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Living in the Renaissance of Gaming

Now is the time to play video games. Perusing game site message boards and forums could lead one to think video games are terrible and the industry is all going downhill. There is an abundance of complaints about too many sequels, �dumbing-down�, lack of creativity, and the horrors of casual games. However, after taking a broad look at the industry, there is no greater time to be a video game enthusiast than now.

The Golden Age of games is lovingly recalled by many older gamers when Sega battled Nintendo, arcades were the best place to spend a Saturday afternoon, Street Fighter II fought Mortal Kombat, and loads of endearingly bizarre games were created. The market was still young and enthusiastic, and in some cases, developers were just throwing crap at the wall to see what would stick. For most of us, it was the time when we fell in love with video games.

It is now 2011, and in the grand scheme of entertainment mediums, video games are still very young; but now is the time to appreciate the moment we are living in. Since the industry is still young compared to movies, music, literature, or plays, game creators are still discovering ways to effectively tell stories. Whether you loved or hated Heavy Rain, it was a truly original story-telling experience that we had yet seen. Mass Effect and Uncharted are both incorporating more queues from modern Hollywood, while LIMBO borrowed heavily from German expressionism. The point being is that games are at present very good, yet the ceiling has yet to be seen as the industry is still learning a lot.

In the early era of Playstation and Nintendo 64, the game industry was moving from 2-D into 3-D environments, and many developers struggled with transitioning their previous 2-D sensibilities. This was a difficult time for many publishers, and the industry seemed to be leading 2-D games into extinction. However, the 2-D fighters, platformers and action games have not only returned, but are some of the best games available. Designers have figured out how create quality experiences that incorporate game elements from the entire spectrum, from vintage to HD.

If gamers complain about the lack of good games, they simply aren�t looking very hard. Not only can great games be easily found, but getting a fantastic game can cost as little as $10 these days. The sheer variety of styles of games available is overwhelming. Classic gaming titles co-exist with high-budget games like Call of Duty. From Gears of War to Flower, and Demon�s Souls to Kirby�s Epic Yarn, there are absolutely games for everyone to enjoy. In fact, the real issue is finding time to play all of these quality games. The release calendar for 2011 is staggering for us hard-core gamers. I have not even mentioned iOS and mobile games, nor the upcoming handhelds from Sony and Nintendo.

Video games have a lot of nostalgic power for most gamers, but we should beware of the rose-tinted glasses than can sometimes skew our perspective. History tells us that industries fluctuate � some die, some endure. If we love video games, now is the time to bask in the abundance of our favorite hobby. I plan to enjoy it while it lasts.

Follow @jessedvorak or www.facebook.com/gattacast

article originally published: http://www.dazzlenuts.com/gaming/living-in-the-renaissance-of-gaming/
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About GATTACASTjesseone of us since 5:48 PM on 01.24.2011

Video Game Podcaster: www.GATTACAST.com - Intelligent Conversation for Mature Gamers

part time music composer. part time writer. part time student. full time husband.

long time gamer.

I am particularly interested in Video Games as the new frontier of story-telling.

Twitter: @jessedvorak

join the GATTACAST Facebook page: www.facebook.com/gattacast

GATTACAST is a friendly, intelligent, colorful, philosophical, and mostly awesome conversation about video games amongst friends. New video game music highlighted in each episode.

This podcast features conversations about games we are playing, video game music, and discussions regarding all things related to the culture, society, art, and politics of the video game world.