There’s something inherently fun about using objects in a way that is not intended. When you’re a kid, a cardboard tube becomes a telescope, a wiffle ball bat becomes a light saber, and the living room couch becomes a fort. Kids use what they already have to create new worlds and new games, and they have fun doing it. Video games can be used in the same way. There is plenty of fun to be had without playing games as they were intended to be played.
As a youngster, I remember making Mario dance around for my amusement in Super Mario Bros. I also remember tossing tires and trash cans at my co-op partner in River City Ransom, instead of fighting the baddies. Driving in the opposite direction while playing Off Road in order to mess up my opponent? Priceless. These 8-bit shenanigans kept me interested in my old games when I couldn’t afford a new game, or when my parents refused to buy one for me.
Later on in life I discovered the joy of causing mayhem in Grand Theft Auto 3. Driving recklessly, with the fuzz on my tail, was just as fun as, if not more fun than, completing the game’s story missions. Shortly after I purchased an Xbox 360, I discovered Crackdown. After I completed the main storyline for Crackdown I spent hours upon hours with friends setting up sweet jumps for the Agency super cars. These activities kept my old games interesting when they had become stale.
While open world games like Grand Theft Auto still provide a sandbox to play in, many newer games seem to confine us to playing by the rules. There is Halo, which is known for inspiring players to perform insane stunts, but a lot of folks are tired of Halo and want something different. That’s where Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes in.
Recently, I purchased Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for my Xbox 360. Aside from the game’s great graphics, tight controls, and awesome multi-player modes, I discovered (thanks to a gaming buddy) that Bad Company 2 has sandbox-style game play built in. It may not have been intentional, but game developers DICE have created a game that includes a built in, virtual playground. Why bother capturing bases or getting kills when fun can be had with a few friends, a few vehicles, and plenty of C4?
These guys didn’t: Battlefield – You’re Doing it Right
I encourage you to play around, and Bad Company 2 is a great place to start. See how far you can launch a jeep. Try to board a low flying helicopter. Topple buildings and squash your friends. Have a race where the finish line just happens to be in hostile territory. More fun uses for video games can be discovered with your help. You’re only limited by your imagination and your reluctance to make your teammates angry. They’ll get over it, right? Who knows what other games are out there that allow you to make your own fun?
Many thanks to Mahoney, and all involved, for the sweet montage.
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