Video gaming has something of a reputation for numbskullery. Guardians of higher culture look down upon gaming as the preserve of fat indolent children and brain-dead adults who would rather fantasise about killing things than read a book.
Of course, they are wrong. In truth, gaming is an activity comparable to wine tasting or fine dining: it is all about palate.
Let me explain what I mean – your average punter on the street might be able to tell you the difference between a bottle of wine costing £10 and one costing you £2 but they would not be able to tell you the difference between a bottle costing £50 and one costing £500. They lack the palate to appreciate the subtleties, the eye for differences. They could not tell you why lamb from Wales is better than lamb from New Zealand. They could not tell you why the painstakingly sourced and morally immaculate coffee I drink in the afternoons is better than the freeze-dried rocket fuel I pour down my throat first thing in the morning. This is because it takes time to build a palate. It takes effort to fully appreciate the little differences. This is true whether you are drinking wine, whether you are attending the opera, whether you are viewing paintings and whether you are virtually dismembering the undead. Continue reading Dead Space: The Shock Doctrine Goes Interplanetary