Kentucky Road Zero

I am fascinated by the mysterious future of video games – Destructoid

Games are in flux, and I love it

The video game industry changes a lot and is always forward looking. It’s that time of year again when we’re excited to see all the new trailers, and we think ahead not in terms of days, weeks, or even months, but Years. With each new version released, we look forward to seeing how the graphics, gameplay, story, art and music will push the games even further, showing us something the medium hasn’t done before. The constant clamor of new consoles is becoming more prominent with the scarcity of new 9th generation hardware.

There’s a constant force pushing us forward, and while that’s exciting, the emotional side of me wants to slow down and smell the roses a bit. I am shocked just looking at video game graphics side by side for nearly thirty years now. This is probably why I’ve been playing so many Relaxing Community simulators lately.

Final Fantasy Globe games

The future of video games is not permanent

This emotional mindset made me think about how temporary and impermanent games can be. I’ve compared video games to live theater before, because live performance is our closest cousin to gaming. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the one I want to focus on here is how, like every stage show, music show, show, etc., will be unique to everyone else, no two game shows will be. Exactly the same.

In the same way that different actors playing popular roles like Hamlet express the same character in a way that no one else can, different players can alter most game stories slightly based on how they like to play it.

acting in our own play

A classic example of this is the pacifist-versus-genocide stealth game play, which can lead to a “good” or “bad” ending in some cases. While the majority of characters can be set in stone, players still have the ability to change the way they act in that story through the gameplay. Is your character a ruthless killer who goes with flaming guns? Or are they dedicated to staying as peaceful as possible, choosing instead to sneak through all the enemies? Do they try to avoid the fatal blows as best they can, only to make a mistake and make the character make hateful choices?

Not only is the player acting out a character’s story in their own interpretation, but their “performance” ends and ends with the same end result as the curtains falling at the end of the play. The most awesome thing about games is that you can do this an unlimited number of times just by restarting a checkpoint if you prefer. Unless you’re in perfect tyre, not even the most well-designed sprint track will ever match. Things could get a lot more exciting from here, too, as the future of video games looks to improve AI and procedurally generated content.

Disco Elysium

race against time

Of course, there is a downside to this as well – the fact that we lose hundreds of games in history due to the gradual deterioration of the hardware. Old games and consoles are literally rotting, and that thought makes me so sad. The books are able to survive for thousands of years because all you have to do is open one and blossom, and you get the whole experience.

It seems that the more complex our media is, the harder it is to make sure it stays around forever. The film industry is also dealing with this problem by decomposing film reels, and games in their wake as important pieces of early gaming history are lost due to poor storage conditions and moldy plastic.

Save Embraser Games Archive

Online fans have done a really great job of archiving game content online using the ROM, but sometimes it can feel like you’re missing out on the whole experience by not playing a game like it was originally meant to. Additionally, legality is always somewhat questionable – companies like Nintendo are notorious for attacking ROM sites.

It takes a lot of different forms, but there’s really just something about games that keeps it changing and evolving, for better and for worse. While we may be at risk of missing out on some really amazing artwork (something that archivists get better at in combat), there is something really invigorating about how this industry continues to move forward all the time. Sometimes I find it exhausting, but the optimism of always hoping to have something exciting around the corner is a reason to love the games I keep coming back to. Personally, I think the future of video games looks bright.

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