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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.

Tags: next gen, next generation, gaming industry, video games

7/2/2013 9:58:05 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

PSTan
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 @ 11:12:11 PM
Reply

There needs to be a balance between strong, emotional story driven experiences and awesome games that focus on gameplay. The more serious and grown up the medium becomes, I fear it will lose the whimsicality and simple fun of just playing a game.

But Nintendo's still around so I don't suppose it'll go anytime soon.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 @ 11:31:25 PM
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I think that as games like The Last of Us trickle in and pull down those high scores more devs will see the benefit of intelligent and gripping characters in certain types of games. You can't really achieve those ends without treating your audience like they are smart people. Final Fantasy even did that once with simple text-based interactions.

But I hope we never lose the crazy and over the top stuff like Killer Is Dead. These are fantasy worlds after all.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 @ 11:37:56 PM

What do you think of TLOU so far?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 12:00:31 AM

Despite the high quality it still just isn't clicking with me, I just completed a review for it and gave it a 9.5.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 1:17:06 AM

Okay, well. If you have time you should watch this video or at least skim through it. It goes in to some very good detail on why it's a great game. It's IGN, but I think you miss why it's a masterpiece and IGN will explain. You might have missed a lot more than you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vzX_sYp80Q

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 11:17:01 AM

I still plan to finish it and I don't want it spoiled.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 1:51:12 PM

Gotta say though I really like Ellie. Always wanted a daughter.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 3:15:38 PM

well, yea, I mean... finish the game then look at the video... duh

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KidPresentable
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 10:06:28 PM

So, basically, if he plays the game and forms his own opinion as a free thinking individual, he should watch a propaganda video to make sure he sees it the 'right way'? Good grief. I mean, I know that you people go absolutely off the deep end if you say anything about the game, even if it's 100 percent fact, but this? Pull yourself together. It's just a video game.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 12:14:36 AM
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As I get older, I want more mature experiences too. Single player, story driven and emotionally driven experiences like the Last of Us, Walking Dead, Heavy Rain and hopefully Beyond need more spotlight and attention.

TLOU is the first time I've cried in a game since Final Fantasy VII, and first game that left me stunned since Heavy Rain and Metal Gear Solid 4!

Don't want anymore games like Deadpool. Dick and poop jokes might have appealed to me 10 years ago (when I was really into Jackass) but now...

I wanna see Oscar worthy stuff like Silver Linings Playbook or The Godfather with games in the future.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 1:14:28 AM

You sir get a thumbs up for honesty.

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___________
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 6:13:17 AM
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maybe a tinsy winsy bit, but not much.
most of what will happen already has.
plus people are still too obsessed with the tounge in cheek humor and blowing sh*t up of games like bulletstorm!
made me think the other day, do we really want more mature experiences like the last of us and heavy rain?
i gotta say no, just simply because what makes these things so special is their uniqueness and rarity.
makes them that much more special.
have every game turn into heavy rain and all of a sudden your going to start hating it!
the balance now is fine, they need to be rare once a blue moon experiences to keep them special.

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 8:43:17 AM
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I don't think games should continue to "mature". We have had enough maturity in this FPS era. I love games with complex stories and solid characters and will continue to support them, but as someone else here mentioned, if ALL developers start taking the Naughty Dog or Quantic Dream approach, than you will start to lose the magic of simply playing a game for fun. Despite all the disappointments Nintendo has given me these two generations, I still love them because they make games that are meant to be played and have fun with, not games that you will admire for their artistic approach. I'm not saying you can't have fun with games like Heavy Rain, The Last of Us or Bioshock, but I don't think that every single developer out there should take that path. There must be a balance.

Last edited by Masszt3r on 7/3/2013 8:43:56 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 11:15:06 AM

You don't understand. The maturation of the industry as a whole doesn't mean simple, fun games would disappear. That's not the point.

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 1:12:24 PM

Then I think I have indeed misunderstood. But what is it exactly that you mean with "maturing" or "growing up"? I'm confused on that part. "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."
I agree with this. All I said and will continue to say is that I don't think every single developer out there should strive to invest so many resources into making their games so literate, mature, complex, or whatever you want to call it, which seems to be the case with many of them nowadays. Games like Journey, Shadow of the Colossus, ICO, LBP or Donkey Kong Country Returns prove that simplicity can be very attractive, but I think you already know that. For the record, I never said simple, fun games would disappear. I just think that there should be a balance, a balance as in having a wide variety of styles and not having everyone focus on specific ones.

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Crabba
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 5:17:26 PM

Mazt3r I'd say at least the first three of the games in that list are examples of more mature (in the right sense) games.

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 5:58:12 PM

Crabba. Mature in what respect? I'm probably confusing things here. I know those three are great games and are even cult classics (to me at least), but you can't really say they have a complex story or solid character/ character development, can you? The stories are unique, and this is probably their greatest aspects, but they are not something I would call well developed or majestic (of course this is just my opinion). For example, we don't really know much about Wander in SOTC; we only know he fights some colossi to revive or awaken the girl. We also don't have much information about Journey's protagonist. I would say they have simle stories. And that's OK, because the games awesome and the gameplay and settings are so inspiring and unique. If by mature you mean giving these kinds of experiences, then I think I finally understand that concept (maturity) in this context :p

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Crabba
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 9:41:55 PM

For me at least Mature in the respect of requiring a certain amount of thinking or patience, games that invoke emotions, have interesting characters & story. Things in games grown-ups are more likely to enjoy (thereby not saying there aren't kids mature enough to enjoy these things as well!).

As for not learning everything about certain characters in these games and whatnot, I'd say there are many great books & movies where you don't learn things you'd wish to know, but what you do learn is interesting and make you care about them regardless...

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CaptRon
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 11:44:29 AM
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I get sick of the emotional driven plots. I don't play video games to feel emotions or get in touch with my feelings. I'm playing it to be entertained, have fun. Not sit there and feel bad about my character or characters woes.

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telly
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 11:50:09 AM
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As game developers increasingly grow up and start families, so too are we seeing the industry mature. There will never be a shortage of fun/silly/immature games out there, but we're clearly seeing a trend toward also having more mature, "grown up" experiences as well. I welcome the diversity.

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PharaohJR
Thursday, July 04, 2013 @ 2:43:38 AM
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without a doubt i enjoy the progression of mature content in video games. at same time i still dont mind games such as Duke Nukem & Grand Theft. with vg variations growing i still check in with simple 2d mario or Clay Fighters & LBP.

u mentioned games now deliver a better aspect around women thats very welcomed but when u speak about progression of social & etc...... are u saying games for example that expose women in sexual or degrading ways shouldn't be welcomed in future games or even the idea of great terrors that impose civilization shouldn't be welcomed?...... i dunno before i post this in a way i might be misunderstanding your post. dont mind explaing & breaking down if my view is wrong.

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