Jump to content

Video Games Becoming More and More Mainstream


zero
 Share

Recommended Posts

So it's no secret video games have come a lot further than where they were twenty years, even thirty years ago. They're no longer kids toys or for the creepy guy that hangs out in the arcade, they're almost a legit artform. We see it in the entertainment industry with everyone needing a PS2 or Xbox in their Hummer, we see video game award shows, we have a channel devoted almost exclusively to video games. Even recently, I've been hearing radio ads for Mech Assault 2 and while it's amazing enough to hear commercials for video games on the radio, the background music was Getting Away With Murder and then the next time I heard it Right Now by KoRn. It was an incredibly well put together radio spot and just struck me to discuss this in the first place.

That said, we still got a long way to go. Angry politicians and out of touch parents still look at them as nothing more than kids toys. When it's been proven the average gamer is now in their late 20s and more and more mature games keep coming to the market. My question to you is, what does the video game industry have to do to be taken completely seriously? What do they have to do to get M-Rated games looked at in the same light as an R-Rated movie instead of being looked at as the dirty game on the "nintendo thing the kids play with?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Video games will always have their doubters, but The generation of young people (Under 30's) who are growing up now, will in 20-30 years be the older people and will look at games seriously because they grew up with them, unlike the older people who grew up diddling their fingers or some shit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it's no secret video games have come a lot further than where they were twenty years, even thirty years ago.  They're no longer kids toys or for the creepy guy that hangs out in the arcade, they're almost a legit artform.  We see it in the entertainment industry with everyone needing a PS2 or Xbox in their Hummer, we see video game award shows, we have a channel devoted almost exclusively to video games.  Even recently, I've been hearing radio ads for Mech Assault 2 and while it's amazing enough to hear commercials for video games on the radio, the background music was Getting Away With Murder and then the next time I heard it Right Now by KoRn.  It was an incredibly well put together radio spot and just struck me to discuss this in the first place.

That said, we still got a long way to go.  Angry politicians and out of touch parents still look at them as nothing more than kids toys.  When it's been proven the average gamer is now in their late 20s and more and more mature games keep coming to the market.  My question to you is, what does the video game industry have to do to be taken completely seriously?  What do they have to do to get M-Rated games looked at in the same light as an R-Rated movie instead of being looked at as the dirty game on the "nintendo thing the kids play with?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As video games become more and more realistic, of course people will want them.

I know forty year old people who you would think would look at video games and go "stupid kids" but play them themselves. In 20 years when we're all old, we'll still play games (or I will at least) and as the new generation comes, the video game is gonna get huge.

That is, unless EA buys everything out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a bit weird too, because I bet you if Manhunt was a movie, then turned into a video game, it'd be critically acclaimed or some such shit.

Natural Born Killers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, parts of it definitely reminded me of the Manhunt commercials I saw. Killers was out first so it would definitely be a case of Manhunt ripping it off.

And Killers definitely was both acclaimed and hated at the same time, depending on who you asked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a slow process but I think eventually it will be seen as an art form rather than kidsplay. The fact that there are channels dedicated to video games and they play a role in popular culture means that the younger generation has accepted it. It's just the older folks who haven't. Either time will change their views, or they'll just die out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The older generation grew up with Pong and Space Invaders. They fon't get the appeal of games like GTA and Mortal Kombat. Once the current 16-25 generation grows up and has kids, games will be more appreciated.

I know for a fact that I'm not going to stop playing games just because I have a fmaily and a job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a full range of games for every interest, and the range of selection gets bigger every year. With games getting more realistic, this should catch more mainstream attention.

My 64 year old driving instructor always goes on about how he can reinact old wars such as the Battle of Hastings and other olden times wars with certain RPG games. This was no near possible years ago, but now a subject he is rather interested in can be captured in a video game.

Video games is a growing market IMO, and with computer being in the majority of homes now, everyone will have at least one video game for their PC within the next few years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The older generation grew up with Pong and Space Invaders. They fon't get the appeal of games like GTA and Mortal Kombat. Once the current 16-25 generation grows up and has kids, games will be more appreciated.

I know for a fact that I'm not going to stop playing games just because I have a fmaily and a job.

