Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Just Want to Feel Something Again

Recently, I heard a friend of mine mention with reluctant apprehension that we are "...in a golden age of gaming, I guess."

What a strange demeanor by which to deliver that phrase. But, I think I know why he was reluctant to admit what ought to be a glorious revelation.

What I think he realized was that we have all the necessary infrastructure in place for a golden age of gaming; all the wheels seem to be turning, after all. People have convenient access to powerful games-making software and an unprecedented ability to self publish their work or get it into a number of viable publishing platforms. I can tell you from experience that even representation on the major home consoles is far more accessible than it was less than a decade ago. This can be illustrated simply by taking a look at their respective digital storefronts.

Yet here we are, wistfully awaiting for something important to happen, all the while sighing over it's absence and lamenting the disappointments that arrive instead. Why?

I have seen many ideas put forth, but I will cut to the chase and identify what I observe to be the worst problem:

Insincerity.

I have come to understand this as one of the hallmark features of millennial art. In an age of prodigious opportunity, where individuals really can make their visionary game a reality, people far too often choose to instead produce something ironic and irreverent, affirming what they purport to admire on one hand, but sneering condescendingly at it from the other.

These are the "turbo fist puncher" homages to Streets of Rage and the "super blocky dungeon" successors to Wizardy.

Perhaps you think I simply don't have a sense of humor, but when I look out and observe that contemporary works inspired by previous successes are ubiquitously either failed attempts to reboot someone else's property or aweless, uninsightful satires, I have to conclude that by and large no one cares or understands what previously existed.

Thank goodness Doom is supposed to be good.

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