Creative and Original Games Need More Mainstream Publicity to Improve the Image of Gaming

It’s not that I think people who play or create shooter games are stupid (although the Publishers are lacking in vision for the future).

It’s just that I generally get tired of repetition. Some people find this comforting, indeed there are many people who choose to play just one game for years.

I don’t just mean WOW (World of Warcraft) players, I mean Solitaire, Poker, Scrabble, Counterstrike, Sims players… you name it, they’ll play that one game for years and years. Take UO (Ultima Online) – that game’s been going for over ten years and still thousands upon thousands play it day in, day out.

However, there is a big reason why I relish the reality of a much wider spectrum of games currently being developed and appearing on shelves. It’s because I as many know that games have a much greater potential as a mainstream art-form or media than has previously been realised, by the masses at least.

I’d like to see games being culturally accepted by both men and women, in the same way that Film, Music, Books and Art is accepted as a way of expressing creativity and perspectives through original ideas. That geeky, childish image that is projected by the mainstream press and the majority of ‘sensible grown-ups’ especially annoys me.

Why is it that interactivity (which exercises the brain) makes something ‘just for kids with no friends and lots of time’, whereas a mindless TV soap (which melts the brain into a senseless soup) is completely socially acceptable?

This brings me back to my previous rant about the majority of big, highly publicised games that have been published and talked about in the mainstream. A vast majority of non-gamers assume that all the games out there are like the ones that they get exposed to through mainstream news and marketing. These games are the Halos, the Mass Effects, the World of Warcrafts.

Obviously this isn’t true (if you don’t believe me, check out this post).

If gaming culture wants to open it’s arms to the masses and eventually become accepted as Art, a good start would be to focus publicity on the more artistic, more original, less-stereotypical titles, rather than on Halo 4, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2… I very much doubt that this will happen anytime soon. We’ll see how predictable and repetitive the big hitters are at E3 in May.

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