Same here, people always say that we'll grow out of it or something, but I see it being a common thing that people have parents and then grandparents who play video games. Another thing i'm happy about is the fact that it's become less and less nerdy to actually play games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad's one of the few of the Pong generation I know that enjoys games. He is actually capable of taking me apart on Madden because he's very knowledgeable about American Football, and he can actually employ real life strategies and stuff in order to win the game, which is cool, because his gameplaying skills are normally rubbish :P. And I have great fun playing with him, because it's sometimes more of a challenge playing him than the computer, although I have bagged a few victories recently :D

He also enjoyed playing Championship Manager, though it's a bit too time consuming for him to play anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 years later...

I decided to hit "last page" on Coin-Op Arcade and this thread was #1. Thought it'd be interesting to revive it since it's over a decade since it was raised. How far have video games come in the mainstream over the last decade? With the release of the Wii in 2006, video games became into a massive part of not just all gamers, but even the casual person. Now parents and grandparents play games, be it on console, or on their mobile phones. We still have contraversies, but these days they're more internal within gaming culture thanks to a widespread level of acceptance of the genre as "not just for geeks in their bedrooms" (though most of us are :shifty: ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was reading 2005 and 16-25 year olds and thinking 'that's only 5 or 6 years ago'. It's a decade and I was 22. :(

Also ROC's post on the fall of Disney is fascinating in hindsight. Make higher rated movies? Fuck that, we'll just buy Marvel and Star Wars.

Edited by Ultra Rare Colly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Games have come along way in that time, mainstream wise. However smart phones, DLC and the freemium model has set them back eyars creatively and have mde it easier than ever to make money from incomplete, inferior products.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They've also crossed over well, not only do we now get actors turning up and actually performing in games, not just Hardy Boyz in Attitude mocap style but dedicating the time and work they would to any other role and games are often much better for it. On the same side of that coin though, we're now seeing the scores turning up in the Classic FM hall of fame as the music industry acknowledges the quality of scoring there the same as film soundtracks, in more popular music we can look at how the Rock Band platform, and the Hero games caught the eye and support. Going from 30 "as made famous by..." songs to having hundreds/thousands of licensed tracks to play in your own home.

On the negative, as budgets have gone up and the need to push things have gone up creativity at the top can largely be down. You still do get decent different takes in Indie games but for the most part, as far as accessibility goes AAA feel semi-samey with very few real "wow" moments. I also despise the rise of Freemium and Pay to Win becoming a more reliable form of business then actual releases.

I also hate the idea this topic is over a decade old :(

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I legit don't understand how you can look at a gaming landscape fraught with "brooding white dude battles evil in gritty setting" titles and BATTLEFIELD MURDERCOPSQUAD and blame mobile for ruining creativity.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the mobile landscape does have it's drawbacks but for every "Throne Rush" advertising on social media with Total War screenshots or Tower Defense clone there are loads of other good and different games. Although not really original I've also loved the accessibility of more niche products like board game adaptations. Talisman or Warhammer Quest aren't going to get mainstream release money but it beats paying out £40 for the actual boxed set. Although even they have micro payment elements but I guess that's an overall part of the landscape now. Nobody will top the Blood Bowl system by Cyanide though, where they didn't release DLC, they released whole new games just to add another team/pitch that wasn't compatible with the rest...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the problem relating to the idea of games being as mainstream as films that was brought up in the original, ten-year-old post is that there's more of a barrier to entry in the video game market. Almost anyone can go to a cinema to see a new film with some friends or family members, and most households now own some form of video playback device. Something like The Last of Us, for example, is often heralded as an example of a great interactive narrative experience, but what if you don't own a PS3 or PS4? Tough luck. Similarly, if your PC isn't powerful enough to run the latest processor whipping boy fodder, there's nothing you can do without splashing out money you might well not have. Then you've got all the people who won't play the next Xenoblade game because they don't own a Wii U.

Multiplatform games are becoming more common nowadays, but the dickwaving arms race between major companies still means that certain content is locked away to people who didn't happen to buy the right gaming system. Not only that, but if a game is too difficult for someone to get through, they're unable to access all its content, so when you're looking at something like Bloodborne, you'll need to find someone who both owns a PS4 and is as good at the game as you are to have a meaningful discussion on how the story progresses. Other forms of media have the advantageous quality of requiring the consumer to do nothing but press the "On" button or turn a page every few moments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As video games become more and more realistic, of course people will want them.

I know this is going back a decade (jeez...), but I think the exact opposite of this is more likely. The more "realistic" games get, the more alienating they'll be to people who aren't already invested in the medium. First-time "gamers" are far more likely to pick up a Candy Crush or a Tetris than a photo-realistic action game, because their expectations of the latter are that it'll be too complicated.

