The Gaming Industry is Staler Than a Two Day Old Fart
Call me jaded, but a lot of the time, I just can’t help but feel like the video game industry is getting a little stale. Sure, games are getting bigger than ever and graphics continue to improve faster than I could have ever imagined – but honestly, it all feels too contrived. For every one game that dares to do something unique and think outside the box, there are three games right behind it to uphold the status quo.
This might not be a problem for a lot of people playing video games these days. After all, the games industry is booming thanks to the wild success of current-gen consoles. But seeing repetition become the norm leaves me with nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth and a longing for the days of old. I recall fondly the games of my youth where quirky and offbeat games weren’t the anomaly, they were the norm. Growing up in an era where game characters had, well, character has seriously shifted how I view the current industry standard of iron sights and explosions.
The era I write of was one where a gecko could run around in a tuxedo through parody-themed worlds and no one would bat an eyelash; or a kid could spend his days in a giant robot traversing the world while moonlighting as an amazing harmonica player. These ideas seem more insane than anything when held to today’s standards, but during their time they were praised for their innovative ideas.
In this era, new ideas were seemingly boundless. With each year that passed, countless games came out that dared to be different, and we – those who lived for nothing more than playing the next great game – devoured dozens of titles a year without ever sating our appetite, simply because there was so much to choose from.
While I could write fondly of gaming’s classics from my youth (Suikoden II I am looking at you) forever, living in the past will get me nowhere. As I stated before, games are getting bigger and prettier every day, and in a world where technology’s power is virtually limitless, I can look forward with some hope.
We, as the consumers, should hold our games to a higher standard. We should push for innovation. Those amazing, quirky, bizarre and downright entertaining games of the past should be our very inspiration. To have the ability to make such beautiful and detailed games and never ask developers to think outside of the norm is a crime.
Remember the first time you played your favorite game? Do you remember the feeling of being totally engrossed – where every aspect of the game swept you off your feet? Can you imagine what it would feel like to have that become the status quo; if every space marine or military shooter was replaced with something original? If there was ever an age where the technology at our disposal could provide for this, it is without a doubt now.
I may be nostalgic, but I am still hopeful.
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