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Jim's point does make sense when you consider the advance of technology in the last decade. Clash of Clans being the most influential game of the 2010's is only valid when you remember that gaming is now not limited only to the traditional platforms that we knew in the 2000's and that, for better or worse, the main market for games is still, and probably will be, the casual gamer, and the more casual friendly the game, the more money it brings.
Actually, Jim has made me realise that the people that consumes consoles and computer games are now probably a lesser percentage, if not a minority, in gaming overall when we ponder on the broad market that smartphones can reach out to due to the sheer need of having one in the current era.
Taking this into consideration, it would seem that the current flood of micro-transactions in the majority of high profile console and/or PC games will only end - or at least start to recede - once the mobile gaming side is brought to regulation on its gambling mechanics.
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 6th 2020 at 11:05:33 AM
Yeah, as of... not sure how long ago? But at certain point the average gamer was actually 30ish and female.
Oh the amount of money gacha games like Fate/Grand Order & Fire Emblem: Heroes must make.
As someone that does play one mobile game (Fate/Grand Order) and grew up with the PSX and PC games mainly, I can bring some testimony in the conveniences that is playing a game in the smartphone over one in a computer or a console.
For one, the flexiblity of time for gaming: How often could you play a game in your mobile phone? The frequency is undoubtly higher than the one you could give to a traditional game if we consider the amount of times we take at waiting or resting away from our place of work.
Second and related, the economic practicity: While it is true that a smartphone or an ipad cannot hold a candle to a PS4 or a high end computer, which one is actually a better investment? The PS4 is only entertainment spending and a pimped computer is only useful for certain professions such as engineering or architecture because the programs they use to work require the same specs as the AAA games more or less. The smartphone wins out in terms of money returned.
Third, final; and important, the span of attention we give to gaming: Let's be honest, most of the mobile games in the market are just time wasters that anyone could uninstall without much regret in contrast to the more polished and perfected games that the big companies or the dedicated indies can put out. But, do you actually have time to care about those better games? The answer that the casual gamers will give you is a sound no because they will point out that they have to juggle between social life, studies, work, family, etc. So, when your majority of players are not looking for a quality experience but just a quick way to spend time, there's no wonder that the quality of gaming overall recedes.
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 7th 2020 at 5:23:36 AM
I remember Jim discussing that it one of his videos. The time commitment required to play major releases was often as, if not more, prohibitive than the financial investment.
That was fine when I was younger, but not so much anymore.
Props to that Fist of the North Star shout out though Jim.
If we think about it, what we "traditional" gamers consider a ludicrous amount of money spent on one mobile game by a "casual" gamer is not so outlandish when we consider the amount of cash invested on games that one buys on steam or for a console (with the device included) and the amount of time one can actually dedicate to any of those.
I still have time to care about those bigger games but in part that's because I don't have much of a social life and university doesn't take up THAT much of my time given I'm doing an online program so I don't have to do a commute. I still have much less time to play compared to when I was younger and even when I do have time often I'm tired from work when I get home and just want to chill.
That being said if I was more busy I doubt I would care much about mobile games besides playing one every now and then precisely because they're little more than timewasters and Skinner boxes in disguise. If I'm bored during a commute or on break from work I'd rather read a book or do something else.
But I totally get why mobile gaming has taken off, even if I think it's in many ways a negative.
Edited by Draghinazzo on Jan 7th 2020 at 8:43:04 AM
In my case, being more involved with my colleagues and giving more effort to university has sapped some of the enthusiasm I could give to the bigger games, there’s also the issue of my laptop being old and being able to run some games without burning out.
Now that I think of it, there was once an episode of Extra Credits in which they discussed the term “gamer” and its admittedly pejorative connotations of the Basement-Dweller and relation to terms like reader and bookworm, nowadays I think the term can actually have a meaningful distinction if we consider gamers the people who engage with pc and/or console games.
I spent the last few years wanting to play bigger games and mostly being unable to because my computer is far too old. I got by on playing mostly indie games and visual novels but have found that recently I run into more and more issues. Even most moderate budget 3d games are too much for it and even some Sprite based games like shantae and cuphead have problems (the former runs at an abysmal framerate when there are a lot of effects on the screen, the latter crashes whenever I try to fight a certain boss because of what I assume is an effect that's part of the background that it can't render).
I'm going to hopefully fix it soon by buying a modern PC, which will be expensive but I can justify it because I spend most of my time on my PC even when in not playing games and I'll probably need a better one for university. Windows 7 support was also dropped by Microsoft soon so that could prove a liability in the future, I don't want to install Windows 10 on my current pc because it probably wouldn't run well.
