Editor's Corner: Life Hates Itself Enough to Simulate All of Its Own Death
Posted on Tuesday, August 5 @ 18:00:00 PST by Daniel Bischoff
When everything settled after E3, we knew a few things about the future of video games and how they would evolve from what we know and love to something weird and a little confusing. If you've played any recent video games, you probably found an hour long tutorial, a cluttered user interface, and something called achievements because sitting around needs to feel even more rewarding.
I'd like to think every game could be as straightforward and short as Entwined and while I know a lot of you would question my opinion based on your own experience or first impressions, it was easily one of the most touching games I've played all year and I wouldn't trade it for Journey, though that was equally moving.
Each of these games offered their best qualities immediately, without waiting and each did so elegantly with a lot of encouragement without pausing the action to throw a button prompt on-screen.
Lately a lot of games want second screen capabilities that let them surround you, but how often can you really wait around for multiple input options to load up. I don't really want to load up an app on my phone to play a game on console and while there are options for touch-input devices on PC, I think many of those consumers would rather wait for someone to offer mind control.
Right now, there are three or four different fronts you have to worry about in video gaming both on the consumer and business side of the industry. Specifically, players need to know where to find your game, then they need to have the right equipment. Making a major blockbuster game isn't all that hard anymore given how easily publishers have made the most direct marketing avenue a freeway. Many of our favorite games could have been sold to us years ago with 8bit graphics and we'd still compliment the shooting action.
After that, both gamers and the people who make our favorite experiences have to worry about living fulfilling lives while they enjoy the medium. It can feel like most of our worlds fall apart after a bad day at work or in the stress that comes with being a human. Games offer the escape you would normally seek in something more expensive. I've always felt like the medium offers hours of entertainment on the dollar and getting families involved in that kind of stuff helps open up dialogue.
Gamers want more from their experiences, not the hardware or the business machismo. You're not playing hundreds of hours of World of Warcraft just because you have this idea in your mind that the PC running it is more important than what you're doing. The same can be said for games like Halo 2 where entire afternoons get wasted with friends because you can and it's fun and you're socializing and talking the entire time.
Even virtual reality, which I've only tried a few times, has left me hoping for more from a controller-input experience despite the natural desire some people have for wanting to be inside of games as much as possible and to live the lives they really want to live.
In all honesty, I wouldn't want to keep virtual reality at the forefront of our ideas when it comes to applying games to real-world scenarios because having a massive HD TV in your house makes it something to enjoy with others inside your home, to share with friend and family.
We make rituals out of all these things but they shouldn't own us. I'd still like to stand by portable gaming but I do enjoy longer, narrative-driven experiences that give a lot more to the player and anyone who might be watching or hoping to trade as you move through the story. Gaming can't stop, but many would ask why you'd want it to.
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