The apparent laws of physics as we see them have been more or less rewritten few times over. I’m sure we’re going to see them being tweaked a whole lot in the future as science progresses, as every generation has seen their own view and knowledge as the best possible peak. Then again, a scientist should be open for new ideas and see if they can take the scrutiny under the laws as we understand them now.
That’s a bit unnecessary opening, because what I wanted to touch upon is how video game as a sub-culture has changed, and it is solely because of how young it is in comparison. Despite electronic games’ history being a longer than most realize, the semi-modern form can be argued to solidify in the 70’s. With the 80’s and early 90’s, the sub-culture marched onwards and became part of the larger culture.
I’ve said this before, but I do feel it deservers repetition; who are we to deny the next generation of gamers to experience their own memories?
For what I and other people who mainly spent their early days with a NES think of modern gaming has weight. We’re absolutely part of the consumer crowed that need to be noticed, but we shouldn’t be the only one. Outside few selected games out there, it feels that adult games have are being produced in larger quantities than games that would be for either everybody, or that is how it seems. Walking in the stores shows a bit different tale, with loads of games targeted at kids… unsold. While we have Beyblade games warming the shelves, the same just happens to certain adult targeting games, like Lollipop Chainsaw. Looking closer shows that overall there’s very little universal games on the shelves, games that all ages could enjoy. The few games that could fall into that category, like Ducktales Remake’s physical case with the download code inside, have no relevancy in modern era. What was the target audience for that game anyway?
Shelves, however, don’t tell all there is to the story. Whenever first and second graders talk to me about games, they talk about Minecraft. It’s still up there. For ten years old and up, the games take a bit sudden change for the more violent with Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim and similar games being in there as their main form of gaming entertainment. While I always question parents giving access to R-18 games at that age, it’s up to the parenting. It would be illegal to sell those products to these children, but that’s not my concern. It’s something the seller needs to take care of.
Gaming has been going through rather eventful obstacle course. It’s like Takeshi’s Castle with every obstacle thrown in and there’s no end to it. 1976 Death Race caused controversy with its violent content of driving over gremlins, the same controversy Grand Theft Auto raised in the 90’s. Mortal Kombat and all other games, you know the drill.
#gamergate has been on a good thing with its drive towards ethical policies in game journalism. For the industry to grow and allow the consumers to experience transparency and information flow I couldn’t as a wee lad. It doesn’t matter who develops these games, as long as their practices are proper and the end product is superb. Just the like sub-culture and the practices the movement has tried to change, #gamergate has changed itself and I’m not terribly sure if the direction is right. Nevertheless, it’s still alive and kicking.
I can’t argue that gaming has been an honest business. Nintendo Power, despite being part of a lot of kid’s nostalgia, was more or less simply an engine for advertising. There was the occasional game with low score, but then you had some relatively notorious games getting high scores.
The thirty and forty something people are now in the age where the nostalgia of their youth seems to be more or less unescapable. Pixels is a result of this. I am rather interested to see how bad the movie is, but I’m not going to the theatres. It’s an Adam Sandler movie, it’ll be on telly in few years. What the movie does, thematically, is that it shows old memories in a light that certain generation enjoys. The same could be argued for the Comic book movie boom we’re enjoying now. I hope it’ll go bust relatively soon, and it seems more and more companies intend to create shared universes rather than unique pieces. Whether or not we’re going to experience a Movie Universe Boom is up to question at this point, but seeing how all these franchises that are doing are ticking down the exact same boxes from the same checklist, in twenty years we’re going to see a new generation snickering at these and wonder what the hell they were thinking. I might be wrong, but we do see all these massive Hollywood movies going at the exact same pattern. Repeating the same cycle over and over again without making any changes to the product outside what’s on the skin will oversaturate the market. When that happens, it just might screw everything up for the industry. People aren’t going to pay for same shit over and over again.
Then again, they just might if it’s well presented.
Current game developers grew up with games. They’re repeating the same things they played as kids and young adults. We’ve seen that life experiences give birth to richer games, like with Zelda. The next generation of game developers come from an era where needless bullshit politics have been shoved into entertainment. People play games to get away from those. I hope for the best, but fear for the worst as these future game developers may repeat the same errors as the current ones. As much as I hate the word, there needs to be true innovation and further steps from the norm. And of course, by developers I mean the whole industry, from funders to the illustrators. Rules of nature, become strong and change to survive, or become an obsolete form of entertainment.