Confessions of a Jaded Gamer

Original ideas in video games are becoming rare, exotic creatures... making it hard for gamers to remain excited about upcoming releases. Persistent imaginary universes are great, but are still continuations of the same old thing. Perhaps by looking to some of the Indie games now available, publishers can reignite our enthusiasm for digital media.

I have spent the past several weeks trying to decide what epic title to pop in my Xbox 360.

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My husband and I own quite a few games that I haven’t touched yet, and he can’t understand why I can’t just grab one and play. In fact, I can’t figure out what my problem is. I spend hours clicking on the Flash games offered by Facebook, but as for anything more involving, anything with even a hint of –gasp– commitment,  I talk myself out of it.

 

Maybe I’m just waiting for “the next big thing”

You know what I mean- the sort of game that haunts your dreams and gets mentioned in every conversation you have with anyone. One would think that with the library of available titles out there, I would have no problem. Here I am however, not playing anything, and bored to death.

Could it be that I’m getting too old for gaming? Not a chance. I may be closer to Depends than diapers, but I love laying waste to imaginary baddies in fiery explosions. So perhaps it is something more drastic.

 

Where are all of the original ideas?

You see, I’ve been incredibly dismayed by the number of sequels being released. For example, I love Borderlands, and was excited about the release of Borderlands 2 all the way up to the actual release. Then I realized that no- even that would not fill the emptiness I am feeling. What I need is to feel like I did when I played Psychonauts the first time. The story was completely silly, the game play was inventive, and I was happy. It was new, it was different, I had fun. It has been suggested that maybe I am asking for too much, but I don’t think so. I have spent a bit of time looking at some Indie games, and have seen many new ideas that given proper backing and technology, could be amazing.

 

The ‘S’ word… Sequels

The truth is that sequels are safe for game companies. They already have a dedicated following and that adds up to guaranteed sales. I can’t really blame them, after all. Year of work go into creating these alternate universes and having familiar characters and caveats are easier for designers and players alike to connect with. Money is the name of the game publishers play, but what about players like me? I will happily play a good sequel, but if I don’t have something that wows me every so often, I quit playing all together. That can’t be good for sales. What would be wrong with major producers making more of an effort to step outside of the box and release something that has never been seen before? Resident Evil was the new, untested brand on the block once, and look what that turned into.

 

I am in no way suggesting that the games available today don’t have elements that make me take notice. Adding dragons to the Elder Scrolls universe kept me interested and I can’t wait for the next Bioshock, but they are still feeling a bit like visiting family for a vacation.

Then again, maybe its me.   


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Image of Adrienne Brown
Adrienne Brown
Gaming since PacMan was high tech and AOL was only available on floppy disks.