So how do we fix the problems plaguing this industry? How do make games a more serious form of media, and how do we get people to take them more seriously? Well, if that's really what you want to do, there's a lot of work to do. Since everybody loves lists, let's count this bitch down.
1. Make real "mature" games.
I would think this one goes without saying, but then I'd probably be wrong. A lot of gamers actually think that these mature games are actually mature when in fact they are probably more immature than your average episode of SpongeBob Squarepants. Take for instance one of my favorite series, God of War
. The story here is nothing special. The "hero" Kratos is a maniacal murderer who kills his own family and then decides he shouldn't have to bare the burden of remembering them. Of course, he is somewhat forced down this path by the god Ares, so it's not totally
his fault, right? Wrong. It's totally his fault. His appetite for death and destruction was already sky high before he ever bothered making a deal with the God of War. He was an egotistical maniac who thought he couldn't lose a battle, at least until he did lose a battle. So right there this story has no real grounding. It's just a paper-thin excuse to kill lots of guys in increasingly violent (but admittedly bad-ass) and ridiculous ways.
This is obviously the highest of high drama
Defenders love to say the series has depth and that there is a real story here, but that's bullshit. The game is great because it's controls are almost perfect and because it's covered in blood and gore on a larger than life scale. If you can't admit this to yourself, you're likely about 14 years old or just really immature. Now, I'm not saying the game can't be filled with blood and mature at the same time. I'm saying that the story is ridiculous and a load of shit when you get right down to it. The forced sequels make this worse. Most games are like this. Either the story is thin or it's just totally unoriginal. Besides this, killing hordes of nameless enemies doesn't do much emotionally.
2. Make them more accessible
This is nearly impossible for most genres, at least if you want to get good reviews and have the hardcore fans buy your game. You can't have a game be too simple or we'll be on the cblogs bitching about how dumbed down your game is. At the same time, if you make things too chaotic and too complex, you'll scare the sacred "mainstream customer" away within minutes of them picking up the controller. It's a very fine line that developers walk in keeping the right balance. Unfortunately, you'll never get your dad to pick up a controller with 15 buttons on it, not when the last game they played was fucking Pong or Donkey Kong.
It doesn't get much simpler than Pong
The Wii tried solving this, but as we've seen, most of it's library is a bunch of bullshit pandering to the lowest common denominator. Movies are guilty of this too, but even the artsiest of films is still easy to watch. All you've got to do is keep your eyes open. This will likely be a problem for years to come, unless somebody can surprise me and make motion controls both intuitive and fun to use for more than 20 minutes.
3. Make them cheaper
This goes hand in hand with being more accessible, but I'm lazy and feeling kind of hazy so this gets it's own number on the list. Fuck you. Simply put, games are too expensive. You and I may not mind paying 60 dollars for the hot new game that just came out, but you can bet that asshole Joe the plumber minds it. He wants to try new games, but with a family and a mortgage and a car payment bogging him down, he can only afford 2 or 3 games a year. What games will Joe likely buy, you ask?
Like this, but prettier and in 3D
Whatever the biggest game at the time is, of course. So instead of taking chances on indie games and other obscure stuff, he'll just get himself a copy of Generic Shoot People in the Face Game Part 3. Hell, if it's the third game in a series, then that means it's successful, and that must
mean it's great, right? It may well be great, but original or innovative it is most likely not. This cheap game thing kind of ties into the next bullet on the list.
4. Make them shorter
I don't want shorter games personally, but until we can spend 10 dollars on a high-end HD photo realistic experience that only lasts 3 hours, lots of people will likely be scared away. You'd be amazed at how many "mainstream gamer types" I know that complain about games being too long. I tell them that they should want the longest and most content packed game possible for their 60 bucks, and they say they'd rather rent a shorter game because they just don't have time for these giant epic RPGs and shit like that.
The author is a bit fucked up and couldn't think of a good example. No picture for you
It seems insane, but it's not really. I mean, movies are generally around 1 hour and 40 minutes on average. That's reasonable and it's certainly not intimidating. Even I myself find that games like Final Fantasy 13
scare me away with their length. As a father and husband, I just don't have the time to invest 70 hours into that hulking monstrosity. Neither does that asshole Joe.
5. Stop selling 3 different consoles
This is the big one. The one everybody hates to hear, including yours truly. I love having 3 consoles to own. I like the competition and how it makes Sony, MS, and Nintendo work that much harder to get my money. But the average asshole usually only has room in his house (not to mention his wallet) for one console at a time.
I own all 3 and really like it this way, but this is getting out of hand
This can limit people's options a lot. Think of your gaming system like a DVD player. You wouldn't like needing a different model to play each of the big movie companies' flicks, right? Right. That would be ridiculous. Of course, I can't see this happening anytime soon, if ever, and I'm personally glad for it. But it would help.
So there. I made a list. I tried hard on this, spending all of 20 minutes writing it while alternating taking shots of vodka and drinking iced tea and smoking cigarettes. I hope you enjoyed your stay at Casa De EternalDeathSlayer, and if you didn't then go fuck yourself.
Just kidding about fucking yourself, honestly man. No, instead discuss! Tell me if I'm wrong and why, I promise I won't bite your head off and chew on your skull. Have a good one, Dtoid. read