The Man Who Knew Too Much
Over the last three decades gaming has grown.
It’s spread it’s wings and flown into the sub-concious of probably the majority of the population of Earth.
I imagine you’d be hard pressed in this modern age to find anyone that hasn’t heard of at least one facet of the gaming World. Even more so now as Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Playstation Move attract a previously disinterested group of soap opera fans, crossword puzzlers, knitters, gardeners, Grandads & Grannies and everything in between and challenge them to forget their preconceptions about video games and start playing.
Over 30 years gaming has grown from a predominantly male tribe of frowned upon kids eager for their next fix of blocky, pixelated fun into an entire Nation of passionate gamers with the World at their fingertips.
And this new found love for video games has created some Goliath’s, franchises that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the biggest box office hits the movie World can offer up, games that become part of the fabric of society, games like Call of Duty, Halo, FIFA, Gears of War, Uncharted, gargantuan beasts growing ever more powerful as we gamers feed from the Hype machine and as we queue in excited anticipation, the moment we finally get to play the game so close to hand, we already know almost everything that awaits us.
By the time the majority of titles hit the shelves these days, we know way too much.
We know what characters are in there, what levels to expect, how long it should take us to finish the game, we know whether there’s a twist to the storyline, we’ve seen videos of developers playing, big budget trailers on TV and in some cases we’ve already had a taste of the action via demo’s and beta testing or maybe we’ve browsed the forums and unwittingly stumbled into spoilers, whatever the case us gamers have never known the ins and outs of a game before we buy it as much as we do now.
The surprises the game could have offered are gone and the impact certain moments could have given have been lessened, largely because we’ve already seen them a dozen or so times. ‘Don’t watch the videos then’ you say, ‘steer clear of those damned forums,’ logical advice but much easier said than done, when you’re gearing up for a new game release curiosity often kills the cat.
Things have certainly changed, from playing my Spectrum, right upto, i’d say, my Dreamcast days, information wasn’t so easy to come by, the internet wasn’t as readily available and there weren’t any all singing all dancing TV ads beaming into our living rooms, in fact the only real option for gathering any snippet of information on new releases was the good old games mag. Mags like C&VG became the gamers bible, scouring the pages for a titbit of news and bathing in the glory of the screenshots, reading and re-reading again and again, and staring at those damned pretty graphics, just longing for a chance to play the game ourselves. And when we did get to play….it was fresh, it was surprising, and it felt like a new experience, none of the moments were already engraved in our memorys and every twist and turn was an unexpected treat.
Someday it’d be nice to go for a complete gaming media blackout in the months leading upto a big launch, just to recapture a bit of that feeling of unknowing excitement as the game enters the console for the first time….it’d be nice but I fear incredibly difficult, curiosity is a strong force, unfortunately, with games, one I succumb to every time…..now where’s that new Gears 3 vid I heard about on Youtube..