Sexism, online racism, violence, vulgarity, lewdness, cliches, bad gameplay: none of these can outdo the worst thing that has infested video games today.
And the problem is no one of these areas entirely encompasses the main problem that is rampant within today’s 3D interactive software. Nor is the problem due to the negative media attention or political action that has taken arms against a favored pastime of many people across the world.
There is certainly a problem for gamers when Jack Thompson, Hilary Clinton, Tyra Banks, and the restrictive government of Germany constantly denounce the mind-jogging hobby as a mere pile of junk, or a detestable diversion worthy or nothing more than a young child’s attention.
Thankfully, as most gamers in their twenties have aged with the technology, so too have lobbyists and lawyers who legitimately care about what happens to the gaming industry and whether or not developers and publishers are legally safe.
With this in mind, there is great doubt that gamers should fear a total censorship or banning of the more mature video games, but they should be fearful nonetheless.
Video Games are acceptable for everyone
As in the early times of rock music and other generation-splitting cultures, there will soon be a greater acceptance of video games.
But, this has pretty much already happened. In reality, games have fairly recently become a very big factor in marketing companies, Hollywood blockbusters, and pop culture.
Clearly, the time of major acceptance of video games has come and gone, so there is no need to feel ashamed or sheepish when admitting to playing games (most people don’t anymore).
Some may argue that games are still not realistic enough, and are patiently waiting for the next generation to bring about the highest threshold of graphics.
With the advent of stunning visuals from the generation that will arise in about five years, games will soon become better than life, which seems like a terrible, horrific idea while at the same time sounding fantastic.
Certainly video games won’t reach the point were the high-res textured, multi-vertexed models and environments will be so realistic that they are absurdly creepy … but who knows?
As always, the next generation of consoles (whenever they decide to hit) will bring great promises and more stacks of power, but this should be the least of gamers worries.
Obviously, the main point is in the center of video games and is the most underlying factor of the worst thing in video games: gamers.
Gamers can hurt gaming
With all the money being thrown about by developers, publishers, television/movie studios, and retail stores, one may wonder why.
Clearly the games aren’t being made for the developers health, since they work for hours at the cost of friends and family. Likewise, the other hands involved in video games are obviously a part of game production solely for the money.
And the question that needs to be asked is simple: how can the publishers maximize their profits?
Easy: by releasing a game that caters to a large audience, as well as attracting a lot of attention either for its cutting edge graphics, great story, license deals, or grounded franchise appeal.
This is by no means a novel idea or assertion, nor does this statement suggest that everybody is oblivious to marketing techniques.
Nevertheless, the main group that is getting utterly reamed is the niche gamer, which is ironically being done by larger groups of video game players that even include the very niche gamers that are getting shafted.
Again, this is by no means a brand new concept, as niche gamers have gotten increasingly screwed as the popularity of video games has grown. There are less and less game types that are being invented, as developers have typically stuck to tried-and-true genres. And there are more and more Farmville-like clones.
The publisher’s overwhelming desire of getting gamers’ money seems to be slowly grinding down the creativity within game development. You don’t have to look far to notice that Activision loves exploiting it’s franchises (count all the Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Spyro The Dragon, and Crash Bandicoot games out there!).
Some may argue that game genres are all pretty much fleshed out, that there are no more to be created. True, this may seem like a strong argument, but there are holes. As if proof was needed, why not think about what one would define Katamari Damacy as? Sure it is loosely set within certain genres, but the very essence of the game is hard to define. Think about line rider, is this a puzzle game? Not really.
It’s not too late
Sure, there are gaming gems coming out all the time that push video games into new directions, but the fact of the matter is that without a major change in the way gamers consume games, the small collection of great, original, and unique games will continue to dwindle.
And if there was ever a moment to compare the gaming industry to the movie industry: it will be much harder to convince others that video games are an art form when there are no creative games left.
Go ahead and purchase all the triple-A titles and get that great new FPS or RPG – but don’t forget that there are some cool games out there that don’t have big companies backing them.
All you have to do is make yourself aware of small companies, indie games, random odd video games, and unique IPs.
Some places you can start:
- Minecraft (a game about placing blocks and avoiding monsters)
- Rizk (a climate control game)
- Genesis (a game about helping a micro colony of people)
- Collapse It (a game about killing people kinda like Angry Birds)
- List of some free to play games
- Even more free-to-play games
- Plus you can find great unique games on Steam that are also low priced!
- And keep an eye on the humble indie bundle
It’s not like we are telling you to go indie game only, just to expand your gaming horizons!