Let me start by saying this isn’t an in depth look at games and the effect on society. Just my thoughts on what has come to pass.
Gameification has been a part of non-game topics for a while now. The part I’m most interested in is technology. I have enjoyed many of the learning tools that have encompassed a game aspect. It makes it light and addicting. It allows you to tap into other aspects of your cognitive thinking to allow better retention. Similar to listening to classical music while studying. Seems like everyone is trying to add a game twist to everything. That’s the direction our society is headed. Everything is dumb down and fun. But that’s neither here nor there.
I have been a gamer since I was five years old and I got the first Nintendo. And I haven’t stopped since. That’s 27 years at the time of this posting. I have seen an incredible evolution in games. As the technology gets better, the games get more complicated and marketed to adults. Probably because they’re the only ones who can figure out the tricky puzzles laid within. I am of an interesting generation where the young games were made for us, and as we got older, the games stayed be made for us. Not leaving us behind in the childish dust. That’s amazing. At the same time, it makes me a little sad. That’s because my son won’t have the joy of how games use to be. Sure he can play with Mario but it’s not the same. Many of the story lines have faded to give to way to action and special effects. Mario, Link, Kirby and Samus just fight each other now.
I understand that this was inherently inevitable with the development of graphics but it comes at the price of narrative. There are still many games that have amazing stories. But most of them are not designed for children. Especially the cursing and brutal ones we all love. (Side note: the fact that my games swear and have realistic blood smatterings is the best thing since sliced bread.) The only hope for the kids is probably the indie game developers. They don’t have the budget to create crazy special effects and have to fall back on the plot to make sense. Plus the controls are simple despite the 13 button controllers. Three buttons might have been simple but we got a lot done with it.
So in closing, I guess, support your indie games if you have kids, stick with the main stream if you don’t. The whole point is to find something that you enjoy and allows you to escape your own reality.