The Gloomy Gamer

January 12th, 2010 - Isaiah

I don’t really consider myself to be your average gamer, at least not anymore. Probably because of the high level of criticism I now seem to have towards most every game I play. There are exceptions of course, but they seem to get fewer and fewer these days. Maybe I’m just adapting a more hostile attitude, or have come to expect too much from them. But in either case it’s only deepening my depression.

I do hold some very dear memories of past experiences in gaming. Monkey Island, Wolfenstein 3D, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Max Payne, Deus Ex, and Fallout just to name a few. However even some of the sequels to these games like Max Payne and Deus Ex were complete disappointments for me, and it only seems to be getting worse.

The last few years have contained a lot of letdowns. Mass Effect, Borderlands, Mercenaries 2, Red Faction Guerrilla, etc. Now I know a lot of people will completely disagree with me here, and that’s fine. It’s just hard for me to look past certain flaws in games. Even with fairly decent mechanics a lack a good narrative and interesting characters can ruin the whole thing for me.

It’s primarily the immersion factor I take issue with. Maybe it’s because I see all the potential for this industry and find it extremely frustrating to see such opportunities destroyed. It almost feels to me like the technology is evolving faster then the innovations, and that is a very sad thing indeed.

If there is one thing I’m still very passionate about, it’s improving and pushing forward the gaming experience for everyone. I think going into the biggest problems I’ve found with these games could actually be a very interesting (and helpful) series of articles. So keep an eye out for a few possible future topics here on the blog covering this subject.

2 Responses

  1. Railway Says:

    You and I fall under a certain type of gamer that is quite rare, and thus, not catered towards compared to the more prolific casual puzzlers and platformers or hardcore, competitive gamers. We are devoted to a niche that is ultimately nearly impossible to please, and thus, economically unfeasible.

    The deterioration of the quality of games – namely, story and characters – is also the byproduct of the modern ADD culture that is devoted to the simple hedonistic pleasures, thereby dominating the short term, and ignoring long term effects, both benefits and consequences. In layman’s terms, gamers and non-gamers alike are losing the patience, the focus, the attention to emotionally dedicate oneself to a character.

    There have been a few popular anomalies, the first coming to mind being Half-Life 2, but I feel that was sort of a pseudo development of character that appealed to the masses, but did not truly create a breathing character, only a silent protagonist who’s void was to be filled by the player. Deus Ex, comparatively, which is often touted as the best PC gamer ever, if not the most profitable, created a character with loading all the development onto the player, but still allowing him or her to partake and create Denton. But I digress.

    I empathize with your gloom. It’s not just games, though. I enjoyed this post, and look forward to future ones of similar caliber.

  2. Isaiah Says:

    Thanks for the feedback Railway. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. You explained the situation almost perfectly. Your superior writing skills have put me to shame. Maybe I should open up the blog to other contributors? In any case I think this will be an interesting subject to continue writing about.

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