I think what we're seeing now - and this, to me, is one of the key points that doesn't get talked about around a lot of controversies surrounding "gamers" being dicks - is that the landscape has completely shifted and, consciously or not, the "geeks in their bedroom" crowd are trying to close rank. After decades of complaining that games shouldn't be seen as a nerdy, anti-social hobby, now that they are out in the open and more publicly acknowledged, the "geeks in their bedroom" don't like it. They want it to go back to being their's. And they're doing that by shifting goalposts, by trying to control the narrative, and trying to stake a claim on what it means to be a "gamer", or what constitutes a "game".

Before the Wii and the DS, I don't remember ever having heard the term "casual game". Now it's everywhere, and almost exclusively used as pejorative. But, really, what's the difference between a "casual game" like Candy Crush or Pyramids and a classic puzzle game like Tetris, Columns, Puzzle Bobble? It's the same basic principles, with largely the same audience in mind. But the crowd who seem convinced that they're the "core audience" for "gaming" (which, statistically, they're not) will tell you that Candy Crush "doesn't count", that a mobile game has less worth than a Nintendo game, and that a Nintendo game has less worth than an X-Box One game.

It's been going on for a long time, too - people argued about which was the bigger success or the better console, the X-Box 360 or the PS3. If you pointed out, though, that the Wii had outsold both of them - oh, well, the Wii doesn't count. The Wii's different.

But look at the "casual games" section on Steam. What does casual games mean? Sure, there's the odd "pick up and play" puzzle game that you can kill ten minutes on, but the Lego games are in there. Are the Lego games "casual"? Sure, they're accessible, but they're ludicrously in-depth, in places incredibly difficult and, as a game, not really functionally a million miles away from any number of AAA titles. Train Simulator 2014 is listed under "casual games" on Steam. Visual novels are listed under "casual games". So is Rocksmith. To me, it looks like "casual games" means "games we don't play".

This is a rambling post, but my point is that the problem video games are facing now is that traditional video games - though even that is a way of framing things I have a lot of problems with - are no longer the dominant part of the industry. For every AAA mega-title, there's a new mobile game with millions more players. What constitutes a video game has changed, what constitutes a "gamer" has changed - you can't claim to be a "gamer" as if it's anything remarkable about you when my Mother's playing Candy Crush on her phone, my niece is playing Facebook games, my boss' secretary is playing Solitaire on her PC, or whatever. Everybody plays video games now, just maybe not in the ways that we're used to thinking of as video games. And the industry is struggling to keep up with that, as is the media surrounding it - we're still conditioned to see "video games" as something existing within a very specific set of parameters, and that just isn't the case.

It's no longer about games becoming more "acceptable" to the mainstream, it's about the games industry, and its supporting industries, to recognise how games have already become acceptable, which has largely been sneaking through the back-doors of Facebook and mobile gaming while the conventional "mainstream" - the big budget console games - have been trying to kick down the front door screaming and shouting about what a legitimate art form they are.

Part of the problem relating to the idea of games being as mainstream as films that was brought up in the original, ten-year-old post is that there's more of a barrier to entry in the video game market. Almost anyone can go to a cinema to see a new film with some friends or family members, and most households now own some form of video playback device. Something like The Last of Us, for example, is often heralded as an example of a great interactive narrative experience, but what if you don't own a PS3 or PS4? Tough luck. Similarly, if your PC isn't powerful enough to run the latest processor whipping boy fodder, there's nothing you can do without splashing out money you might well not have. Then you've got all the people who won't play the next Xenoblade game because they don't own a Wii U.

Multiplatform games are becoming more common nowadays, but the dickwaving arms race between major companies still means that certain content is locked away to people who didn't happen to buy the right gaming system. Not only that, but if a game is too difficult for someone to get through, they're unable to access all its content, so when you're looking at something like Bloodborne, you'll need to find someone who both owns a PS4 and is as good at the game as you are to have a meaningful discussion on how the story progresses. Other forms of media have the advantageous quality of requiring the consumer to do nothing but press the "On" button or turn a page every few moments.

I agree with a lot of this. In a way it reminds me of a quote about when TV became a viable medium - it was when it stopped trying to just make radio with pictures. As much as there is a place for great storytelling in games, I think people have been barking up the wrong tree for the past decade at least about how to make video games more "acceptable" - they've been trying to make movies you can play. They've not been embracing the medium for what it is and what makes it unique, they've been trying to turn it into a derivation of something that already exists.

