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Political Correctness
Posted on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:59:06 Eastern

Well, it was bound to happen.

With the recent blog in the manifesto about the creation of the PAC, video games is no longer a "fad" or an underground phenomenon. Were now a respected member of the media community, working with lobbyists and handing out wads of cash to politicians who pledge to be pro-gaming. This, coupled with the Video Game Voters Network, are setup to give gamers the power they rightfully deserve in the political arena.

But in all honesty, will there actually be a change?

Video Games has been a respected media since 2000, when games finally broke into the mainstream it seems. Sure, Nintendo revolutionized how we play games, but everyone wanted a Playstation 2. For seven years, the industry has grown ten-fold, in terms of users, as anyone who scouts X-box live, or the Nintendo Wi-Fi can attest, there is a lot of them. But it has also grown up in a corporate sense; the big players are now turning their profits from the spun gold on laserdisks. EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft, Disney, Nintendo, Capcom, Rockstar, this is just a sampling of the companies that still work independently and grew up with the boom in the industry.

But now what are we seeing too? A lot of smaller companies, unless by some miracle like in the case of Bioware, are left in the dust as subsidiaries to the major players. Fledging developers lose money and power from the big game, the prey is being eaten by the predators in the corporate jungle, and sometimes great ideas are being left behind.

B.C, Mother 3, Starcraft Ghost, Shadowgate, Dead Phoenix, Thrill Kill. All of these games bit the dust, for varying reasons, over the past ten years. Would these be great games, who knows? There is so much risk in making a new game franchise, it's very rare when a game breaks through into the mainstream. The last one to do it so far is Halo, and the impact it has had is alsmost as big as the industry itself; the first true blockbuster under the new regime.

So what is my point? We as an industry have grown up already, and the entrence into the political race is likely poised to not help us in any way, but hinder us in the long run. Sure, we can give money to candidates who are pro-gaming, but it won't stop other candidates condeming the realistic violence that the games have. It won't stop *******s like Jack Thompson who believe that video games are the devil incarnate. I doubt it will do any good to get rid of the real problems in gaming; the stupid redundancy and the staggering drop of creativity we see now a days. Sure, Galaxy, Zack and Wiki, Bioshock, Rock Band,Gears of War, etc. have done new things, but games like Halo, Guitar Hero, CoD 4, Tony Hawk, are the major movers and shakers in the industry. There is nothing wrong with that, because they are good games, but it's kind of like the movie industry, make the sequels because you know they are safe, and don't experiment with anything new that could revolutionize how we think or how we play video games.

This, is a grown up industry. We will become nothing but a string of smash hits and lackluster sequels that will regulate us more than the politicians can, because we become stuck with that, or nothing. So if gamers really wanted to become political, it should go back to a simpler time, a time when game developers and artists worked side by side to create an artform. When the atmosphere is a trademark as much as your protagonist, when you had great gameplay mechanics that are obviously or subtley innovative. Games like Bioshock do this, but they are now few and far between.

So, in essence, it may be a good step forward in the creation of the PAC, but in the end, is it really in the right direction. In the end, were just cementing our hold as a corporate industry. That gives us respect from those who know nothing, but those who are on the bottom, the hardcore gamers themselves, are fighting a battle in a nonsense war it seems. Respect is nothing without honor, and while we may have one of these traits, we need to work to gain the second one.
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