Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PAX: Jason

There was a panel about “What’s wrong with the Gaming industry” that was really a great discussion about a matter I’ve been ranting about for a while now. I call them Spike TV gamers, the names very but we’re all talking about the same group. They’re the generation that grew up with PS2 being their first system, the ones who started with good graphics and multi-million dollar production games. I’m in a weird position because I started gaming at the age of 4. I can still hearken back to picking up James’s Sega master system controller and playing Altered Beast and Sonic 1. Good times. Anyway the rest of my generation started at around 11, or as late as 16 so I’m not in the age group of my generation. I look like a member of the next generation of gamers, but the modern generation… well, there’s a story one of the panelists told that could best explain it.

As the story goes he was at the X-box live arcade booth. For those of you not in the know X-box live arcade is a series of cheap old school games ported onto the X-box and sold dynamically over Live. This guy was playing Time Pilot, something he had played in his youth. He had gotten really far, up to the distant future alien invasion level, 2008, when one of the sales people came up and began trying to talk to him. The panelist tried to multi-task playing the last level of the game and talking, but before long he got shot, lost his last man, and turned angrily to face the young man who had interrupted him. What he was trying to say was that you could hit start and turn on the “Advanced Graphics Mode”

They had changed the game. They had jumped up the graphics with no respect to game play. The person who interrupted to mention it was named Jason. People like this Jason are what’s wrong with video games nowadays.

This descent isn’t new either. It’s been going for a few years now. I can remember the exact moment I began to see the fall of my subculture. It was the day I heard about the “Spike TV video game awards.” Spike TV isn’t nerdcore; they aren’t aimed at my people. That’s a channel for people who beat up my people in high school. They were declaring themselves an authoritative voice on something they had no business talking about. But the masses don’t want game play anymore. They want the same first person shooter schlock tuned up with fancy new graphics and the same old game play.

I could keep going, but it’s just angry ranting. I can rant out onto forever but at the end I won’t have accomplished anything, and I’ll just be tired and frustrated. At least as I am now I’m just frustrated. Part of me wants to enter the industry to solve these problems. I have so many grand vague epic visions that I think I could bring to life, but I’m not sure it’s what people want. The people don’t want innovative, they don’t want new. They want what they’re used to, just a little bit flashier.

Behold the Fall of Man.


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