Even if someone made the King Lear of video games, "great story-telling" will never be the major success of gaming. Too many people see a controller as a mess of unfamiliar buttons and get turned away from it - as an aside, that's why the Wii was such a huge success in many ways, it removed that element and reinvented the games controller based on what non-gamers would be comfortable with using, rather than trying to make a better "games controller". Then there's the technical constraints you mentioned - if I want to watch a new Warner Bros movie, I'm not restricted to only being able to watch that movie on a Warner Bros branded TV or DVD player, but that's a real problem in gaming, which is absurd. On top of that, the story to this game might be phenomenal, it might be video gaming's answer to Citizen Kane...but if I get stuck on the first boss and can't get past the first level, I'll never see that story play out. No one's stopping me half an hour into a movie and asking me to complete a task to be able to continue with the story.

Story will never lead to crossover success. Gameplay, capturing the imagination of the public, and mass appeal will. That's why Tetris is the best selling game of all time. That's why Minecraft, Wii Sports, Nintendogs and The Sims are up there.

Going back to the multi-platform title/technical limitations issue, I think we're approaching the end of traditional home consoles. They're just going to cease to be a logical business model in the form they're in now. The PS4 is trying to do too many things, leading to an awful controller design and the clunkiest, least intuitive menu system imaginable, because they're trying to have their finger in too many pies - they still want to be identifiably a Playstation and a games console, but they want to offer you the world as well. Sooner or later something's got to give. And when you're expected to fork out a couple of hundred quid for a new smart-phone, a new tablet, a new smart TV, a smart watch, and whatever else is going to be vying for your leisure money over the next few years, it becomes less and less justifiable to pay £300 or however much for a games console on top of all that. So as mobile gaming improves, the future will be about how to integrate mobile gaming into home gaming, into social media, and into a wider entertainment system - and I think Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have all fumbled around those ideas for a long time without any of them really hitting a home run. And, ultimately, I think whatever the end result of that will be could - and should - spell the end of exclusivity, and lead towards (probably digital-only) software developed to be playable on a single system, or one of two very similar options. It'll be closer to an Apple app versus an Android app than to X-Box version vs. Playstation version.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adding to that Skummy, remote play is in its infancy but it's definitely a technology phone companies (Sony in particular with the Xperia Z3) have been trying to integrate. The biggest hurdle tablets have had to overcome is that they aren't phones, and it's just one more thing to lug around. Laptops before them had the same problem. But a 5'5" screen is just small enough for people to take with them. They have HD screens to watch Netflix or Hulu, cloud storage to have all your pictures and files available anywhere, messaging apps to constantly communicate with people, and they make phone calls. A huge reason Twitter succeeded over countless other social networks in the late 00s took off was because of its mobile support. And that was during the infancy of smartphones in the mainstream consciousness. So you get remote play to become commonplace, you put the game out and people can download it on their phone. But they can play it anywhere. Regardless of whether they're in the comfort of their own home on their big screen TV with their console and controller there, or off on the run with just their phone. It's how things are going to have to go for home gaming in the future, it's going to have to include some mobile element to avoid stagnated growth.

The future of entertainment is very much in the mobile sector, and a lot of the complaints about "freemium" and "pay to win" games are valid. But there are highly creative games that cost very little money available on a phone you already have to own since it's 2015 and smartphones are lifelines.

There will always be a market for at-home gaming, and there will always be a market for PC gaming. Those aren't going away and there will be daring, creative titles on each. On top of that there will be big budget games with a hefty price tag. But there are too many people who can't afford or don't want to pay that price when they already have a smartphone. And developers of games are going to increasingly look closer and closer at mobile gaming as the new market, the one where their work can reach the widest audience. A lot of those games have been made, but as the freemium model is much more lucrative and able to advertise itself much more effectively they haven't gotten a lot of publicity. At some point that will definitely change and the "console era" will be just that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really know about that. I think if anything it's mobile devices which are over-promising and under-delivering. At the end of the day the key feature to me in a mobile phone is the ability to communicate with people. I carry my phone when I go out purely in case anyone needs to contact me. The ability to play games and music would be great except for the fact that if I do so and am out all day my phone will easily die before I get home leaving me without the feature I actually bought the phone for. On top of that the store on Android is just a mess. Touch gaming is also really shit for a lot of games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy