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TANGENT Bring forth the Arcade of Destruction!

Otacon: Most games for sale today seem so derivative. There are so many sequels and copies that we're lacking innovation. So, with that in mind, what do you think developers should make a game about?

NoisyNinja: How about some cool television shows from the '60s? Shows like "The Invaders" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" would make great games.

Vivi: I think we need some more screwed up platformers and puzzle games. Programs like "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" and "The Brak Show" would be perfect for this. And, besides, any excuse to see Brak is a good excuse.

Otacon: I can see it all now: "Mr. Thundercleese's Arcade of Destruction," "Zap Zorak" and "Brak's Bean Parade." What delights!

NoisyNinja: I think mysteries have been widely overlooked as a genre. Why not make a Sherlock Holmes game? Or a James Bond game that emphasizes exploration over action?

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Otacon: Developers probably steered clear of mysteries because of the "Carmen Sandiego" series. They probably looked at those games and thought that was the only way to do an investigative game. That's too bad, though, because I'd enjoy playing detective.

Rocket Man: I'd enjoy playing chess. Specifically, I'd like to play the three-dimensional chess game first featured in the second "Star Trek" pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before." I have a reproduction of the set, but the rules aren't clear.

Vivi: You mean you bought a game you can't even figure out how to play? Sounds like when Otacon bought "Tron 2.0."

Rocket Man: But why not do a video game version of the chess game? Maybe we could even play against Mr. Spock. Fascinating.

Vivi: That does make me wonder: Where are all the genuinely fun but educational games? I think developers have overlooked the potential for edutainment among teens and adults. Teach me something useful while I wander my virtual plane.

NoisyNinja: Some games have tried. There's one that lets you run your own movie studio and another lets you operate Jurassic Park. They haven't sold well, though. Maybe a better way to incorporate an educational component would be making the game historically based.

Otacon: That might be the way to go. Lessons about historical context or the evolution of a particular time period could be easily disguised as an RPG.

Vivi: You could have something about the Civil War presented like "Knights of the Old Republic." You could choose which side you want to fight on and truly affect the outcome of the war. Depending on how you play, the Civil War could be won by the South.

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NoisyNinja: Or the Sith!

Otacon: Or Optimus Prime!

Rocket Man: Or Elton John!

Vivi: Yeah. Sure. Whatever.

Game Station is a weekly chat dedicated solely to video gaming. You can contact Otacon and the rest by e-mailing gamestation@postbulletin.com.

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