Flutterby™! : After the (video game) crash

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After the (video game) crash

2004-03-12 20:09:07.684725+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Yes, it's lame, but I'm poaching a link from /.: Life after the video game crash enumerates a lot of the reasons I'm no longer interested in computer gaming.

Wow. If game makers continue to focus on multiplayer they'll have a whopping 28 million customers to sell to by 2008.

That's a big number... until you realize it's a shocking drop from the more than 90 million PS2's, GC's and X-Boxes that were sold.

There was a time when I thought that building a cool immersive environment with computer generated storylines would be the next big thing. As Todd and I explored that space I realized... well... read the article, and then add the factor that part of what makes movies popular is the sense of shared cultural experience.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Games Movies Todd Gemmell Sociology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-15 22:16:09.230766+00 by: TC

OUCH! it's hilarious and eloquent and wrong. I lack the time and eloquence to write a response but I learned some new vocabulary such as Dick holster.... Now I must lie in wait for somone to preterb me enough to unless this new arsenal of insults upon them.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-17 05:03:51.502772+00 by: flushy

I was a pretty avid gamer, mostly first person. Quake, 1/2life, counter strike, tribes, etc... though I also mudded alot (since 1993). As I've gotten older and gained more responsibility, I find that I don't have the time. I don't really have time to spend 40 hours a week searching for that quest item that completes my gear for EQ or muds. Nor do I have the 3-5 hours a day to spend on fine-tuning my reflexes to get rated on Tribes, Quake, or UnReal Tourny. Hey.. I was rated in the top 500 for Tribes in 1999 out of some 10,000 :)

It just doesn't "do" it for me anymore. I used to play AD&D back home, and that is one of the reasons I still play NeverWinter Nights. I got a group of 4 that join up every Wednesday night for 2 hours to work an expansion pack together.

If it wasn't for the human interaction of a game that we can "pause" and "save" for a later date, then I probably wouldn't play any games at all.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-17 19:08:15.820042+00 by: TC

Ultra Good point Flushy! You see you just pointed out the social aspect of games of the future. You have a social group that has shared experiences together much like a crowd going to a movie and have dinner/drinks after does. Games augmenting social experience(it's what quake and video poker have in common)

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-18 02:47:08.566152+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

I wasn't a gamer growing up - primarily because my parents were extremely anal about the brain-rotting-no-value activity. I managed to play a bit at friends', but they were also very controlling and invasive. (Those "monitor every second of your kid's life, they'll thank you later" commercials are based on their parenting philosophy... only toned down.) I had a couple of games I got into, on borrowed computers (my parents thought computers were only a "gaming fad"), until my dad came in and ripped it out of my room because I had spent most of the day playing Bard's Tale[Wiki]. Never mind that this was one day after a month-long hiatus not playing anything... (What, me bitter?)

By the time working at a game company got me excited about games again, I just didn't have the skill set and experience to keep up with the people around me. Getting killed all the time isn't my idea of fun.

That's why I really like the turn the gaming industry has taken - with more casual gamers and at least the potential for actual storylines and interaction, not just memorizing patterns and shooting everything in sight as fast as possible.

I've no doubt it's entirely possible the gaming industry might die, but I don't think it's inevitable. If it dies it'll be because of mis-management.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-18 17:56:40.696352+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I became a pretty good Counter-Strike[Wiki] player (I can still generally join a server and be in the middle of the stats, at least if there's not organized clan activity), and there's a Dreamcast[Wiki] in a closet somewhere that doesn't come out 'cause the rat boys[Wiki] won't even bother playing me on Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2[Wiki] and Rush 2049[Wiki](0w|\|Z0r3d!), but at some point I realized that I'd developed the basic skills, and anything else in the twitch game genre was just specializing for a given system.

And after the reflexes get to a certain point, a few hours spent mountain biking or doing something else in the physical world have much more general application than training my mouse hand more.

As for the social aspects, that's largely a matter of peer group. While I can hang out and chat with Alec while he's playing the latest MMORPG, there's nothing in the people I hike or drink with in the evenings that incites me to play games. And there's nothing I've discovered in MMORPGs that makes me want to seek that out as a structure for online interaction over, say, weblogs or mailing lists.

Storylines are fine and all, but I have enough trouble making room for a 2 hour movie in my life, and this also drops back to gaming as a social activity. Is the story of any of these games something I'm likely to discuss on a Sunday morning hike alongside the latest Ian Pears novel? Not terribly likely.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-19 02:57:53.629761+00 by: Shawn

I have enough trouble making room for a 2 hour movie

Yeah, that's the current reason I don't play very often. (Logged a total of about 10 hours on Neverwinter Nights, since last December.) I wish I did [play more often], but that may be because it's all still relatively new to me. I'm perfectly happy to talk about my game adventures. They also provide spark for game and writing ideas - other activities I haven't been able to make enough time for.

I actually feel I spend too much time on things like mailing lists and blogs - and I don't even post that often. (I gave up on Tribe.net. Too much of a time sink, with no real return - although the RSS feed is a promising development.) The perpetual search is for ways to streamline the information feed process.