then you probably don’t have the time and energy to play the game anyway.

And not all video-game board games are bad. If you want something simple to pass the time, those sucky Facebook and mobile phone variants you play with people who are nowhere around are fine. But honestly, this is where my principle comes to play: “If it’s more fun in real life, it doesn’t need to be a video-game.”

I’d much rather play chess with a person sitting across from me. I’d much rather play Scrabble with a person I can see. I’d much rather play Monopoly with four people huddled around a table. Because that’s what board games are about, interaction with other people. Not to mention that in a real board game you can be creative, make up your own rules and ways of playing the game. A strict virtual re-creation simply can’t offer that.

1. Nerf & Paintball

First Person Shooters, Nerf and Paintball guns were all created more or less for the same reason: to recreate the sensation of shooting someone, without actually shooting someone. FPS video games of course have the added advantage of creating virtual blood and your opponents don’t usually get back up after you shoot them (unless you’re playing with friends).

However, bringing these three things together is the single most redundant thing that has ever been done in video-gaming. A paintball game, where you paste your target with bright spatters in virtual reality sounds stupid enough. But Nerf!?! Fucking foam arrows shot from air-pressure weapons? The ones that bounce right off you without any impact what so ever!?!?!?!?

There is no excuse for this idiocy. Nerf and Paintball do not need to exist in virtual form. Even when you dress it up in words it sounds stupid: “You’re pretending that you’re pretending to shoot people.” Once again, Nerf in real life. Play paintball in real life. This doesn’t need to be a video-game.