Will Video Games Continue To "Grow Up" In The New Generation?
We're not there yet but there are distinct signs of maturation.
For the time being, let's forget the obvious fact that video games are suffering from the same plague of senseless violence that has infected most every form of entertainment on earth. That is a worldwide virus of sorts that isn't exclusive to gaming (hear that, politicians?).
But let's compare gaming now - and what gaming should be in the next generation - to what it has been in the past. We're seeing more female inclusion in our interactive adventures, for instance, and that doesn't imply sexual inclusion. Back in the day, basically all women only existed in games as damsels in distress, and it took at least a decade before they started to land starring roles. And even when they did, they were still highly sexualized. But look at the new Lara Croft, for example; a much more human depiction of that character, and an interesting one at that. I doubt many women would be too offended by that heroine portrayal. It was unrealistic, of course, but still an improvement.
We're also starting to see more accomplished storylines, superior acting talent, better character development, and emotionally driven plots. Developers like Quantic Dream continue to push the storytelling envelope and we're excited to see what they do in the next generation. Progress isn't just about giving us settings and premises that are gritty or dark or "adult." It's not simply about catering to a demographic with a higher average age. It's about expanding intellectually and socially as well as technically. It's about proving to the naysayers and skeptics that indeed, interactive entertainment is a very special medium. And hopefully, ambitious game makers will continue to prove it.
7/2/2013 9:58:05 PM Ben Dutka