Recently there has been a lot of stuff happening in the gaming industry. In-fact, this year’s been great for games in general, with the real kick of indie developers with the extent of them being considered in the newest generation of consoles marketing, the grand money maker Grand Theft Auto five and the recent fiascos with the ‘Gamergate’ and recent disappointments in gaming such as Watchdogs and Destiny. So, are games declining in their standards and just generally the culture and industry around them? Are we going to have some kind of crash similar to that of the Atari in 1983 that almost finished the games industry before it started? There’s a lot to talk about here so I’ll just stick with two main questions: Why have big blockbuster games have gotten so bad? Why has the whole Gamergate issue become such a big mess? Also, finally, why these two things are kind of related.
‘Gamergate’ is pretty much the term that’s been coined for this recent revelation that maybe some game review companies and journalists are little bit bias and game industries have used this with their corrupt strangle hold of money to force games of their desire to the front of our attention. Well, that’s the gist I got from the general wisdom of the internet, however, what it is actually about is the industry trying to start a good ethical standard for gaming journalism like in any other form of journalism. This came to everyone’s attention mainly because of the Zoey Quinn incident, I’m not going to go into it a lot because we’ve covered it on our site already and I feel it’s gotten more than enough press. More interesting is the conversation I had about it with a couple of friends, which seems odd to mention but it’s important, as we discussed it one noted that it was a “non-story,” and by this he was kind of right; the main issue with the Zoey Quinn incident was a series of massive misunderstandings that got more and more out of hand and without the publicity it would have been solved less messily. This did however bring to our attention the relationship between the game industry and its journalism and again through misunderstandings a lot of undeserving industries have got taken to the witch stakes and burnt for the public’s desire to cure those paranoid fears.
I’m not saying there wasn’t some corruption- there definitely was, however not on the magnitude that the almost colossal view supposed it was. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the games industry and games journalistic industry is always going to be close because of shared interests, we both enjoy playing games and love their diversity and the enjoyment it gives our lives and want them to progress and to be as great as possible, as long as we are clear on the relationship between the two and it isn’t hidden from the public there isn’t an issue; in fact sites like giant bombs didn’t review any of super-giant games, the guys behind bastion, because they were friends with developers. Game reviews are opinion based and it is impossible to get away from that and we will always have slight biases as no human being can ever be one hundred per cent objective and if you are you must be delightful at parties.
This kind of relates to the second question, why have games gotten worse? I think this is the wrong question – games haven’t gotten worse, they’ve gotten incredibly better, comparing something like Destiny to Pong is like comparing a half-eaten sandwich to a full foot long sub. But Destiny is kind of like that sub that you’ve been told about and is amazing until you have it. And it sucks, sucks like a Subway of betrayal. Other than really hungry, what my clumsy metaphor is trying to say is the Subway wasn’t a bad Subway – but you had been waiting for it for far too long which had built it up to a standard it could never meet, I mean a sub 10 years in the making should be a pretty amazing sub, I mean game.
The same can be said for Watchdogs, the hype about it was started almost a year or two before it was released and low and behold, it didn’t match the hype, like a politician making promises he knows he can’t keep but will stimulate the masses to following him until it’s too late. But games seem to have to do it these days – with the crowded market games now have to focus on the marketing more than ever a clear example of this was the introduction of the next Gen consoles and how Microsoft had to keep explaining their choices and backtracking to keep in with what the people wanted. This shows that the consumer defiantly has the power in this industry so the industry is trying to cater for us and does on most extents, but at the end of the day these companies need to make money so will try and make the game look like it was blessed by god himself.
When you really think of the question, it isn’t why there has not been a good game for a while, it’s why there wasn’t an exceptional game. Thinking about the games I have played this year I can think of plenty of good games I have had the pleasure of playing, like the latest instalment of Castlevenia lords of shadow or the indie game vertical drop heroes, which had issues, but were great fun and did mostly what I expected them to do. However, the most exceptional games I can think of this year are ones I didn’t expect and added something I hadn’t seen for a while like bravely default – which I know is a pretty old game by now but honestly is probably one of the most enjoyable games I played in a long time. No doubt there are issues with the game and it’s not a hundred percent perfect, but it had filled that spot that I hadn’t had a good game with a lot of decent story and character development which is what I personally most appreciate in a game.
Now you might be wondering how these two points interlink and relate, it’s that we forget the difference between fact and opinion and how these relate to us making ill-founded prejudices build. It is easy to do on the internet, as it allows us to forget that we are individuals and a mob like mentality can easily grow on the internet to re-enforce our opinions and persecute others. This is partly due to are amity and loss of fear of the consequences leading and can lead to misunderstandings and issues seeming much bigger than they are causing disappointment and anguish.
We will always disagree on things as opinions are not facts however when were clear and understand why this is and are open about are biases and prejudices we can move forward and understand why these are wrong or may have something more to them which may drag out something interesting and provide a solution or a interesting discussion rather than bitching about a problem.
This is a bit rushed but there’s probably a lot more to this then I’m giving credit to the issue and if I had more time I would love to go deeper but I feel there is too much that has probably been discussed in this article already, be assured games are not dead yet and will not be for an extremely long time and although it may look like things are a bit grim round the edges things tend to look worse when you’ve ripped the wallpaper away like finding were the household pet had been for the last two years – but they do get better as the smell of the room dramatically improves. I also think that metaphor was a simile.