The Death of Gaming

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What do you do when your favorite pastime’s day has come and gone? Do you say anything?  Do you cast everything aside and stow the remains in an attic chest? Do you think how it used to be, in the good ol’ days? Did you see “The Great Fall”? Did you try to stop it? Or accept it? Did forces beyond your control deal the death blow? Or was it your decision?

This opening paragraph could cover a plethora of things. Today, I will be taking a look at video games. This is the death of gaming. I didn’t kill my love for games. No one I knew did either. The culprit, the vile killer of this saga is the video game industry itself. The industry is the true villain.

My first video game console was the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). A Christmas gift when I was in kindergarten. Back in the days when you bought a console or system, and you got more in the box. It came with accessories, controllers and a pistol for shooting games. Games were included, Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. You didn’t have to go drop another $50 or $60 on top of the console price. Everything you need to have fun out of the box with no need to buy anything else. Brilliant. I had several games over the years and rented and borrowed many more.

The first true console wars were between the Super Nintendo (SNES) and the Sega Genesis. I had to save up and buy my own, and I went with the Sega when I was in 5th grade. Some people had both, there always are. I went with the Sega. I knew more people who owned one. It was easy to swap and borrow games, and games were easier to take to a friend’s house than loading up a console in a backpack. The graphics were better in this era, going from 8-bit pixels to 16-bit. Not much by today’s standards, but in those days it was huge.

My parents never bought me games or consoles after the first Nintendo. I had to save and buy, or rent my own. It made it difficult to enjoy sometimes. I did when I had time to play. I always wanted the next new system. I didn’t have to have them all. I wanted the one my friends had.

The next console I bought was the original PlayStation. The games were getting better. Better graphics and better stories. The first incarnation of modern gaming. I got it used from a friend. Then came the PlayStation 2, and the original Xbox. Now I became a sole console guy, and I chose the Xbox. Again, I knew more people who had one. This is when my love for gaming started as I had money to spend. Then the Xbox 360 came out. It was a game console, but it was so much more. The on-line playing, achievements, and streaming entertainment had me hooked. I loved the Xbox 360. Then there was the fall.

The next generation announcement came at E3 in June of 2013. Microsoft ushered out the Xbox One, and fell flat on its face. This was not the console that gamers wanted. There were rumors months before and the internet was in a fury over them. Microsoft paid no attention, and the rumors were true. Even though they tried to make changes for the better, for me the damage was already done.

I had become disenfranchised before the Xbox One failure with many key factors. At the top of the list was DLC. I already paid for the game, now the developers wanted me to pay more for a new storyline. Then there was pre-order games. You might get a few extras, but it got to where the pre-order games are rushed and almost unplayable. It became a money grab, the greed of an industry. The games got to be too expensive. I used GameFly, but again DLC got in the way. I had to install to the hard drive before I could play anything.

The death blow was the destruction of one of my favorite series. Assassin’s Creed. I love those games. It was the one game a year I’d buy. Then I bought Rogue. I played the first few minutes, and I realized I had missed something. I had missed because I had not purchased the previous games DLC. Without spending extra money on an extra hour or two of game play, I had no idea what was going on in the new game I purchased. That was it. Game over. It was the death of gaming. I’ve seen nothing to make me believe that this trend will cease. The gaming industry no longer needs me. They’ve made that clear. I no longer need them. I’ll play my old games, or nothing at all.

Copyright © Drew Martin 2015

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