Sunday, 29 January 2012

I foresee gaming in your future



fish[2]After writing my blog about gaming in couples, I got to thinking that perhaps there is literally a gamer inside absolutely every one of us. And people who don't play games either haven't tried the right ones, or worse still reject the notion of playing games entirely.

For instance my mother in law likes to play those Professor Layton games on her DS, but when my wife suggested she tried Settlers Online, she rejected the idea, as she was too busy (she isn't). Now we both thought that this is game that she would enjoy, however I think that sitting down in front of a pc, or indeed a console, 250px-Nintendo-DSi-Bl-Opento play a game still has a strong stigma attached to it. Perhaps that is Nintendo's greatest street and weaknesses. They made playing games socially acceptable to those who are middle aged (and older), however I think that people still see their devices as fun little novelties that aren't to be taken seriously. Consequently despite vast number of Wii's on the market, the game sales have been sluggish aside from dance/exercise games.

So the problem as I see it is twofold, how do you get people to play your games and how do you get people to  take them seriously. For instance Team Fortress 2 is arguably the best multiplayer game available, is free and will run well on any pc purchased in the last 3 or 4 years. So how do you get the billion or so pc owners to take a chance and try it. Bollocks, I have just realised that is the 64, 000 dollar question, that I have no bright answer to.

000169511I suppose the obvious place to look is the comic book industry. Over the last 20 years or so, I believe the "public" perception of comics have changed. Going from being seen cheap and trashy kids entertainment , to reasonably respected medium.  So they have done this my working there way very successfully into other media, films and TV. This not only showed that the “traditional” superhero stuff could be adult and mature, but also there is a whole world of other comics that never touch superheroes, The Walking Dead is probably the best example of this. Now games have had a few stabs at movies, but they have been generally terrible. But so were the early comic book movies, so all I can say is take heart, in 20-30 years absolutely everyone will be a gamer.

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