Looking back lately.. at my life of gaming and the state of the gaming industry today... I can safely say that console gaming (and in SOME aspects, PC gaming) is on a narrow-minded road to oblivion.
Why? Because gaming is beginning to become the next hollywood. People glamorize and hype the latest games coming out based on mis-information and propaganda. Video games themselves are becoming celebrity icons that people worship and admire, not for the actual game itself, but because of the popularity associated with a certain franchise or from the PR wheel spun from major publishers. It's sick.
I am both a console and PC gamer, though I am absolutely disgusted with all three console systems out on the market today and the companies behind them. Gaming no longer feels like that intimate, personal, "golden feeling" experienced in the yesteryears of games.
I think true gaming died with the advent of the PS3, Wii, and 360. None of these systems gave me the "warm-fuzzy-gaming" feeling I had with all the consoles before that (aside from the xbox). Developers no longer seem to put their hearts into their games anymore, and instead give their money to their PR machines to funnel out hype. Maybe this is just my opinion... but, the vibes I get from the new groups of people playing today are one often seen in High school. It's all about popularity.
I absolutely adore the Dreamcast and Playstation1,2... what happened to creating unique and engaging games that weren't copies of PC games? What happened to innovation within the game itself and with creative vision, rather than in PR marketing?
Don't get me wrong. There are some great games today such as Empire: Total War, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Fallout 3... but the amount of quality games coming out from Devs has declined sharply within recent years.
Hmm. On a more philosophical note... this could be because of the advent of better hardware. Instead of letting your imagination fill in the blanks like the games of old, the game tries to render itself entirely to you without need of your imagination. Games have become less like books, and more like movies (hence, hollywood). And since I personally still don't think the graphics of today (yes, even Crysis) are a replacement for the imagination... we are left with a blander game that feels more like lumps of code, rather than a piece of art.
I think the Golden Age of gaming is long gone, but perhaps maybe with new technology, and a more open-minded approach to developing games, a new Golden Age could dawn upon us. Hopefully.
Thoughts anyone? I may have ommitted a few things, so maybe in a discussion or a debate my thoughts will be more concrete to you.
*note* This blog was mainly about the console side of gaming, not so much the PC. I feel the PC is just as great as ever, and I think that stems from the fact that the PC doesn't have a corporation sitting right behind it. Although, the state of PC gaming is definitely changing as well... I can't say for better or worse yet though... and with the arrival of OnLive just around the corner... we may see some major shakeups in the PC arena.