Well versed

I was trying to explain to a game playing coworker of mine today that Dragon Age: Origins really didn’t seem all that different from Torchlight.  As little I played of DA:O, I’d entered a dungeon and fought some giant spiders.  Basically ditto for Torchlight.  Both have similar inventory management and icons placed around the screen to quickly access spells and tools.  I suppose they both owe something to World of Warcraft, or Diablo, or etc etc.

Dragon Age
Torchlight

He felt they were nothing alike, many games use this relatively common interface.  The only thing I could think of was listening to a techno fan from the 90’s try to explain the various permutations of Drum’n’Bass to me, someone who’d only heard “the good stuff” in passing, or even a Phish fan explaining why this part in this individual performance stood out from the hundreds of concert recordings he’d listened to.  There is a whole language you learn as you become familiar with media, and on the outside it can all seem incredibly similar.  My take has usually been that the minutiae of any musical culture were likely not as important as what “floated to the top,” but in retrospect I’ve probably missed out just in not being able to examine the entire breadth of such things.  Not the case with Phish, I guarantee.

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