In the last year or so, I’ve really hit a dillema. I’m losing interest in gaming. Now, obviously, there’s two things I can do:
– Blame myself and consider that it’s just a hobby I’ve lost interest in, and move on.
– Blame the gaming industry-not taking responsibility for my own disinterest and using them as a scapegoat-claiming that they have just become terrible and everything associated with them has become terrible.
And really, I kind of feel that it’s both, honestly. I’m taking responsibility AND blaming the industry. See, I grew up playing Sega Gensis and Game Boy games, so I played a lot of arcade or platformer type games, and never played things with a lot of “story” or real characters you could become emotionally attached to. A friend of mine was the opposite, growing up playing Zelda and Metal Gear, which have stories and characters.
Because of how I grew up, I still play games purely for the sake of playing the games. Gameplay-and this is going to be something you won’t hear a lot of gamers say, I assure you-is all that matters to me. Now, if something has a good enough story, like The Walking Dead or Alan Wake (something I can actually get into) then that’s just a bonus, but ultimately if a game doesn’t play well, it isn’t worth my time and it isn’t fun…it’s just frustrating.
It goes that way for everything. Graphics too. When I bought Halo 4, I watched the first cutscene, and for the first few minutes of the game I went “Man, this game looks GREAT”, but 15 minutes into it, I didn’t notice the graphics anymore. I never notice them once I get into the game. Voice acting, graphics, music or any of that stuff never gets noticed after the first hour or so of playing because as I said, all that matters to me is gameplay. I admit, I am kind of an anomoly.
I also hate the gaming community, or rather, the mindset of gamers who feel they’re entitled to things. Take Mass Effect for example. The ending to Mass Effect doesn’t matter because anyone who honestly believed-and yeah, Bioware did lie and they shouldn’t have said your choices would matter to begin with, but hey, they had to move their product, not that I’m defending that, that’s a very low thing to do-that their choices would matter at the ending only brought that disappointment onto themselves. It’s like believing you can have a different ending to a Choose Your Own Adventure book; ultimately, it all ends the same way. Expectation gets you disappointment. It’s why I no longer watch trailers for ANYTHING, because the less I know, the less I expect, and more often than not, the more I enjoy the product for what it is.
But on the other hand, it isn’t completely my fault.
The gaming industry IS getting worse. Artistic integrity is nearly dead at this point, and it’s a shame. Everything is about monetary gain at this point. I understand it on one hand, it IS a business. I get that. But on the other hand, it’s a bit disgusting to see this thing that once championed creativity become just another blockbuster churnout service, turning out mediocre garbage at every chance they get and then wondering why people are disappointed by the product. In the last 2 years or so, the most fun I’ve had playing things were Rayman Origins, Sonic Generations and De Blob 2, purely because of the creativeness and artistic value put into them. Especially De Blob and Rayman. Sonic was really just a rehash of old Sonic levels, but it was still fantastic.
So the way I see it, it’s a 50/50 thing. I’m not going to stop playing games anytime soon, but if you do one hobby for a long enough amount of years, you eventually get a little tired of it. I just need to look for the stuff that’s more my kind of game and the industry needs to fix itself and get back to making more original content.
At least we still have Valve.