Being a 23 gamer, I was thinking how much gaming has changed since I first picked up the gray (now orange) lightscope pistol and blasted ducks out of a sky... 'p'yo gangsta' style. I remember how getting a new game used to be fun in it's own right, and having friends over to play even single player games was a blast. DuckTales, for instance, was fun just watching. I mean, looking at all the 8-bit goodness, the awesome controls, and familar characters, it was just as awesome to watch as it was to play.
Growing up during the time of the epic Genesis/SNES days (and the other consoles that never mattered), it wasn't like it was today. I'm sure anyone remembers the commercials with SEGA and it's "Nintendon't" ad campaign. Or the "Only on Nintendo" stamp for most every really classic game. Still, it was in good fun if anything. I owned the SNES and then traded it for a Genesis with SEGA CD, but it wasn't because I thought the SNES sucked. I loved it. I had Legend of Mystical Ninja, and to me, that was one of the best SNES games ever made. I traded it because I had played a SEGA before and I wanted to try out the SEGA CD, and because my dad bought me several games to go with the CD. Ultimately, the SEGA CD sucked and I only really enjoyed this stupid Sherlock Holmes game and some robot fighting game, but I didn't hate SEGA either. I just didn't think like that. Games are games, and back then, my gaming console was for gaming and for having my friends come over and try out their gaming skills. We traded games among ourselves. We borrowed games. We just had a lot of fun with gaming back then and created a lot of memories, because when Russia decides to EMP bomb people for sticking their nose into their business, that's all that is going to matter.
Today, gaming has changed and sometimes I think it's changed for the worst. One of the things that I really just hate about gaming today are the people associated with it. We're talking about the little smartellic kids on Xbox Live/PSN that cuss you out, call you "n***ers" or "rednecks", talk about how their 12 year old wangs are bigger than yours, or they start singing in their mic some retard pop song they heard on the radio. Better yet, with the introduction to the cameras, sometimes you can't even play UNO without someone playing with his Jimmy Carter or my absolute favorite (and why I quit playing UNO with any camera support), two dudes rehearsing Brokeback Mountain. Then there's the forums guys and the bloggers, and this only goes for a few of them. These are the guys that all they do is jump on the internet to type up their hatred for the opposing gaming system and how much such and such game is so fun. The people blogging and re-reading the EULA of the forums, I often wonder if they're even gamers. I mean, if you blog and check the interwebs all day for gaming news, how are you gaming? I read the Drudgereport all day but that doesn't make me a journalist. However, this doesn't mean I hate the gaming community, just a large chunk of it. The newcomers that just picked up on the hobby to "be like the rest".
Side note before the flamewars begin, I blog and read gaming news to wake up most of the time. I usually never touch gaming websites to read up on things unless I'm waking up or if I'm waiting for something to patch via PC gaming or if I'm listening to music and just relaxing.
The thing I hate about gaming today is the bickering. Instead of playing games on whatever system you have or whatever system you love, we have to load gasoline into our mouths and fingertips and 'light it up' on the forums and to our friends about how X console sucks. Who freakin' cares? I have gripes about each system and a ton of love for each. That's just how electronics work. I love my Mustang GT and all it's gas sucking power, but I hate several features on it. I never even try to debate with the morons that think Mustang's suck. Why do they suck? Because they're popular? Since when did having something popular suck? I didn't buy a Mustang because it was popular. I bought it because I liked how it sounded and because I already had a Cobalt and didn't need another one (I'm married, so I need two cars). But man, it's really to the point where it's getting hard to want to stay a console gamer. I say that but even the PC crowd has joined in. I love PC Gamer, but I'm tired of hearing about how PC gaming isn't dead or how the PC rules over the console. These are retarded arguments. I own all of the systems and a good gaming PC, however, I never seriously think, "Man, I wasted my money on that. I never play it.". The Wii, for example, is my least played console, but it's because I moved for college and I don't have a lot of friends that can just come over and play with me. Back home, I played my Wii all the time, mainly just for the bowling game. Bowling and pool are my favorite activities that involve real social life, but with my Wii, I don't have to spend money doing at least the bowling aspect. Do I hate the Wii now that I hardly play it? No, and it's because it's freakin' Nintendo. I love Nintendo. I think they're doing things a little dumb right now, but my brother, my wife, some of my friends, and I are really excited about Animal Crossing's new game and that Wii Music game. I don't think Wii Music will be game of the year, but I think it will be fun to just beat on a virtual drum and play some air guitar. The PS3 has a big sucky list of features, and with some of the features that are my favorite, such as Trophies, I don't think they even bother getting developers to embrace it as much as they should. The 360 I have problems with, but really, it's just the reasoning behind me spending a dime for Xbox Live and it's pointless features. That and hardware failures. Do I never play it? Absolutely not! Even if I bought all my games for the PS3 as my mainstream gaming console, I'm desperately awaiting Fable II and Gears of War 2. I just don't understand why people on the internet find it necessary to argue over something so futile. Let's embrace copied features. Let's embrace free online play. Let's just have fun playing games. We're not commercials for these fatcat corporations, so why argue over it?
