Been catching up with my podcasts. My favs of late are Cynopsis Kids and Digital ( I just can’t listen to the regular Cynopsis lady), Buzz Out Loud, and Game Theory. (professionally, of course – my personals include FIight of the Conchords, Ask a Ninja, Slate Political Gabfest and This American Life)
But in listening to the block of Game Theories from the past 2 months, there has been tons of reminiscing over games that are 10, 20, even 30 years old. (My fav moment was when one of the podcasters realized his recent birthday of 35 launched him out of the demo he writes about, 18-34). Some of this is born from the new serial releases that are coming out, mainly Halo and Star Craft. Others from the question “what was your defining moment of gaming?”
Made me start to think about where games and online experiences are going. One of the hosts commented on how Elite and even Eve Online seem like MMOGs, even though they were single player, simply because of how expansive they were. They reflected on how some of the old games, before online interactivity, were just as immersive as the ones where the real-time multi-player aspect nowadays.
An earlier Game Theory podcast (I dunno which one, I have listebed to so many today) talked about how if you can make a cell phone game fun, then you are almost guaranteed that the larger platform games in the spectrum, from hand helds to console, will be fun as well. If you can capture fun on the root level of game play, you have the most valuable jewel needed in game development. They also talked about how they were excited that the newer games coming out are not only focusing on graphics enhancements and getting back to that spirit of play and fun.
Finally, the last point they talked about that I found interesting, was the aspect of social gaming in the live space. They began lamenting the plight of the hard core gamer and how console game companies, especially the Wii, are focusing too much on the casual gamers of late and not enough on the hard core gamers. I merely roll my eyes at the porr hard core gamers at the on that point.
I would rather spend more time on their other points that there is a new phenomenon happening of gaming as social activity. I have had some FUN evenings playing guitar hero, ddr or Wii sports late night with small groups of friends. I LOVE this new cultural phenomenon. Blending the passive with active and throwing a little social in for good measure. If the Wii is the second, social console in the house, only played 1 or 2 times a month – yay! Tat;s a good thing, not a bad thing for the gaming industry. It’s still a great investment, I would argue more so than one that you clock 10-50 times that in solo gaming. Sure your hard core gamers are going to buy more and more often, but expanding your market is never a bad idea, especially when the newbies could easily become just as rabid of fans.
Now, I want to take all these interesting ideas and figure out how to take them to the next level and online (and younger demographics…)
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