Wow, Gamers Sure Have Gotten Spoiled Over the Years

Yes, the industry has taken great strides. But one of the consequences of that advancement is a constant increase in expectations.

Sometimes, it makes me sick to read the op-ed headlines around the Internet. SBS (Spoiled Brat Syndrome) is very common these days, but it appears to be reaching a fever pitch among the core gaming crowd.

Hey, I love all the advancements we've made. I still remember traveling to the local video rental store in a vain attempt to locate a decent game. In the 80s and 90s, $60 for a game (which is what they cost now, people) was exceedingly difficult to handle for many parents and we certainly couldn't swing such an exorbitant cost on our allowances. So yeah, most times, we had to rent.

And the selection wasn't exactly stellar. These days, hundreds upon hundreds of new games come out in any given year. Back then, we were lucky if a few new ones dropped every month, and we were even luckier if any of them were worth playing. Without the strict QA and various testing gaming has now, video games in those days were often downright comical. How do you think "all your base are belong to us" happened?

And yet, today...

Getting all bent out of shape about delays? Really?

You could delay half the games coming out this year, and there'd still be far more than we ever saw in any year decades ago. On top of which, of the games that will inevitably arrive in 2014, it's guaranteed that quite a few will be stellar. Whether they're your cup of tea or not is irrelevant; the fact of the matter is that several will be excellent. "Excellent" games weren't common in the "good ol' days," you know. One of the reasons classics like Zelda and Final Fantasy stood out is because they were in stark contrast to the junk surrounding them.

On top of which, delays can be a good thing. Back then, developers rarely bothered with delays. Just put the game out; it's basically a toy, anyway, and if it's a little broken, so what? They didn't have the necessary resources to dive back into the nuts and bolts of the project, and it didn't really matter. As it was common for many games to be critically flawed in some fashion, that was actually part of the fun of gaming. Yes, indeed it was.

Can you imagine that now? If a game even has an awkward camera, it's getting panned by critics and laughed at by gamers. Bad voice acting? How about zero voice acting and dialogue written by the programmers? And all in Japanese to start, with mediocre (at best) translations?

What we currently have at the tips of our...uh...fingertips is insane

A cartridge, a controller, and maybe a code to put in to pick up where we left off. If you were a game magazine subscriber, you were especially privileged. That's about it. No expansion or downloadable content, no pre-ordering (and certainly no pre-ordering incentives), no day-one digital downloads, no online multiplayer, no virtual stores loaded with thousands of games and game-related content, very few accessories, no high-definition, and oh yeah, only a few of the genres we know today.

Our options for interactive entertainment today are absolutely astounding. The gigantic range of titles, from the smallest indie experience to the blockbuster AAA productions, means there's something for everyone. If you can't find something you'd like to play on any day of the year, you're not that interested in gaming. Period. You can search thousands of titles online and there are hundreds more at the game store, ranging across multiple competent platforms.

What more do you want?

Let's tone down the demands and take at least two seconds to appreciate what we have

A lot of headlines are awfully demanding these days. If they're not demanding, they're disgustingly entitled. The world of gaming has expanded at an unbelievable rate over the past three decades and in the bigger scheme of things, that's not a long time. Comparing Pong to any new game isn't merely night and day; it's a completely different world. The two aren't even comparable; they don't exist in the same universe. How we interact with our games (from 3D to motion sensing to a variety of multiplayer) offers even more choice.

The problem is that we've moved so fast and achieved so much, that the industry hasn't given us time to breathe. We've all been caught up in the bullet train that is video game progression. Of course, we shouldn't be blaming the industry; it's incumbent upon us to appreciate the strides we've made. Appreciate first, consider next, demand later. In fact, lay off the demands entirely for a while. That's my recommendation.

This is still all about fun, right? ;)

Published Jun. 6th 2014
View Comments
  • Spyke_3447
    Why does EVERY fathoms article create a shitstorm of arguments?
  • Lacey_6683
    Fathoms knows how to get people riled up.
  • JalestraNiss
    You know though, there's something to be said for demanding better instead of just taking whatever piece of crap that gets thrown your way. While the answer may not be to whine incessantly about everything, the other answer is not "lay down and take it". I don't think I demand much....I wouldn't buy a tv that wouldn't work, I don't want a game that doesn't either. I don't mind, in this day and age, of maybe having to download a quickly released fix because of some graphics card issue that couldn't be accounted for. At the same time though, it sure wasn't fun picking up that copy of Sims 3 and finding out I had a $60 door stop because they didn't want to recognize they had a problem. Fixing through patches should not be a release goal, but it seems to be in some cases. And I'm sorry, I agree that charging $60 for less of a product is ridiculous. If you're saving money in packaging, I want to see that savings in my cost as well.

    I hate this new idea that "aww..poor game designers have such a hard job". Well, guess what, everyone has a hard job in some way, that does not mean we allow poor performance or poor products. I'd love to see someone excuse a policeman from saving a life or a fireman letting a house burn down because he has a hard job.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    You don't get a lot of poorly performing games. In fact, you don't get any as opposed to the way it used to be. That's sort of my point.
  • Mathenaut
    Seems more like the bar has just been lowered for what passes as game journalism. Pity.
  • Si_W
    Seems reasonable to me, after all the bar was lowered on commenting as soon as the internet went mainstream...
  • You're Old.
    When I was your age I had to walk fifteen miles to rent video games barefoot in the snow! Uphill both ways!

    Gaming is shit now and it was shit back then. Sure the type of shit isn't the same but does it really matter?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Never understood why people who seemingly hate everything about games still play games. Bizarre.
  • Loki_7247
    Yes we should be thankful for yearly games rehashed, games ripped appart and sold to us as dlc
    main companies selling digital copies for same price as retail, i mean do they not lose disk, box and manule yet we still paying same price?

    and dont get me started on these ass hats that shove drm down legit gamers throats, because lets face it pirates get the drm right? right? force us to use garbage 3rd partie software or else cannot run our games

    oh and quanity does not guarantee quality, i played more indie games this year that out shine these garbage so called AAA flop titles that all these ass hat gamers cram down there throats and claim there 10/10s ...

    but then it does not help when you have corrupt gaming media that would suck a cock down if it meant getting them shinny coins and exlusive deals

    if anything there is just more assholes in the industry and more gamers that do not give shit then cry when they get crap boring aaa games, because most them got no self respect to boycott developers games, look at bf4 and people still baught it after the cluster fuck that was bf3

    then you get developers that try and push DRM through there console and still these scummy little gamers support there garbage pissant company.. yeah you are right gamers are brainless fucktards and devlopers have been screwing gamers for even longer
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    .....aaaaand this is why I'm often embarrassed to label myself a gamer these days.
  • joe_5413
    Excellent article & we really did appreciate every game we had a decade ago & we never knew when was a game to be released & infact never knew it was ever in development.

    I do agree that glitches we part of the good fun in the game :)
  • PC Master Race
    Typical damage control articles, delays are more frequent on sony platforms. That really sucks,
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah, that's what this article is about. Damage control.

    'rolling eyes'

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