This new gaming world completely tied to Internet servers is horrible, and the number of players realizing (they MUST realize it) how wrong the on-line only setup is grows as the accidents arising from the intrinsic unreliability of the Net increase: the outcomes of the preannounced shutdown of Games For Windows Live are affecting games released years ago, Steam automatic updates remove contents from the games users have already paid for and crowdfundend projects don’t keep the pledge for including a working off-line mode. An exemption to the DMCA for lawfully removing Internet DRM is a good thing yet it isn’t enough, to avoid this abomination.
Every transition period brings both risks and opportunities, and the constantly-evolving videogaming world is especially prone to this dual nature: the platforms that were open and free from remote control until now, like Windows (pre-8), are risking to turn into closed ecosystems, even though technology evolution isn’t stopping not even for a second; the historical on-line services are shutting down glaringly showing the risks coming with reliance on an Internet connection, but software optimization is getting new speed from the old bones in the old-gen graphic cards. The endless promise of virtual reality is attracting millions-worth funding, while the PC as a gaming platform is as dead as ever.
Thus, let’s talk about video games again. And above all about the fact that everybody talk about them: the industry insiders ask themselves if it’s better for a game to be long, short or simply meaningful throughout the time it takes to be completed; USA college professors introduce modern videogame classics within their courses on humanity’s fundamental questions; the media go on arguing on the stupid question if video games are art or not (hint: yes, they are). Let them freely talk and gabble about video games: who writes, at least for the time being, is busy mostly playing them
What do the (relatively) recent exploit of Nintendo’s Wii console, the iPhone popularity and the videogaming velleities of social networks like Facebook share? They all are facts which have contributed to open the video games market to a broader and broader audience, establishing the principle that casual gaming, that kind of ludic activity which does not force you to know the magic sequence “WASD” or the difference between a hack’n slash and a “pure” role playing game, is a growing phenomenon that will eventually shape the entire industry alongside its traditional technological and commercial models.
In this period there is a lot of talking about the new ways of interaction with entertainment devices and about the fact that things like Microsoft’s Project Natal would be destined, on the long run, to replace traditional controllers be they joypads, keyboards or mice. To me this seems more of an advertising nonsense than any other thing, the mouse lasted 40 years and there surely will be a valid reason to justify such a longevity. Of course, we’re all open to the future and tech evolution, but seeing myself playing to a remote descendant of one of the titles included in this videogaming compilation without a physical controller in my hands seems an unlikely perspective to say the least.
Ok I admit it, I’m a certified liar because if my personal review of old classics goes on tirelessly the amount of time required for a post of the series Videogames highlights is always the same, nay it’s getting worse. That’s the reason why I’ll change formula here, and instead of a monstrous and rebellious blob (at least for me writing it) containing any sort of thing I return to a less rich but more selected collection of videogaming stuff of the past month. Hoping that the June post won’t be on-line on September :-/