Repent Gaming Sinners! The end is near? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adam (Vergil)   
Sunday, 05 February 2006
[This is another post from the TC339: Digital Games and Society ongoing blog assignment.  This week I discuss the "Doom-saying" tendancies of the gaming media as of late.]

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This weekend, while spending time at a friend’s dorm room, I noticed they had picked up a new issue of GamePro.  Attracted to the images of Samus and Link on the front cover, I proceeded to skim the majority of the magazine.  At some point in browsing I came across and article that claimed to state the five things the video game industry needed to do to avoid some imminent doom.

It was about then that it occurred to me that ever since E3 last year, there has been an increased amount of doom-saying among the game journalists.  Developers, especially the veterans, are warning that the increased production cost of games will lower creativity, and produce the same “tried-and-true” game concepts (sequel after sequel) from now until infinity until we bore of them and the market bombs.   Others caution that another event like the “Hot Coffee” mod could cause the public opinion to crash around the gaming industry.

While I’m not here right now to discuss the merit of either of these arguments (though for the record, I happen to think both have merit), I did get to thinking “at what point did we begin all this pessimistic outlook of the coming years of gaming? What magical event occurred to lead the media to think that the game industry is heading towards some incoming death that unless we speak about it at length it is doomed to occur? ”

My guess is that for many of these people it is the public’s reaction to the GTA3 scandal, as well as the poor showings of the new “next-gen” consoles at the last E3. While Microsoft is showing us what the 360 will have to offer in time to come, we still know very little about the Nintendo Revolution, and even less about the Sony Playstation 3. Neither system has produced complete list of launch titles with any amount of game play footage yet, though both claim they will launch this year. To boot, the list of PS3 launch titles so far are all sequels to PS2 games, giving the “doing the same thing over again” argument some additional weight.

I guess what I’d like to prompt anyone who wants to respond to this post is with this: Do you think the industry is headed towards some crash?  Are the leaders of game design continuing to push the public’s tolerance in terms of violence and sexual content?  Or will the continuing waves of clones and sequels be the market’s undoing?

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 February 2006 )
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