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Xzyliac avatar 8:09 PM on 04.28.2010  (server time)
The Myth Of Innovation

Gamers are a passionate people. Like any fandom we follow our passion of choice with vigor and loyalty. We want the best for her. We are diverse, we are everchanging and as time goes on we are maturing (despite what some downers will say).

But in our passion have we forgotten the point of video games?

You see gamers, in their love and devotion, have fallen into a trap. This trap is what I have labeled the myth of innovation. The myth claims innovation will breed fun. This is the myth that corporia (corporate culture) sold to us so long ago.

"With this innovative technology we will deliver fun in a new way."

We're really innovating with this game and the result is a fun new experience."

"When publishers allow developers to create original content what you get is an innovative product which is more fun for the consumer."

Eventually we fell into the trap. We began to associate innovation with fun until we ranked innovation even higher. We began to seek out innovation under the assumption that fun would be the result.

Now we blast anything that doesn't satisfy our lust for buzzwords. If it isn't innovative, groundbreaking, original, or some other PR bullshit it's already lost appeal to those "real gamers" who, despite all the factors that amount to a fun game, are turned off by how unoriginal the title is.

My fellow gamers video games are not all SRS BIZNSS. Video games are about fun first and foremost. This paranoia that unoriginality will somehow lead to a dystopian future of Halo clones and Guitar Hero spin-offs is pure fantasy. Our industry is too large to not house new and exsciting ideas. My back catalog, and chances are yours as well, could keep us amused for weeks or even months.

One of the great flaws of the myth of innovation is that it is near impossible for there to be a time where unoriginality runs rampant. It is your duty, if you truly want something original, to go out and find it. Nevermind that it's not the industries job to spoon feed you whatever you're looking for, it's really not that difficult to find innovation or originality.

Even still let's not forget fun first and whether you disagree with the majority or not sales never reflect unhappy gamers. Nobody is telling their family and friends to buy bad games. I say this because a large part of the cult of personality this myth carries almost always involves striking down the market as some unholy bastion of all that is wrong with gaming. I won't defend the creativity or lack thereof but rather rebuttal with "Who the fuck cares as long as the people playing the games are happy?"

Remember fun? It existed before you even knew what innovation was and you bought whatever had kickass boxart.

The myth of innovation, a myth that I must confess seemed at its height to me in the hype leading up to the Wii, is a myth that detracts from what gaming sould be: fun. Fuck buzzwords like experience, epic, and emotion. Give me fun. It's simple (in theory). It doesn't neccesarily ask for grand adventures, tear jerking storylines, or even believable characters. All fun ask for is some dedication and love from it's creators.

Because anyone can pull originality out of their ass. Few can do the same for fun. I've been in the film community, and as everyone knows my first and truest love is music, but no entertainment industry promotes fun nearly as well as video games.

The myth of innovation is nothing but a distraction. Cast off the chackles, lift up your blindfold, and see that fun can be the most unoriginal and uninspired game you've ever played.

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