‘What Conan O’Brien Taught me About Video Games’ or ‘Why You Need a Clueless Gamer in Your Life!’
First of all, sorry about the big title. It will be justified in a second.
Conan O’Brien is a great comedian/talk show host, known worldwide. In my opinion, when it comes to late night talk shows, I’ve always preferred the ones hosted by the American-Irish big guy, mostly because those are the ones where you can see different themes being explored with the same finality: make people laugh.
A while ago, he started reviewing (mostly) X-Box 360 games in a comic segment named “Clueless Gamer”. As a self-proclaimed ignorant in all things game-related, he tries (and rates) such distinct games as Minecraft, Skyrim, Just Dance 4 or Kinect Star Wars, usually with the help of someone who (at least) knows how to turn the console on.
Watching these videos, I realized one thing I should know all along: players are permissive. This is a fact. Although we are quick on the “criticism trigger”, we are actually ready to forgive (or totally ignore – even completely block) a lot of “not so little details” that would’ve seen weird otherwise. I don’t know if we are so used to stuff like that or if we are predisposed to have some enjoyment while playing a game, the fact is that we really don’t care about a lot of fails – whether on narrative, or on the mechanics, or on the physical rules, etc. It is like going to the cinema to watch a horror movie. If you keep your logical reasoning at 100%, you will not enjoy half of what you could.
This is where a Clueless Gamer could be important in the game development process. Watching Conan play resident evil to realize an athletic character can not even jump over a fallen chair, or listening to Lara Croft stating that she “hates tombs” and screaming back at the screen “then you shouldn’t be the Tomb Raider” really points out some aspects that are, well, stupid! And watching the talk show host struggling to figure out some controls or the objective of some games really shows that final versions of the games still have a lot of criticizable aspects.
So, get a Clueless Gamer. Make him read your game ideas. Make him try your betas. Make him listen to your dialogues. If he does not want to, hit him with a stick! You’ll see how you’ll get really important feedback this way! After all, as Conan Says in one of his reviews: “I don’t know much about video games. In fact, to be honest, I know nothing. But, the joy of this experience, is that I’ll ask the questions that a complete novice would ask, which in its own way, will be kind of a beautiful truth”.
Oh, even if you don’t even like video games, and got to this post searching for some Internet porn, you should watch the Clueless Gamer videos by Conan O’Brien HERE. They’re hilarious.