For better or worse video games have always played an important role in my life. From a sense of escapism from real world problems, to the creativity in their design, to the sheer amount of fun they are to play, not only by yourself, but also with friends and family, there’s just something special about them to me. Sadly though, in recent times, my feelings about the industry as a whole has given me a not so positive vibe about their future. Too many grey areas exist anymore where the issues are starting to outweigh everything else. While numerous reasons can be given as to why modern gaming is on the decline, here a few I can think of that stand out from the rest, at least in my opinion anyway.
Lack of Innovation
Right off the bat we’re starting with a topic that is going to make me look like that old fogey who only likes things from the past, but please just hear me out on this one. Whether we want to admit it or not, unless you grew up with any form of entertainment from its inception, that the evolution of ideas and creativity of it are going to decrease over time, and that is especially true when it comes to video games. The reason why this is occurring is because once something has been created, variations and small tweaks to what made it great are going to surface, which in turn will create competition and give players choices. Now while that is a great concept in theory, in practice it doesn’t always turn out the way that the creators initially intended because so many tweaks are made that changes turn out to be minimal as a result.
Corrupt Business Practices
Accepting the fact that this has been true in all generations of gaming is something I’m going to establish right out of the gate here. I think my major issue is that the approach taken nowadays from big corporations for making as much money as humanly possible is more sneaky and underhanded than it was when i started playing games. From the nickel and diming that occurs with loot boxes, to locking out content behind paywalls, to actually encouraging people to gamble while denying its existence altogether drives me crazy. Are these people your friends? Of course not, but if they want to stay in business, some serious changes are going to have to occur, or we might have another industry crash on our hands from greedy corporations that just don’t know when enough is enough.
Empty Promises lead to Unfinished Games
This a two for one type of situation, as the fault lies with both the developers, and players expectations from them. Hype can be a beautiful thing, but also can prove to be detrimental with the development of a game. The promises of having so many features, numerous amounts of enjoyable quests to complete, and a visually impressive, but also fully functional experience can put a lot of pressure on developers that they weren’t necessarily ready for. As a result, what we are usually left with is a broken experience that by the time enough patches are released to make it even remotely playable, nobody will even care about it anymore. That being said, people demanding perfection, especially in this day and age, have a ridiculous, often skewered viewpoint as to how much work goes into creating a game in the first place. So please try to keep expectations in check here, because almost nothing is going to be exactly what you want it to be, and that’s a harsh reality we all have to deal with sooner or later.
Elitist viewpoint on console preferences, instead of enjoying games available to you
Again we have another double edged sword situation on our hands here. Now despite whatever reasons you might have for being loyal to a single console, the limitations of barring yourself from enjoyable experiences, regardless of what platform they release on, can have a detrimental effect on your enjoyment of video games as a whole. Let me be clear, if you cannot afford more than one system, that is completely understandable, and please disregard what I’m saying, but for those of you who have the disposable income to spare and insist on one system being the best ever made, pay attention. If competition doesn’t exist, you wouldn’t have all of these wonderful games to play. So even though you may not like the other systems, you should at least respect what they have offer, because competition leads to innovation, and without innovation, all we are left with is redundancy.
Preservation, Preservation, Preservation
The digital age is something I have never been able to fully wrap my head around, but despite my personal feelings towards it, that time is coming whether I want it to or not. There are some inconsistencies with the concept however that have me thinking that maybe we aren’t ready for a full conversion just yet. The first of which is the concept of ownership, because buying something in this format doesn’t necessarily mean you own it, and what if the license gets dropped as well, then what you’re left with is essentially nothing. This goes hand in hand with preservation, but with a slight variation, the effect of how many people can play is larger in scope than it was before. On the flip side, having physical copies means you will always be able to play something, but not always having the space to store them, or damage that can occur to the media itself can be a problem too.
Seeing all of this negativity might make you think that I have nothing but ill will towards this industry, but in all honesty, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, I love it so much that I don’t want to see it go away anytime soon, and i worry that if none of these issues get addressed sooner rather than later that that very well might happen.