Edited by Draghinazzo on Jan 7th 2020 at 9:59:57 AM
This talk about modern games or keeping it to modern times...
What's wrong if you exclusively play older games? Is modding wrong or what?
I'd be fine playing games from 90s and 00s only, a bunch of them with modding allows it to keep up with the times.
Unless I missed something...
Not to bump but yeah I understand it better now, it makes sense
Edited by Dhiruxide on Jan 7th 2020 at 3:44:23 PM
You can play older games all you like,no one is begrudging you for it,it's just sometimes trying something new and different can make a welcome change
Edited by Ultimatum on Jan 7th 2020 at 2:38:57 PM
There's nothing wrong with it if that's what one wants to do. It was mostly a tangent about the broader topic of how certain factors mean the majority of people who play games are going to prefer mobile, one of them being how a smartphone is something everyone has whereas a PC or console that can play triple a games is a hefty investment that not everyone feels inclined to do, especially the former.
We also have to consider that older games are at times incompatible with the current gaming platforms and require a patch to bring them to life again.
The original Starcraft for instance only ran on PCs up to the XP generation, past that the program had troubles with the colours because the computer could not lower its resolution even more, it took Blizzard launching a patch to make the game compatible again with the Windows 7 and 10 to solve the colour issue.
Emulators run into the problem of being in the grey area of piracy since you can play an old game with either a disk or the iso data of the disk, the latter being downloadable.
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 7th 2020 at 7:05:14 AM
That's true, Descent 3 for example is a bitch to run on Windows 10. What makes it aggravating is...it doesn't have a source code released like Descent 1 and 2 have.
With it, you can make source ports and port them to goddamn near every possible system imaginable. It's a major but not only reason why classic Doom and the community are still around, 26 years later.
But not every game is blessed like that...
even outside of being a gray area emulation often runs into issues with accuracy or consoles having distinctive architecture or input methods that aren't easy to replicate.
A lot of emulators just work well enough to run the most popular games at a decent quality, but when it comes to something more obscure they have problems or just flat out can't emulate it. It takes time and sometimes a considerably powerful PC to sort out these issues.
Edited by Draghinazzo on Jan 7th 2020 at 11:21:24 AM
Heheheh that little tangent throwing shade towards Rise of Skywalker.
Guess even Jim really hates it.
The original Doom also got by due to a Grandfather Clause since it pretty much defined the next generations of FPS, in fact Half-Life was built using the id code if memory serves me right.
That is true, while the games I played using an emulator were either PSX games like Yu-gi-Oh: Forbidden Memories or Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver or the original Super Smash and they ran fine, I'm sure that the problem of coding for certain consoles made some games straight up unplayable, even the ones that are ported are not safe from being crap.
Having heard spoilers from it, I agree with Jim's statement that the concept is absurd.
Something of a tangent, should we update our pages on the history of videogames to give it a proper Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron/Dark Age division?
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 7th 2020 at 8:22:53 AM
OK, I need to make some things clear.
Emulation is perfectly legal. An emulator is a piece of software that pretends to be some piece of hardware, usually different to the hardware it is actually running on. There's no grey area here, and indeed the legality of emulation was proven in 2000, in the case of Sony Computer Entertainment vs Connectix Corporation. Indeed, Nintendo use emulators for their Virtual Console and (S)NES - NSO services. DOSBox has a full (and very accurate) x86 emulator built in which it uses to play DOS games, and it works so well that it's how DOS games sold through Steam and GOG run on modern PCs. (And WINE, as its name states, is in fact not an emulator as it only imitates software, not hardware).
The idea that it's a legal grey area comes from conflating emulation (which is perfectly legal) with the completely separate issue of software piracy (which is illegal, as ruled in Sega vs Accolade in 1996). Piracy is a violation of copyright - a videogame is a work of art, and hence is covered by copyright. Distributing copies of games without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal.
The confusion seems to arise from the fact that playing pirated games is the most common use case of emulators. This arises from the sort of people who pirate games not being the types to spend money on hardware, and even if they do, consoles historically had minimal if any software in them, so running a rom or iso required a PC to run the emulator. Even when consoles got software, they also employed a fair amount of awkward DRM which makes it more convenient for pirates to play on a PC than original hardware.
But to be clear, the issue with this use of emulators is not the emulation, but what is being emulated. Using a flashcard to play a pirated rom on original hardware is exactly as illegal as using an emulator to play it, even though nothing is being emulated.
