Sunday, November 29, 2015

So Maybe I'm Just Not Thinking

That's not a good thing, given the nature of the blogs, vlogs, and streams I do.

A good deal of why that is has to do with my just having my brain in standby mode a little too much lately. There are things I can do to change that, of course. I can start watching and reading the news more regularly again, for starters. I can also at least make an effort to do what I was doing when I first started this blog and just start writing everything that comes to mind to write about.

One thing that I do have on my mind right now is an article about how nostalgia is killing video games that my mom sent me awhile back now. I've skimmed over part of it, enough to get the gist of where it's going, but I should probably read the whole thing before I say too terribly much about it.

Where this article seemed to be going was to say that the video game industry is on the verge of stalling out again, and it's us older and old-school gamers who are to blame. I can agree with that, to an extent. We are, after all, the ones buying these games based on name recognition, even though a lot of these franchises we're still insisting on buying have pretty much been played out, for lack of a better term. We can't really expect the companies that make the games to come up with anything new if we keep buying the same things over and over again.

At the same time, my belief is that those same gaming companies need to start taking a few chances again, because even I'm willing to admit that they've pretty much everything they can with the series and franchises that are already out there. The last console I bought was a PlayStation 2 I picked up from an Internet buddy who needed a little cash, and the last new game I bought was Ghostbusters: the Video Game for said system. I really haven't played it as much as I'd thought, but that has more to do with the fact that once I started giving it a go, I realized I probably should have bought the Wii version instead of the PS2 version, simply because the Wii might have given me more the experience I was looking for.

Beyond that, one of the bigger non-economic reasons behind my not being particularly eager to buy into these newer systems is that we're up to like Final Fantasy LIII and Resident Evil 27, and we're at a point now where I don't know if Square-Enix and Capcom could do anything new and different with these games even if they wanted to.

On the one hand, I can understand why those companies do what they do. I'd certainly buy another Final Fantasy game if I thought there were one worth playing and had the money to do so. And Square knows me well enough to know that I'd want an experience like the first nine or ten games. Hell, from what I understand, the eleventh and twelfth entries in the series are the only ones that deviate too terribly much from the old formula, and they didn't go over quite as well as hoped. The three games that have come since have kind of gone back, and oddly enough, those haven't done so well either, that I suspect that ties into the “other hand” thing I've got.

That other hand is that I really must wonder who these companies think will be buying their products when they keep using names like Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, and Mega Man, for example. And really, this is the sort of thing that sort of ties into what's been going on with well-known names in other forms of media, too. The biggest one that comes to mind is the Star Trek franchise, which got a reboot in 2009 in the form of a movie directed by JJ Abrams. It's not that it wasn't a good movie in its own way. I just have to wonder who they thought would be buying tickets to it when they called it Star Trek and used the characters from the classic series. Surely Abrams and Paramount had to know that a substantial portion, if not a majority of ticket sales would be coming from folks like me, who've been fans for most or all of our lives, and I know I'm in a group that includes people who have been fans practically since the first episode aired back in 1966. It was certainly a good effort, but calling it Star Trek and having Captain Kirk be the leader of the old bunch wasn't selling it to the right audience.

The same can be said of modern video games. Those of us who remember how cool Final Fantasy was back even when I became a fan of the series are going to want something we haven't done a million times before. The people who should be the target audience of these things are going to hear the title and think it's those apparently crappy games that the snarky old fat guy who lives in a basement someplace likes to play and don't really want to have much to do with it.

So, my suggestion to my fellow oldsters in the gaming community would be to put the controller down for awhile and at least read a book or something, if not actually go outside for reasons other than the day job. I've heard good things about something called sunshine.

To the game producers, I say give us something new, something fresh, something different, and for crap's sake come up with some new titles, if nothing else. A fairly large number of the people I work with at my day job are actually in the demographic that needs to be targeted, and if they hear a title that isn't just about any of the ones I listed above, they might go for it and get excited enough for me to maybe want to give it a shot.

Granted, that might not be the best line of thinking ever. I've been known to go on tangents like that. At the same time, I have to wonder if we can really do that much worse than we are right now. Sure, changing things might make things worse, but at the same time, things seem to be headed for the drain just because of stagnation, so I'm not sure how much changing things a bit can hurt.

Anyway, that's me thinking for almost an hour now. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back into the habit again and have something other than video games to write about. I actually kind of like doing this. It's fun, and from what I've heard in the little feedback I get, so does my audience.

At any rate, it's ten after one in the morning as I write this, which means I need to wrap this up and set it to autopost later on in the morning. So until later, stay safe, keep reading and thinking, and DFTBA! See you soon, I hope!

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