Are video games being dumbed down?
You hear an awful lot about how games are being dumbed down to appeal to casual gamers or console gamers (two terms I do not particularly like). Is there any truth to this, though? A lot of the changes that are being made do streamline the game, but they don't necessarily make them any less challenging (though I can think of a few cases where that does happen). What do you think? Is there a real industry trend that is sacrificing game quality in the interests of accessibility and the bottom line?
Certain genre are definitely been vanilla-ed. When I first started playing mmorpg's, there was a sense of accomplishment when doing a quest. A journey if you will , in the process of obtaining the quest goal. Ever since Blizzard has liquified down the mechanics to what an mmorpg is, mmo publishers time and time again wanted to copy the "WoW" like numbers.
Few games broke the WoW mold, and those games where met with punishable reviews, poor sales and in some cases actual world closings. Shadowbane , which was the pinnacle of PVP in an mmorpg was without a doubt one of the best games of ever produced, but because it failed long term to generate WoW figures, it shut down.
If we really look at the problem, it was not the actual games themselves that got dumb-ed down, but the reaction to what sells forcing developers to dumb down the games. As long as consumers continue to by easy mode game titles, the games will just get easier and easier.
I'd rather phrase it that games are becoming more "accessible" the saying that they're being dumbed down. There will never be a shortage of dumb games, and never has been since they became popular. We're just more aware of the dumb games now, and some of them somehow end up hyped by mainstream.
Plus, it doesn't really help that nostalgia can make us blind to the blatant "dumbness" of games of the past. Super Mario World is one of my favorite games of all time, and you can't really claim that it had any depth storywise.
As far challenging as in difficulty, there is no questioning that most current games are easier than past generations. Try playing one of the original MegaMan or Battletoads games, for example. Demon Souls has nothing on that frustration.
There's no question that the popularity of video games has grown. But is this helping or harming the quality of games? read more
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