Enough preaching. My last complaint about gaming today are the games. I hate hearing a developer say, "We won't make game X series because it doesn't sale that well.". Bullcrap. It's just not raking in Halo, Gods of War, World of Warcraft, and Mario funds for you. Certain genres quit selling as well, and that just sucks. If anyone used to play adventure games on their PC, they'd really remember more great moments from those than almost any epic shooter battle. I've played just about every adventure game, and almost all of them I loved. Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series are classic beyond belief. The Legend of Kyrandia stories are terrific tales (actually, they should be best-selling books, but I'm still working on that). But what happened to the tales of kings on quest, searching for booty, and trying to get some? Money. They didn't sell a million copies so they decided the genre wasn't worth trying anymore. Grim Fandango, for anyone who's ever played it, knows how great that game was. However, it didn't sell that well, so instead of marketing the game a little better or re-releasing a better demo, they decided that LucasArts should focus on broken Star Wars games instead, because, as dumb gamers everywhere can testify, that's where the money is at! Luckily, Sam and Max is bringing adventure gaming back. I just hope it last. My other huge complaint is the crap games we get and the price tag along with it. For a PC gamer, it's hard for me not to want to hunt down idiots who think Diablo 3 should be an MMO. I really, really hate the idea of the PC being turned into the MMO gaming market. It's so freakin' retarded. I don't like the idea of having to pay to play my games. I like World of Warcraft, but that's been the only MMO that dragged me in. I recently bought Universe at War for the PC and I remember thinking after trying the first level "this game sucks and belongs only on a console" and "why was this a $50 PC game and a $60 360 game?". I know for a fact that this game didn't require any special programming team or anything to work on it, so why is the price the way it is? I try out a sucky game like that, yet I find a game called Sins of a Solar Empire for $30 and it's 20x more in-debth than most of the full priced games out there. Heck, Orange Box was $50 well spent. That I could see spending hard earned money on full price, even today. But when I see these short, chopped up games today that I have to buy microtransactions to play the final product for $60 a pop, it really just ticks me off.
Last, I wanted to talk about a favorite topic of the industry: piracy. Does piracy hurt the market? Yes and no. Yes, overall, it does, but no, not really. When gaming was first getting really popular, pirates flooded the market. Big time. Worst than today. In Dallas, TX, they have a thing called First Saturday. Back in the day of floppy disk, you could go to Dallas on the first Saturday to a downtown closed off electronic flea market and purchase just about anything, including pirated video games. As a poor kid, that's how I bought copies of DOOM, Wolfenstein, and other classics. Why? $10 for Doom or $1 for the same thing? I bring this up because think of the market back in these days. A video game was not that important back then and not near as mainstream. So a small crew in Dallas known as id Software were making these games, trying to make it, while right outside their office, they have a flea market of people selling their stuff for 90% off. Did it crash the starting industry? No, not at all. id Software is one of the biggest developers out there, and will be for a long time. After beating Wolfenstein, because I loved the game so much, I bought the game. Along with DOOM. They were completely worthy of being purchased at full price. Today, the word "piracy" is a term used when a game sucks really bad or when a game doesn't sell. Capcom recently said piracy was to blame for a lack of sales with Devil May Cry 4 on the PC. No, the marketing team isn't doing a good job on a demographic of people. I'm not going to play a platform or DMC game on the PC, no matter what they add to it. Most PC gamers own a console too, so a game like that is better to play sitting back and relaxing on a couch with a controller. Microsoft claimed piracy was to blame for the lack of Windows Vista sales. It wasn't their clunky programming. Next time you think piracy is killing the market, remember id Software and the early developers who made a lot less money and the pirates who never faced criminal charges for early piracy. They made it, so why can't they make it today?
What's some of the things that aggro your gaming spine today? What's some great memories of early childhood gaming goodness? I really want to hear!
-dryvby, having a brainstorm about a new topic for people bored to tears: old man stories, my gaming days. coming soon...maybe.