Consider another analogy - if someone uses their car to transport cocaine, that's a crime. But it doesn't follow that transporting things using your own car is illegal - the crime comes from the thing being transported, not the transport itself. In this analogy, the car is an emulator and the cocaine is a pirated game.
Doom's source code being GPL (because John Carmack is awesome) is why it's been preserved so well. Anybody can copy, read, and modify it, and so Doom will remain playable as long as there are electronic computers. Source ports add interesting features, allowing custom levels that are mathematically impossible in vanilla Doom.
Also Half-Life is derived from the Quake engine, not Doom.
Edited by VampireBuddha on Jan 7th 2020 at 2:42:50 PM
Interesting, so emulation in on itself is not illegal or legally grey, I did not know that; also thank you for correcting me, I knew that Half-Life used an id software engine but I mixed the two games up.
A bit of an elaboration, the reason why I mentioned the division of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron/Dark Ages is because Jim's video made me remember Yatzee's retrospective on the Fifth generation of consoles.
Using this event in conjunction with the crash of 1983 and Jim's comments on Clash of Clans we could make the aforementioned division of ages.
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 7th 2020 at 9:00:30 AM
I don't think we should.
It sounds like you're looking to make Metal Ages of games by analogy with the Metal Ages of American superhero comics. However, the terms Golden Age, Silver Age, etc are established terms in comics fandom, and the wiki just defines and explains them.
Trying to assign video games to Metal Ages is an attempt to force them into a pre-designed paradigm into which they don't really fit.
Not only that, but the Metal Ages of American superhero comics were driven by outside forces. The Golden Age lasted from 1938 to 1947 and the term has nothing to do with the quality of the stories; they tended to be very simple and explodumpy, and many of them were pretty bad. The term Golden Age was in reference specifically to sales, because that is when superhero comics sold best in America.
The Silver Age, lasting from 1956 to 1971, was also just about sales - the Comics Code had rendered most other genres untenable, leaving superheroes to fill the chasm in the market.
The Bronze Age was the backlash to the Silver Age - as the Comics Code weakened, writers and publishers increasingly explored edgier concepts and stories with a greater focus on real-life and down-to-Earth issues. This is really when the Metal Ages came to describe content rather than sales.
The Dark Age was characterised by a shift toward selling to a small number of whales instead of trying to attract a large audience. For various reasons, dedicated comics shops started to open across America, and publishers started selling to them rather than to newsagents. Thus, the sort of people buying superhero comics in America were increasingly the sort of devoted nerds who would notice continuity flubs and follow stories across multiple issues, even multiple titles. Rare Golden Age comics were selling for considerable amounts, and speculators were buying up new comics in the hope they would be worth something in the future. Publishers encourages this by releasing multiple covers, packing in trading cards, and other gimmicks. In retrospect, it was an unsustainable bubble, and it popped around 1996 as people realised all those comics they had invested in were too common to ever break even on reselling, and 75% of direct market comics shops went out of business.
After that came the Modern Age (name TBD), which I'm not entirely sure how to define other than that it's the age we're currently in.
A minority view is that the Dark Age never actually ended. This view assigns everything in American superhero comics since 1986 to the Iron Age. The defining trait of the Iron Age is that American superheroes are popular across the board, but almost entirely in adaptations - the comics are an insular medium which sells mostly to whales.
And video games really don't fit that paradigm. The big changes in video games come mostly with technological change. CPUs, RAM, memory, and so on advance at a rate determined by investment from the tech industry, and console developers are part of that. As a result, new consoles tend to come along around the same time as technology reaches a point where it makes sense to release a new machine in order to have better, more impressive games. That's why we have console generations, and that is the paradigm used by people at large to talk about eras of video games.
In short, the generations are:
The reason why I mentioned the metal ages, while indeed somewhat inspired by their use in comic books history, was also to take into consideration the trends of the videogame industry at large, incluiding factors that are not purely technological.
If I am allowed, here's the timeline I would propose, somewhat lacking to my admission:
I'm surely forgetting things and probably misinterpretating them, but what do you think so far?
Edited by raziel365 on Jan 8th 2020 at 9:56:45 AM
I don't personally see the need to lift the comics ages characterisations and transpose them upon video games. They both have different and distinct "ages" determined by the specific economic, stylistic and technological changes in the medium - and both different systems are already widely used. This feels like doing it just for the sake of uniformity rather than clarity.
There's already a system, it's numbered generations. Why do we need one that's more convoluted.
Because convolutions for convolution's sake.
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