Thursday, December 6, 2012

Modern Gaming

Something seems different about video games today. I was once a fairly avid gamer, but then I got away from it for several years, got back into it, and now I am usually very indifferent to video games. The last one to come into my possession came out in 2008, and my dedication to gaming shows that. I've completely missed the releases of the PS3 and all of the X-boxes, the thin PS2s, the DS, and many, many more systems, but today, I was playing some video games with my friend at his house, and those games just felt bland. Sure, the elements of fantasy were there, advanced technology, new landscapes, bosses that you would be quite stunned to find on the streets, and more, and all of these elements were present in the video games I liked as a child, but something... something was still missing.

The most socially acceptable way I could describe it is a lack of magic. The games I remember playing tickled the imagination, inspired the mind, and really expanded around you as you played, which only increased the effects of the first 2. The games I played today, like Resident Evil 6 and Knights Contract, were more like walking around with a giant wallet that had no money in it, or unscented perfume that came in a fancy bottle and shiny label; there was something there, but the effects of owning it that you'd expect weren't there. With games like this, and all of the (presumably) unreal things happening in them, you'd probably expect the magical effects of seeing those unreal things to carry over into your experience, but no matter how many lights flew out of people's hands and no matter how many giant monsters there were and no matter how many special effects there were with the graphics, none of that magic was there. Magic doesn't have to mean that kind of magic you see in kids' cartoons, either. Magic in that sense like wonder and amazement at previously un-thought-of concepts, can apply at any age and style; it was completely absent though.

My problem with that is that while all video games are basically escapism, there are games with benefits that can come from that escapism. An example is Spyro. Regardless of what age I was when I played those games, they always expanded my imaginative horizons, which is very important to me since I'm an artist. Games today, though don't carry that with them as I explained above. Therefore, there is little healthiness coming from that escapism. This is happening at a time when video games are becoming more popular, and are influencing the minds of more people. I don't care if GTA is making people violent or not, video games do indeed influence the minds of players, and games with that dryness to them can't be good for impressionable people.

This is just something I needed to get out. Think about it before you spend another 6 hours on whatever modern system you use.

Wasn't listening to anything as I wrote this

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