A little thought experiment I've been kicking around.
In recent times, the GAMER classification of geek has become a bit of a joke unto itself, depending on who you ask. There was a bit I heard the other day (I can't remember for the life of me where), where a nerd was complaining about dudes who only play CoD and NFL calling themselves "gamers". Now, for my personal history with the label, I used to take pride in it, because I was teh hxc gamer, and by that, I mean I played almost everything, not just games rated M.
But when Modern Warfare hit the scene (to be honest, for me it kinda started with Counterstrike), I think everyone who shared my sentiments at the time knew change was in the air for the industry. Everyone and their grandma's dog who would say outright, "Oh yeah, I play video games" was only playing MW. Some guys only play CoD to relax after a stressful day. I gotta be honest, I don't understand it.
This isn't a dig at the CoD games, even though I find them boring as fuck all. I know they're good for what they are. I think I might've had fun playing them once or twice, with people I knew. But as a long-time player, I can't help but think it was detrimental to developers who had something else great in mind, before publishers wanted to jump on the make-it-a-twitch-shooter bandwagon.
And I often wonder what it'd be like now if MW2 didn't exist or wasn't as popular (again, this isn't a dig, just a thought experiment). Because I remember a time before then, when I still wasn't satisfied with the industry as a whole, but it didn't feel as stifled. Then I think, CoD players don't even really care, because they have their game that they play all the time, and everyone else plays it, and it's going to keep getting new installments and DLC probably til the end of time.
But if you don't like CoD that much, replace it with something you actually like. Not in the way of it suddenly becoming popular now
, I mean imagine if it were already as popular as Blops or Battlefield is at this point, after years of exposure and general acceptance in pop culture. What would you want it to be?
I know for some of you, that game would be Dark Souls, even though it's already gained quite a bit of popularity. And even though it's pretty unrealistic that it would ever get as big as CoD, I want you to imagine what it'd be like if it were. Everyone's fucking playing it. How big of a difference on the media would it make? Would it feel unnatural that it's so popular? Would you get all hipster and feel that it isn't for you anymore? Girlfriends complaining that their boyfriends play it too much. Those same girlfriends playing it because they're afraid of being single or end up actually liking it.
CCG versions, movie deal rumors, the works. I know there are a few genres this experiment doesn't really work for. Jrpg's are one example. But if it is the game you would've liked to see become popular, in lieu of military FPS's, go ahead and think about how much brighter a world it'd be if it were.