Video games can certainly be considered art. Being a gamer for nearly as long as I can remember helped me see this, but so did a lot of other things that have been publicized such as behind-the-scenes work for some of my favorite games.
Integral to making good video games is artistic merits such as creativity, writing, artwork, acting, and etcetera. Video games are approached and written like a novel or movie script. The amount of time, effort, and money spent to produce video games is proportional to the amount spent making films and other art. Video game producers hire writers to create and actors to play and voice the characters. Professional artists and designers design the way the game looks, like an interactive picture or movie. Cinematic cutscenes within video games are no different than hollywood CGI / digitally animated shows and movies.
But some gamers don’t play video games solely for the art or cinematic content. Some people play games – get this – for the gameplay. Video games are like a beautifully hand carved chess board with elaborate hand carved pieces. Is it art or a game? Both to many, but to some it is more of one than the other. Problems can arise when game developers spend more time worrying about a game’s graphical and cinematic content rather than actual mechanics and gameplay let alone strategy, tactics and depth. Problems arise when game developers start worrying about anything more than they would worry about gameplay and how fun and immersive the game actually is.
Games suck now. Why? For a variety of reasons…
For one, gamergate was pretty much the confirmation we needed to see that the gaming industry is like any other industry. Corruption all throughout the gaming industry is rife – from the funding game developers receive, to their product outcomes, to the journalists who report on the gaming industry, to their scamming of customers and collusions with government compromising their privacy. These revelations may shed some light on why, for the past decade or so, games have sucked…
Money and scams – Video gaming is a mainstream industry in which one of the main goals is to make money (take your money) … Video gamers are nickel and dimed at every turn.
- If a movie DVD doesn’t cost $60 to buy at the store (unless you buy the whole box set), why does a video game?
- Commercials and trailers are often false advertising.
- Everything has a sequel or two or three or… up to fifteen (dragged out story with no closure or clarity)
- DLC / Add-ons – Buy a game that is not a full product then pay later to get more gameplay options for the full experience.
- subscription to play – Like a cable subscription, keep paying to keep playing. This is fine if you agree to this. A subscription to play a game should be no more than $5 – $15 a month
- pay to win – In some games, someone who pays money or more money than you is given gameplay options which are unavailable to those who don’t pay
- free to play scams – Some free to play games do it right but most games that do this are more of a scam.
- kickstarters, early access and/or alpha and beta access games – On paper, this concept seems great. Allowing the customers to actively participate in and fund the projects they want to see… but most of these games are unfinished and/or broken games. Why buy a game that is literally not completed and/or broken when you can spend a similar price on a game which has been completed and (hopefully) tested for bugs and etc.?
Laziness and lack of creativity by the developers leads to lack of immersion for the players (this is often linked to monetization of video games taking more importance over their artistic or entertainment value)
- Bugs, glitches (not negligible)
- Features and/or content that you will expect or take for granted will not be in the game for some weird or mysterious reason (but later on it will be available for purchase through add-on DLC)
- Almost all games follow a sort of typical formula for whatever genre they are.
- Even down to the soundtracks there is not as much effort put in, or at least the outcomes are not as memorable as there used to be.
- Characters are not memorable or just stupid and unrelatable; who cares?
- Linear games
- Most games have been “dumbed down” compared to some of the previous versions they once were