You guys all know that I’m a curmudgeon, right? I mean, I write mostly scathing opinions of the modern gaming industry because I think it’s in a pretty awful place.
So, allow me to tell you about some things that I’m truly grateful for. Some of these have to do with the modern industry and some, of course, are of things from older times and places.
So, I am grateful for...
Joystiq, Massively And Wowinsider - The Sites That Reconnected Me With Gaming Fans
I am thankful for the fact that those sites existed and grateful that two of them now live on as separate entities not controlled by AOL. [I am, of course, referring to MassivelyOP and Blizzardwatch. And you should certainly go and visit them if you didn’t know about them before. They are both worth your time.]
I am also eternally grateful that – in the wake of the AOL shut down, we – the fans – didn’t just roll over and accept that our sites were going away. We gave those writers the money they needed to keep going, because we believed in them.
I am also very pleased that Twinstiq got born out of those deaths. Through it, some of our community – and its spirit lives on.
There were various copy protection schemes that all lead to the same end-point: making sure you didn’t disseminate the software to other people.
One good thing that’s come of the modern industry that I’m truly thankful for is sites like GOG and developers who consistently [and insistently] develop so that their games are DRM-free. It will be far easier, in the future, to archive and preserve and play these games.
A [Largely Flat] Technology Peak
The first computer I ever bought had no hard drive, no sound card, an amber CRT monitor, no mouse [yes, really, mice were optional back then] and just about 128 kilobytes of onboard memory.
In those days, technology zoomed by as people came up with bigger and better pieces of software. One of the first upgrades I ever did on that machine was bump the 128 kilobytes of memory up to 640, because it turned out that most games [at the time] struggled under anything less.
I’m truly thankful that we’ve hit a sort of plateau now. Instead of things getting more “advanced” they’re generally widening out. That is: Graphics cards all use a unified library like DirectX, now. Generally, from one generation to the next, there’s no “huge leap” between older video cards and newer ones. This makes it far easier to recommend and buy a computer. Even console systems have evened out to about a 5 year gap between new machines.
The Internet Exists
There are bad things that come with the internet: Gabe’s Internet Jerkwad Theory is a part of life on the modern internet. Day One patches could only exist as a result of the current bandwidth situation we’re in. The minefield of issues with social media. [and for some, the resultant Fear Of Missing Out]
Certainly, all of these things are terrible – and things that we need to be vigilant of, but to my mind, and especially as gamers, there are quite a few plusses to the fact that the internet exists. For example, it’s now possible to find people to play a game with, even if your friends are nowhere nearby – and, in fact, you can keep in touch with those friends more easily as a result, should they move. You can buy games without having to go to a store – and a greater number of games than you ever could before, too. [including classics that you’d struggle to find on store shelves, today.] You are also able to find far more resources about potential purchases than you ever could, in the past [when we were basically reliant on what your friends thought and magazines.]
And I am thankful for all of these.
Sierra On-Line and LucasArts
While I’m not as crazy about Lucasarts [because they never felt like “a family” to me, the way Sierra did] I am grateful to all those designers that made beautiful games in the form of The Dig, Loom and Grim Fandango.
Thanks, Ken and Roberta, for believing in the medium. [and thanks to the countless amazing developers you had at Sierra.]
You guys genuinely make me proud that my hobby is computer games.
Joystiq Logo: Wikipedia
Massively Logo: MMOGames.com euologizes Massively
WowInsider Logo: Engadget.com [don't click and give AOL ad views ;)] Diablo 3 DRM: Imgur
KQ1 Specs: Gamefaqs King's Quest I Box Shots
Witcher 3 Specs: VGBoxArt
Internet Map: Wikipedia
Sierra On-Line Logo: UMBCast
LucasFilm Games Logo: ATMachine's Lucasarts Logos, A History In Pictures
Owl Family: Pixabay