At the ripe old age of 37 I have seen many consoles and games come and go. I started gaming at a very early age and remember my first console the Atari 2600 and my first game keystone cops fondly. I was one the guys at school that would sit playing Gameboy at break time in the days when being a gamer just was not cool. I was one of the teens that would wait eagerly for the next months gaming magazine to hit the stores so I could get the lastest gossip on Codemasters next title or get part two of a tutorial so I could get past a section which I was stuck on. I was one of the young adults who stood in line to spend £299.99 on a ps1 on launch day. So why now do I feel I am losing my love for a hobby I have dedicated so much time to and have so many fond memories of?
Over the years as I have started to mature, as a person and as a gamer, I have enjoyed my gaming experiences less than I used to and have found myself searching for my next fix just as a drug user would search for that high he first got when taking his drug.
For me it all started to go wrong with this generation of consoles. Maybe it’s because video games became a trendy and acceptable pastime or maybe it’s all down to the people who make my drug. Again just as a drug user wants that pure and uncut drug I want that high I remember so well all those years ago of playing an unique gaming experience.
Games have changed a lot over the years and I accept probably for the better in some cases. Everything now is instant; you no longer have to wait30 minutes for the cassette to load only for the game to crash and have to load it all again. Everything now is available on demand. But with this new super fast gaming experience video games have lost their way.
Year after year we see the same titles rehashed but not only are we seeing the same version of a game coming out year after year we are seeing other companies take a game, change the characters, add some new colour, change a couple of names and rebrand it as a new and ‘Unique’ gaming experience.
We are also seeing a growing trend in the development of our videogames that being videogame development 101. A set of unwritten rules (until now) of how to develop a new videogame.
Rules for developing a new videogame:
1. Look at last years biggest titles and copy.
2. Remember all gamers are stupid and their hand needs holding throughout the entire game.
3. Never make a single player game without adding a Multiplayer mode no matter how bad it turns out.
4. Never make a Multiplayer game without adding a single player mode no matter how bad it turns out.
5. Always include keywords that gamers love; the words Fuck, Dick and Shit should be used as often as possible.
6. Always and without fail include Session passes for DLC that you can cut out of the game and hold back; again remember gamers are stupid and will pay whatever you ask.
7. Micro Transactions. Include them; gamers love to buy pointless shit.
8. Always make a limited edition of your game, include as much bits of paper and stickers as possible, gamers love it.
9. Never Ever include a gaming manual, gamers can’t read. Remember Gamers hate reading back storys and having a copy of controls on hand.
10. Release version 2 next year.
So getting back to my original question; Am I too old to game? I don’t believe I am, I believe I am just starting to see video gaming in a different light. Over the past couple of years I have been spending more and more time with Indie games. I find that these games do not follow the Rules for developing a new videogame (Above). Indie game offer me that fix that I have been searching for and most offer a unique gaming experience that are not bound by rules from publishers. Indie developers also care about their games and the gamers who spent their hard earned money to buy their game. When was the last time you got a response from Hideo Kojima or David Vonderharr about your gripe or improvement suggestions? Never, right?
Yes video games have changed since the days of the Atari 2600 but have the gamers who play these games really changed that much? Ask yourself will you be happy to play the same old games on the next round of consoles?
I have put all my thoughts out there for the world to read, how do you feel about modern gaming? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know below.