You know what I really, really miss? Being able to enjoy videogames as an escape from reality. These days, I'm constantly bombarded from all sides by friends, fans, and websites about some new scandal in the industry. I can't remember a time when I felt so dirty about the hobby that I love so much. It's getting to a point where it's starting to actively take some of the joy out of gaming. So I ask the question: can we go back to the days before all this, or is it too late?
In fairness, I understand the necessity of covering and reporting on perceived injustice. The only way to make a difference sometimes is to bring the dirty things to light. But, I can't help but feel like we're doing it in all the wrong places. I'm honestly not sure where the "proper" forum would be, but it doesn't feel like it belongs on the front page of every gaming news outlet on the planet. It's impossible to escape these days, and it really bums me out! It's like watching the news and seeing only the bad things because it gets ratings. I'm really worried that sensationalism is on gaming websites is the new click-bait.
More than anything, I just want to be able to go to some of my favorite sites and not have to worry about being sucked into the latest ugly gossip or mudslinging. I don't want to have to avoid certain articles out of frustration or anger. I just want to hear about the games. Is that so much to ask?
Maybe it's just nostalgia talking, but I can remember a time when opening up a brand new issue of EGM or Nintendo Power meant I was drowning in reviews, previews, and tons of new screenshots. There were funny ads, articles, and monthly musings and the latest happenings in the industry. The most scandal you'd see was around violence in videogames or possibly the hyper-sexuality of certain characters. And you know what? It was covered gracefully and took both sides into account. Then, it was back to the games.
Now, editorials and opinion pieces on "the issues" take up a large portion of the coverage these days. I guess for some websites, these articles get the greatest "pop" from the audience, and probably bring new clicks to the website. I understand the necessity of running a business, but it all feels so slimy when you know certain articles were written with the sole intent of pushing folk's buttons.
Honestly, I'm not so sure that things can be like the way they were before. It was a time of innocence that some might call naivete. It's true; we were certainly less "in-the-loop" back then. But I recall it being a blissful age where games, and just games, ruled supreme. It was an era where each month I could look forward to nothing but focused content on what I really came for: videogames. Call me simplistic or ignorant, but I just want to be able to experience that unbridled joy again. I don't want to have to worry about the next "whatever-gate" or having to defend my hobby from the public eye. I just want to play videogames, all the time and every day.