The average age of a video game player, according to Williams et al (2008 p.993), is 33 years of age, with 40% of adults engaging in video game content. Whilst the stereotypical gamer is portrayed by print media as a young adolescent male whom is pale and socially inept (Williams et al 2008 p.995). This would be due to 83% (Williams et al 2008 p.993) of adolescent’s engaging in video game content. However, where do I fit in these figures? I am not an adolescent and I am a female whom is well under 33?
I am not a stereotypical gamer but I do consider myself what Bartle would claim to be an achiever (Williams et al 2008 p.995) within the gaming world. Evident my by games of choice, Tycoon games.
Over the Easter break my boyfriend bought me Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on Steam . This is a game that I thoroughly enjoyed during my early teens and I was excited to once again re-connect with the game. I have always been an avid Tycoon game type player, perhaps it is due to the philosophy these games incorporate. They include player gifted content (Moore 2011) as well as allowing the player to consistently earn new rides through completing tasks set by the games achievement system and distributed randomly (Moore 2011).
I will admit when I originally played this game I preferred the Sandbox option as it provided me with unlimited money and allowed me to create a large theme park and create many roller coaster designs. Though this time I attempted career mode.
This game does not provide a social aspect due to it being a solitary game, nevertheless, it is possible to play with multiple players which me and my boyfriend did. You simply take turns in building rides and maintaining your park. We found this increased our sociability, unlike other games, as we had to talk and decide plans of action together to achieve our tasks. We were working together as a single character.
The crux of this game is to build a theme park with all the necessities, food/drink/ gift shops, rides (children, roller coasters, transport and thrill), place bins and benches, hire staff and keep them trained and also provide marketing for the park. The goals are simple, achieve the tasks listed to move up the ranks until you hit tycoon level without going bankrupt.
With only playing 8 hours of this game, my boyfriend and I defeated four of the career modes. The issue is, after you have achieved Tycoon level, there is no incentive to continue playing your current park as you no longer achieve any assets. New rides and roller coaster designs are given to you on a time basis not on an achievement basis.
Nevertheless, the platinum edition also has three career modes, Tycoon 3, Soaked and Wild. Each of these are obviously detailing to different types of parks which helps this game to not become repetitive to quickly. Though Wild is a lessen version of Zoo tycoon, which was a disappointment.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 has great features including allowing you to choose multiple camera angles so you can enjoy your own rides as your customers would. It is a fun game where the main goals are to achieve tycoon status and I recommend it for other avid tycoon gamers out there.
Moore, C 2011, ‘Hats of Affect: A study of Affect, Achievements and Hats in Team Fortress 2′, in the International Journal of Computer Game Research, Vol. 11, no.1.
Williams, Dmitri, Yee, Nick, and Caplan, Scott (2008), ‘Who plays, how much and why? Debunking the stereotypical gamer profile‘, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication vol. 13 pp.993-1018.