The Internet is littered with battle-scarred websites and hardened users, all a result of the great “console wars” that have raged across gaming sites and forums since time immemorial (1996).
Gamers on the ‘net are very protective about their console of choice. Part of it comes from the fact that these console warriors are often teenagers, still depending on mom and dad for game money. Consoles are expensive, and a budgeting family may only be able to afford one, so you have to pick a side and stick with it. Up until the last couple generations of consoles, backwards compatibility was unavailable too, so your old library of games was unplayable on your brand new machine.
Kids have a lot invested in their game machine of choice, and they’ll be damned if someone tells them they’re wrong!
There’s another group of players who argue: the so-called “hardcore” gamers versus the “casual” ones. What do these labels mean? It’s really very simple. A hardcore gamer’s identity is wrapped up in the fact that he plays video games. A casual gamer’s identity is not. To him gaming is a hobby, nothing more.
Video games are not what they were in 1985. The Internet has made gaming much more social. You can chat with people, team up with them, work together, make friends. Some people still consider themselves the “hardcore” type, but gaming has moved out of the basement and into the streets, as it were.
In 2012 “hardcore” gamers are simply a market, and they’re a shrinking one. More and more people are turning to mobile gaming. Inexpensive, addictive apps like Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies are selling better than some of the “80-hour-long epic quest” style games. Gaming is more available, more ubiquitous and in general it’s just better than it was when I was a kid.
So these hardcore gamers are going away. Good riddance! Gaming is only getting better these days. You may say games were more “artistic” or “harder” or “deeper” in the past, but that’s just nostalgia blinding you to the fact that 1) you were a kid then and you didn’t know better and 2) the technology was very limited. It’s a thousand times better now.
The more money is pumped into this business, the better it’ll get. Yes, there’s “shovelware”, games that are just shoveled onto the shelves for a quick buck like so much horse manure. Those games have always existed. But Final Fantasy VI can NOT compare with Skyrim. It can’t.
And so what if the only games your mom plays are Wii Bowling and Angry Birds? How does this hurt you? Face it: gaming is pop culture now. It’s left the underground. But it’s not so bad in the light.
Come and join us! It’s a lot of fun up here!