Playing Video Games Used To Be Simple
I'm not one of those gamers who erroneously believe everything was better in the "golden age" of the industry. I'm really not. I'm a big fan of many of the advancements we've seen in the past three decades, despite my continued aversion to multiplayer gaming and motion-based entertainment.
But you know, in direct comparison, the once relatively simple and straightforward hobby of playing video games has gotten a lot more complicated. Before, you'd put in a cartridge, hit the power button, and play. Your only real option involved the possibility of a second player. These days...man, the list of options for our entertainment is just crazy.
It's not just about pressing a button anymore.
There are several different kinds of motion-sensing possibilities on multiple platforms. There are headsets for talking and headphones for surround sound. There's the massive world of multiplayer gaming, either online or offline. There are editing features that let us feel like designers. There are dozens upon dozens of accessories. Our consoles are basically computers with a zillion different features. There are different resolutions. There's 3D. We can download and play entire games without moving from our chairs. Our games can be expanded upon after we've bought them.
And I really haven't mentioned everything. I didn't even come close. I don't mean to imply we've lost "purity" or anything like that; I just mean to say things are far more complex, and in some ways, that might act as a barrier for new initiates. Before, in order to get someone to play a game, we'd just hand them a controller and say, "try it." These days, it ain't that easy anymore. On the other hand, that newcomer has more options to make him or her feel more comfortable. What's your take on the matter?
7/1/2011 Ben Dutka