I keep almost posting something here. See the trick is to be outraged about something enough that I can be a giant jerk except with some sort of relevant logical point. See my big gripe right now is for people to stop being jerks to people about what games they like. And to stop declaring what they believe to be antiquated design. Most of this rage stems from liking the underdog games. I don’t need good graphics and animation to be immersed in a game and I know the rest of the world isn’t necessarily like me. But I also know I’m part of a large minority which doing the Picking Up the Pixels podcast with Boston has taught me.
So really to start we probably should define evolution in terms of gaming. See evolution is somewhat predictable where human and animals are concerned. But in gaming terms its…. Well let me put it this way. Either we redefine the word evolution to mean what everyone seems to think it means or we start using the word “innovate” in place. A better physics engine, better AI modeling, better animations are all predictable things that we could consider predictable evolution. Doing something unpredictable, which is what everyone supposedly wants, is more like the X-Men are to evolution.
Everyone loves ragging on Japanese developed RPG’s for ignoring years of evolution. Its a small market folks, so yes, Japanese RPG’s can’t always afford cut scenes and high end physic engines. And if they could they would probably make something that the majority of the world wouldn’t like because they are a minority that designs games for a minority. Japan is a very small island. The real question that should be asked is: Are Japanese games innovative? And the answer is a resounding yes! Final Fantasy, love it or hate it, innovates every single iteration of the main series. Shin Megami Tensei games, Persona included, are highly innovative. The problem the world has with them is they aren’t convenient. And really convenient in terms of a videogame is going to be relative to the person and what they want out of a game.
And multiplayer! Come on folks, there are tons of us out there who are about the single player experience quite a bit more than the multiplayer one. If all games go permanently multiplayer, forgoing any single player experience, the videogame market is going to lose a substantial chunk of business. You may only need 51% to win a vote but when it comes to profits even 20% of a market is substantial. I realize there are tons of people who buy things like Call of Duty and never touch the single player. Well guess what? I own a ton of games with multiplayer that I will probably never experience because I simply don’t care. In reflection though I could save a ton of money by not buying videogames if everything goes free to play and multiplayer.
And free to play…. I really have no opinion on this yet except that I do. Its evil in a way. Its like a bank that’s just waiting for you to use that ATM card enough times so they can start charging you.
The thing to keep in mind is there is a lot of people in the world and everyone wants to make money. And as long as there aren’t people playing video games there are potential markets. And each time one of these markets is tapped there’s going to be a huge surge of people coming out and declaring whatever it is the future of videogames. Nintendo Wii, Facebook… do I really need any more examples other than those two?
But hey guess what? The thing we love is finding a way to be loved by everyone. People aren’t using drugs or collecting STD’s like pokemon cards. People are exercising their problem solving and motor skills to complete a task in a graphics interface that gives them pleasure. This is what we want, right? People to stop comparing us to the Simpson’s comic book guy? People to stop acting as if all gamers and comic books nerds live with their mom and are afraid of the opposite sex? I know its what I want. Its not that the stereotype offends me, its just it makes me realize just how closed people’s eyes are.
And really, people like being condescending. Look at popular humor/sarcasm that everyone and their dog uses. Everyone wants to feel smart and that they made good decisions and most people accomplish this by belittling other people, or what other people love (same thing). There’s a lot of people in the world and our values don’t match up and simply won’t until the Microsoft Siri overmind programs us to.
All I’m saying is quit being a jerk about what other people like or I’ll punch you in the nuts.