A week or so ago Adam Sessler, who I legitimately respect a whole lot as a game journalist and reviewer, released a video outlining his “Best Games of 2013.” Here it is if you want to check it out:
In case you don’t want to watch the ten minute video, he basically picked a well rounded group of games that really pushed the industry forward in various ways. Except for Bioshock Infinite. That game was pants and I’m not sure why people loved it so much, but you know… people are going to have different opinions. These opinions are what make games great. If it wasn’t for different opinions all we would have is Call of Duty and Madden. Every year… all year…
Anyways, Adam picked a few games that are “indie.” Because of these choices, people went on to say he was a “hipster” and some even went as far to say he’s not a “gamer.” Because he chose a couple games that weren’t mainstream and didn’t require you to shoot, he started getting hell from “hardcore gamers.” It’s to the point that some people are saying that a game like “Gone Home” and “The Stanley Parable” aren’t games. Well if they’re not games, there are quite a few of us that completely got everything about gaming wrong.
In fact, I argue that these games are more of a game than a “Call of Duty” or “Assassin’s Creed.” Both of those franchises are rather linear, especially “Call of Duty.” I want to go on record as to saying “Call of Duty” is a point and click adventure game with all the fun bits removed. You point your gun at something, you click the trigger, and that something goes away. Repeat for about six hours and you’re left with nothing but an online experience where a bunch of teenagers and sexually frustrated adults scream at each other and compare kill:death ratios like it actually makes their dicks longer.
The point being, it doesn’t matter. Every event in “Call of Duty” is pass/fail. You don’t get to choose how you explore the world around you. You don’t get to directly affect the storyline you’re involved in. Frankly, to say it’s a storyline is a stretch. I think “Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?” hit the nail on the head with this video:
You can’t substitute a shocking twist for actual plot advancement. If it’s your only tool as a storyteller, you’re going to end up like M. Night ShabeddyDobbitty. In fact, I’ll just say it: “Last Airbender” is a better story than any “Call of Duty” game. Deal with it nerds.
But here’s the bottom line truth… People like Adam Sessler and myself, we’re getting old. And I’m not saying “We don’t have the reflexes we used to” or “games these days are just too fast.” That’s bullshit. The fact is every game has an amount of time required to refine the skills necessary to play. Some games require a lot of time and practice. Now “a lot” is a relative term. To some people eight hours is “a lot.” To others, even an hour is “a lot.” In the end, there is a ratio of experience to time dedicated. I personally want a lot of great gaming experiences without a lot of time dedicated. In this case, I tend to depend on “indie” games.
And again, I must voice how much I hate that term. Firstly, it sound pretentious. These are simply games that are made outside of the traditional video game industry. Let us not forget, all games were indie at one point or another. The industry wasn’t born a full grown man. No, it started small and grew to what it is today.
These “indie” games are simply games that are made by small groups of dedicated people. Gamers that love games so much, they just decided to make their own. Then once they made it, they didn’t go to an Activision or Ubisoft to get help publishing it. They instead found a way to directly market to the people that would enjoy the game; be it through XBLA, PSN, Steam, or other.
This is basically like using Youtube, Hulu, or Vimeo to share your videos. A few comedians get together, come up with a good idea, then shoot a couple episodes with a small budget. They upload the videos, get a few views, make some ad revenue and everyone is happy. Just because it’s a smaller, specialized audience doesn’t mean the quality isn’t good. It just means it’s different.
And different can be good. A game where you discover a story by exploring a house is a nice change of pace from Call of Battle 20XX. Play as a freelance spy that’s basically a more competent Inspector Gadget? Fuck yes. I will play it. Give me a challenge. Make me nostalgic. Have my brain sputter and spew smoke as I try to wrap my head around abstract ideas and concepts. And by the way, if you can do it for $20 or less, super good on you.
Basically what I’m saying is people want different games than you. Have a problem with it? Fuck off. There’s plenty of room for all of us. I wasn’t going to buy the shitty games you like anyways, so it’s not like it’s hurting them. You can’t lose money you were never going to lose in the first place. Does someone like Madden? Good for them, because honestly, did you want them joining your Minecraft server or being your tank during an MMO raid? I mean, those guys are mouth breathers…
But seriously… stop being dicks. People are going to like stuff you don’t like. They’re going to say the stuff you don’t like is the best game ever made. That’s why Sonic the Hedgehog games keep getting made. If that sort of thing bothers you enough that you feel the need to attack someone, you’re the exact reason I never read comments on anything. Also, you and spammers are the reason I turn off comments on my posts… when I remember…