Musings Of A Mad Hatter: Gaming’s Future Scares Me But I’m Excited
That title is quite the mouthful, but it successfully conveys the message I’d like to give to you curvy and attractive people. Like it says on the tin, gaming’s future has me scared, but it also makes me excited for what may happen. The inspiration for this column came from South Africa’s annual gaming circle-jerk, rAge. For the most part of the expo I was flabbergasted by the sheer amount of innovation and potential that the gaming industry has and I would like to share it with you.
For the better part of this year gaming franchises were being torn apart by the insurmountable hoard that consists of angry self-righteous gamers. We’ve all seen the controversy that games such as DmC, Dead Space 3, Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider have stirred up. Some were bashed because of the alleged sexist elements and some were bashed because they changed the formula that has worked for them for years. You know what, I am excited for this change. Want to make an emo looking Dante with pretty blue eyes that shoots demons with the sound of unn-tss-unn-tss-unn-tss in the background? I’m totally up for it. Want to make Dead Space more action orientated, but still have some element of horror? Be my guest.
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My reason for this is that gaming has sort of stagnated in the past few years. I’m not saying that games have become bad, but what do most of the games that are a success have in common? A number at the end of the name. We need some innovation and if that requires games to change their entire formula then I think that we have to accept it and move on. If games don’t take bold risks any more then we will just end up with the same rehashed and slightly modified games every year and that would seriously depress me. I am quite scared of this as well because we can obviously expect the massive backlashes that will happen. Just look at Resident Evil 6 (a.k.a Giraffe Blowjob Simulator) and the horrible review scores it has been getting. The main criticism that almost every reviewer has is that it didn’t feel like a Resident Evil game. This led me to think: “What constitutes a Resident Evil game then?” I know the series is known for its horror elements, but what’s wrong with it going in a more action-orientated direction? I haven’t played the game so I can’t comment on the gameplay aspect, but I would welcome the thought that the Resident Evil games are now more of an action blockbuster than a scary movie.
Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have games that are totally unknown, but are brilliant. Just take a look at Dust: An Elysian Tail and Dishonored. Both have gained a lot of attention these past few months because they do things that other games don’t. We need more of this in the gaming industry. Games that prove that innovation should not be feared, but embraced. We sometimes need to go out of our comfort zones and accept that things need to change in order to move forward. You might be frightened by the idea of it, but it might turn out to be great in the end. It’s like playing a JRPG for the first time. You know for a fact that many people can’t stand it and it falls under the category of acquired taste, but if it hooks you then you’re hooked for life.
It’s not just games that are changing, but the hardware and our entire methods of gaming are starting to change as well. You can now yell at your football team on your couch and get your games without ever needing to drive to a game shop or even get out of your chair. When next-gen arrives we will be starting to see some changes in our gaming hobby no matter how small they are. And I couldn’t be more excited.
Change is scary and many people would actively avoid it, but we need to learn to embrace it. It’s an unstoppable force as well so you can make how many angry comments on websites, you won’t change a thing. We need to move forward and I believe that if we do, it would be all the better for all of us.