Gaming isn’t exclusive to sharks only out to make money. It’s a blinding truth that we live in a society that harbors a few liars and cheats, and I don’t think a society without them exists or could ever exist.
After the catastrophic (and preventable) events that took place during Simcity’s launch, I feel kind of discouraged as a gamer. Now that the truth is out and Maxis and their publisher have to answer for it, it seems that they’re blatantly lying to everyone, including themselves.
So, this begs the question: Has gaming evolved too far?
In my opinion, yes and no. I feel games have SO much to offer. There’s no doubt that interactive entertainment is an artwork all it’s own, and deserves the same respect as any other. Many, many games are art, but when big businesses make terrible PR moves like this, the world sees a genre of entertainment with a dark connotation. I hope that this isn’t true, but EA is making it seem as much.
The greatest success story in games would have to be that of Minecraft. When talking about a game developed out of love, you have to mention Minecraft. It’s the success story we all dream of, with Notch’s runaway hit scoring him the second highest position in public voting for Life’s “most influential people of the year.”
Also, the story of Dean Hall and his mod, DayZ, for Arma 2: Combined Operations is reinventing the survival horror formula. Not many games of the genre can pull off an unflinching world of death and dread, while being completely multiplayer based.
And even furthermore than that, it goes without mentioning the strides of writing brilliance achieved by Ken Levine and his team in Bioshock: Infinite.
So in this regard, no. Gaming has not evolved too far. If we as a community can learn from the triumphs and mistakes of every designer (big or small) the industry can go light years past where we are. And it will, because we as people naturally evolve to entertain, and that’s the true beauty of it all, I think.
On the other hand, it has gone too far. When companies push a product and sell another, we’ve gone too far. When we deny costumers their product, deny refunds, and lie to their faces, we’ve gone too far. And when we make an app that charges you $100 just to respawn, we have gone way too far.
So, as I look forward at the gaming industry, I wonder what we will see. Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the Simcity and Alien’s Colonial Marines , or is there someone out there reading this who will be the next Notch?