This week, between two episodes of the game The Walking Dead, I really want to talk to you about Backseat Gaming, not from the point of view “chieur” but from an angle that is not often approached … and that’s a shame: that of the couple, you know this thing that can harm video games (hum … I have the guitar that throat) …
But what is Backseat Gaming?
First of all, for the uninitiated to this expression, who maybe like me part of the ‘Backseat gamer’ without knowing it, let’s start with a small point definition:
‘Backseat’ means ‘back seat’, and at the base we call ‘Backseat Driver’ one of these chieurs Stressed passengers who spend their time making you think about your driving quietly sitting in his passenger seat.
This expression is used for video games, and that is why the ‘Backseat Gamer’ is generally perceived as a loath that will criticize the way you play quietly behind your screen, “but he can not play”. do not suck there … ” Good at the same time, sometimes we can not resist:
But the ‘Backseat gaming’ is not limited to watching a live on Twitch and criticize the player as if we were in front of a football game. There is also the ‘Cool’ ‘Backseat Gaming’. The one where you take pleasure in simply watching the other play and if necessary help him, often thanks to a scenario well tied!
Thank you Quantic Dream, thank you Telltale Games, thank you Dontnod, or – more recently – thank you Supermassive Games! Because thanks to these studios, video games, also solos are they – obviously, I do not speak about the games in co-op or of Just Dance which allows you to reproduce the choreous of Dirty Dancing (carried including final) with your guy – have, in my eyes anyway, never been so unifying, for a couple anyway! Finally .. it depends on the times …
But fuck, why did you kill him ?! It was my favorite character!
So that from time to time a good tv series is exchanged very well against a good video game with a real scenario and choices!
The recipe for the perfect Backseat Game
Tonight darling, you forget True Detective …
It’s video games!
Certainly, I love making my own decisions to have a game scenario in my image, even if I have to assume a rotten end only by my fault! But if I never twitch and rarely follow twitch (there, we talk about ‘Virtual Backseat Gaming’), from time to time, I love to watch people play. The geek, although much more geek than me, also loosens the game quite easily to assume the role of ‘Backseat Gamer’.
Truce of life story … For a good backseat game to share, you need …
Lovable characters …
Or at least that do not leave indifferent.
Only minutes of play are enough to attach to the friendly side coupled with a past obscure Lee Everett in The Walking Dead . Not to mention his touching encounter with the very young but no less endearing Clementine , he will take under his wing to teach him to survive in a world where we can not trust anyone.
How not to want to help poor Ethan in Heavy Rain , an exemplary dad who sees his life switch overnight? On the other hand, how can you not hate the dishonest hussy who sends all the people to Until Dawn ?
“So grognasse … We do less malignant, huh ?! “
Our Bigby hero in The Wolf Among Us is without a doubt one of the most charismatic characters of any video game I’ve ever known, whether it’s through his human appearance or that of the big bad wolf to reveal oneself. Capable of the best and the worst, the sheriff, sometimes helpful and sometimes embittered, will leave no one indifferent with his unparalleled repartee.
In a more discreet and shy style, our dear Maxine in Life is Strange manages to seduce us in just a few minutes for her innocence and sincerity. Quality that it will soon have to put aside in a world at odds with its values. Whatever our gender, we identify with no difficulty the character by hearing his thoughts littered with regrets, memories, doubts, worries, relief …
Any good backseat game that respects itself must have its lot of rich characters (in the sense “deep”, huh) – friendly or not – not just move from point A to point B without ever transmit no emotion.
Blood and tears
Like a movie or a series, what you want in a good backseat game is action, emotion and rebound, much more than a nasty game with a gameplay crazy !
In Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream takes the codes of the thriller police, or even psychological thriller, plunging us into the heart of a police investigation far from simple to solve. Ethan, whose death of his first son cost him his marriage, loses his second son in very mysterious circumstances. As in any good thriller, the great villain of the story (which we obviously do not know the identity until the end of the game) will do everything to put the wheels in the wheel and blame our dear Ethan. Victim of paranoid crises, he will ask himself if he does not go crazy. Quantic Dream is one of the precursors of the genre with a Fahrenheit that had already seduced more than one in 2005.
The teen movie Life is Strange oscillates between drama and fantasy, a little thriller around the edges, plunging us into a story to the “Butterfly Effect” (it’s good that’s one of my favorite sons!) full heart of a conspiracy coupled with a beginning of apocalypse (just that). Drugs, harassment, corruption, rape, euthanasia … Delicate themes that the game manages to treat by providing a lot of emotions: we go from laughter to tears throughout the season.
” Hello ! “
In a completely different style, Until Dawn takes the codes of the perfect slasher movie with its batch of stereotypical heroes pursued by a masked guy. So obviously, we want to look to find out what he wants and who will survive!
We totally change the scene with the polar genre of The Wolf Among Us ! The game immerses you in the world of the Fables comic book series in the heart of Fabletown with its lot of crimes and characters from our childhood (Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Flycatcher, The Little Mermaid …) Fallen ready to all vices to survive and recover their lost wealth. Every investigation you lead is worth a lot of revelations and turnarounds in the shoes of a columbo-big bad wolf.
But narrative video games have more strength than cinema: interactivity! You are the actor of the film, and even as a spectator, Backseat gamer, you can bring your little paw!
Difficult because far from being Manichean (no “good” or “bad” choice), or difficult because we hesitate between the passion – “I’ll all be broken! In Beyond Two Souls – or the reason – “I’m Sheriff, I’m cool, I’m not a big bad wolf!” In The Wolf Among Us . And that’s good! This is where the Machiavellian or angelic part of each will be revealed. So that we will sometimes find ourselves with a plot of rather contradictory decisions if we let ourselves from time to time try the diabolical or angelic part of our “co-driver game”.
Give death to a loved one for his good? This is the kind of delicate choice that our young Maxine heroines will face in Life is Strange or Clementine in The Walking Dead . They alone will have to survive in an apocalyptic world, or to become one, and will not be able to trust anyone.
The law of cliffhanger, no series can escape it! So obviously, a good backseat game can not do without it!
Revelations and unexpected events will force the player and the spectator to miss nothing of the story. And it’s all the more true for episodic games: hard to resist the thrilling end of an episode of The Wolf Among Us or Life is Strange!
Are you going to pee? Wait, I’m pausing!
It is simply the essential element that will allow you to keep your little backseat gamer at your side until the end of the adventure … and force you to wait before taking over the