Weekly Games Thread Is Okay with Liking the Big Stuff

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to the Weekly Video Games Thread. I’m doing well with a few very satisfying Zelda sessions down, and I’m in the mood for a positive prompt.

Some of the time, I try to find prompts that allow or encourage more off-kilter prompts. Things that make me think. I’d like to do at least a bit to make this space one where we can learn about weirder or less famous things. But now, let’s do the opposite: talk about something in the games industry that’s popular, standard, dare I say “basic” that you just love.

I’ll start: I love, love, love Mario! Love the guy. Part of that’s nostalgia to be sure, but Mario also embodies a lot of game design that I find ideal and compelling. A design built on gameplay demands first and foremost. A positive personality that love exploring his worlds as much as I do. A malleable look that can be altered and played with in innumerable ways. He’s shallow as a person, but extraordinarily rich as an engine of gameplay. And honestly, I do really love his sincerity and general (if perhaps not endless) lack of dickishness.

I’ve been thinking about this prompt for a while, this idea of aspects of the industry, be it characters or tropes or the games themselves, that work for us either in spite of or because they have a wide general popularity. Look, we’re all people on the Avocado. We have a long history of loving alternative entertainment and sometimes struggling with the appeal of super popular stuff. And to be honest, a lot of the AV Club’s history involved people being too cool for that. I’m certainly this way a lot of the time. But in my quest to find “anti-hot takes,” I thought this might be fun for a day.

Anyway, how was your weekend?