Games changed Gamers: Editorial.

November 5, 2013

I remember playing back in the 90′s or 80′s games about simplicity with some history to tell. Today?, you are part of a movie. Some *low-budget* hollywood actor. What happened?.

Early years:

If you remember galaga, pacman, star wars, ET. Then you know you played the most advanced games back in time.
Box was something important but even more important description of that game, thus due to minimalistic graphics. Just like a book, you had to use your imagination to make it happen.
Back in time, nobody bitched about 720p or 1080p or HD or those condemned 60FPS.
Was more a social event where one of your friends have a COLECO, ATARI or just a COMMODORE 128 to play for a few hours and talk about how cool the game was.
I mean you had enough *space* to talk (instead of chat) with your friends about without the console blocking your line of conversation (unless the sound of the TV was too damn high).

We were young, naïve and let be realistic for a while. Who doesn’t want that again? or i have to think, i’m the only with some feel of nostalgia over this.
Games back in time were made with a goal; like promote a movie or just entertain your eyes for a while.
Narrative or some complex arguments were not part of those games, they were simple and sometimes too damn simple and repetitive that you ended giving up.

Same concept applies in the 90′s with Sega and Nintendo with Genesis and NES and so on.
Until Sega realized that using a modem to connect to that *old* internet will change something. Thing is that’s when all started to change and not saying that Sega changed that, i just used some example.

So the question is, what changed us as gamers?:

We could go for that easy response = MASSIVE MEDIA.
Back in time you didn’t have a direct2drive thing or some cloud to store your data, if you lose a save you had to start all over again.
Now with social experimental networking, where everybody can voice their: opinions, dreams, frustrations, sexual desires without getting insta-labeled by society. Games rules changed and i don’t know if that change is for the best.

1) 20 years ago, if you needed to buy something. You had to move your ass from a place to another.

Today, people order a ****!$$ “frappuccino” over the net via Starbucks online service.

2) 20 years ago, if you had a crush with some girl. You dind’t ask for her phone right away. You really needed to work the situation out and talk, otherwise you will lose your chance.

Today, you can use facebook to stalk her and send her anonymous messages telling her; how nice she is and how hot she looks while taking selfies in front of her bathroom mirror. (Creepy..)

3) 20 years ago, you need to get your ass out of your couch if you wanted and wait for certain hour of that day to watch that show, you loved so much. (No VCR’s)

Today, you could watch it over your phone while going to work or just in your house with a remote controller that has more buttons than a NASA space shuttle.

So, we changed? or we just adapted?.

Today gaming:

You don’t need to use you real name to enter a lobby with COD or any other game. You use a alter-ego that you made up seeing things on your desktop. Watch what you have around and you will be *sour*prised how much all that things you own has in common with your alter-ego.
Also you don’t need to make proper social protocol introductions to kill, cast a spell or whatever the games *tells* you to, to make some progress.
You don’t apologize to that guy because you *killed* him or you just insulted him over the mic because he crashed the helicopter killing everyone onboard or drained all his mana when he didn’t need to that. (stupid examples to make it easier to understand).

Today, you play that movie, you are the *low-budget actor*:

You may have a silly nickname, that defines your alter-ego but pick any game from this current-gen and you are part of it.
The plot many times will not ask for you to involve, you have to involve to understand what you are playing.
Doesn’t matter if you are soldier, some alien from cloud nine or some lunatic that has no Raison d’être.

There’s no room for imagination, thus plot driven by an illusion of choice.
You have a gun, you have to shoot.
You have a delirium problem, you have to show those dark secrets that made you that way.

Eyecandy is the new standard, motion capture as many other things.
With the news *breed* of gamers where those characters most of the time have a big background story, it’s imperative tu understand something to keep up with it.
While you play, you can text your friend that lives in other Country or just user any social network to let him o let them know what the hell are you playing.

So where simplicity stands in today gaming community?. Nowhere.
Indeed you can catch up with those old games, if nostalgia kicks in over your cellphone which it’s not a cellphone but a fucki!$!$ smartphone.

You don’t need cartridges anymore. Gaming today doesn’t want to you to use your imagination.

In the end, games changed gamers as gamers changed games.
You could call this a parable or something inception-ish or pure BS from my part.
But that MSG 4 intro scene, where Snake talks about War and how War changed. It’s not so far that analogy from how everything changed, just to give you a simple *illusion of choice*.
Where you have to pick something that was already there.


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