IGN: Ten Trends That Are Saving Videogames
I think they were stretching pretty hard for some of those when, in the end, the thing that will save gaming (does it need saving?) will be continued innovation and realization of the quality implementation of inventive design and the careful evolvement of of worthy narrative structures.
To that end, I found item #10 to be one of the most worthwhile. Indie gaming (like indie anything) represents the soul of creative design. It was good to see Braid and Darwinia and flOw and World of Goo and AudioSurf all mentioned, as they each take established ideas and twist them in fresh ways. And in ways that are probably to subtle to have been pursued by publishers. After playing Darwinia, Introversion’s made me a fan for life. I’ll always be excited to see what they’ve got coming down the pipe.
I was less enthused by some of IGN’s hardware-centric list. If their #10 item tells us anything, its that hardware means little and that creativity and invention is the basket in which our eggs are safest. 3D is the future of gaming? Really? In the same list that says 2D will save gaming? Nintendo DS, WiiMotion, and 3D glasses might not hurt gaming, but they are not the saviours of the pasttime. They are either tools or obstacles or both, but the future of gaming will always rest wholly on the games.
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I actually agree with you on this one. Not to mention you could really conflate that list down to about 3 key things.
I mean, downloadable content is the reason indie games are taking off, and the Nintendo DS is really the posterboy for casual gaming.
And I’m not even sure how important casual gaming is to a grand future of video games. The way I see it is that they are only important if they are considered gateway games. In reality, I just don’t see this happening. I see people playing mildly amusing games like Desktop Tower Defense or Pet Society and that’s the end of it for them. Let’s make a comparison to boardgaming.
The kind of games where the glorious future of gaming lies are entrants like Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Agricola, et cetera. Those are the kind of games that people who like games hope the rest of the world will embrace. There’s meat on their bones.
Games like Monopoly and Sorry are more like casual games. Very low cost of entry. Pretty much just the time it takes to play. And everyone’s played them. These games fly off shelves every Christmas and pretty much every family has a set.
The problem, though, is that these casual games (Monopoly, etc.) don’t prompt people to the next level. Rather than encourage people to seek out depth in gaming, these casual games end up turning people off from the good stuff. I mean, how many people do you know who Don’t Like Boardgames simply because boardgames, in their mind, equals Monopoly?
I think casual games are fine for what they are, but I don’t think they’re helping the cause. At least they aren’t, for the most part, a turn-off like Monopoly or even Risk.
Well to be fair, the article does make the point that casual games are a double edged sword. And I should point out that Mario Party was the first step for me back into Real Games(tm).
My bigger fear is that the gaming industry will replicate the movie and literature industry, where most people settle for “popcorn movies” and romance/light fantasy novels and view anything more substantial as pretentious and a complete scam on the viewing public.
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