Triple-A Gaming is Dead to Me
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I used to get hype for a lot of things. I would look forward to various games and movies, collecting all the info I could about them, and anxiously waiting their release date. I would be one of those guys that knew everything about something before it hit the street, and always knew what was next on the horizon. But as I grew older, I stopped doing this. The first thing to go was following upcoming movies. Outside of stuff like comic book movies, I was never much of a new movie guy anyway. Also, Hollywood has been becoming increasingly creatively bankrupt in the past decade, so to see anything of any sort of creative worth I would have to find an arthouse theater. Which, given where I live, is not really a viable option.

My drive to seek out gaming news fizzled out shortly after I lost the collector’s bug. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have quite the extensive video game collection, up to and including weird shit like the 3DO (until next week, that is. Unfortunately, I’m selling it). I used to have a hell of a time seeking out games at weird dusty flea markets and far-flung Goodwills, but eventually I reached a point where I was content. And I just stopped. It seems to even be extending to new games, now. Sure, there are games I want, but the last game that I bought was an import copy of Gundam Extreme VS around three months ago. And the next game will probably be something of similar ilk.

I think the reason for this is that mainstream gaming is starting to fail me in the same way that mainstream Hollywood did. I can’t really think of any E3 titles that I’m really excited for, nor can I think of anything I saw that was really new and innovative. It seems like everything as of late is either an attempt by a corporation to milk an existing franchise, or an attempt by a corporation to milk an existing genre. Watchdogs is just Grand Theft Auto meets Hackers, Titanfall is Call of Duty with mechs, Destiny is just Halo meets…Halo, etc.

It also doesn’t help that the industry seems to be taking an extremely anticonsumer turn, much like the music industry shortly after the fall of Napster. Back then, we were saved from complete corporate domination from the rise of the internet, with new digital distribution paradigms and ways for artists to bypass the corporate channels, getting their music directly to the masses. Sure, the corporations still exist, and people can get their mainstream top 40 drivel if they want to. But there is another arena where creativity runs free, and reigns supreme. I think that we’re going to see something similar happen with gaming, if we haven’t already. The large publishers are going to shop around DudeBro Shooter 2017 and Football Roster Update 25, and they’ll make money. Meanwhile, people will have the internet to turn to for games that are made for the sake of being made. Quirky oddities such as Kerbal Space Program and Hotline Miami, while not being the champion as far as profit goes, will be on top when it comes to creativity and fun.

As for right now, mainstream gaming and I seem to be drifting apart. I’m not as burnt out as Jew, who has declared himself to be done with gaming for the most part. Rather, I’m just going to be a bit weary of the mainstream. I’m probably going to be combing through back catalogs before tackling this next generation, just to see what I’ve missed. I’m still going to check up on gaming news to see what’s coming down the pipe, but I’ll be more open to strange little indie titles, and more selective when it comes to the mainstream. I don’t think that this is the end of good games. Rather, I think that we’re about to enter a new paradigm, a new age of gaming. Things are certainly going to be different, but not necessarily bad. Gaming is dead, long live gaming.