Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Difference between Old Gamers and New Gamers

Yes, this is going to be a rant about how youngsters these days suck compared to “old timers” like myself.  I put old timer in quotes because I’m only 27, so there’s probably some explication in what constitutes an old timer in the realm of geekery and dorkishness.

If you’re old enough to remember playing Super Mario Bros. on an actual Nintendo console because that was the cutting edge at the time, then you’re an old gamer.  Although I am old enough to remember playing Atari, I don’t consider that to be a good milestone because Atari games were almost exclusively arcade style games.  Nintendo, in my opinion, formed the basis for where the gaming industry would go.

A lot of new gamers don’t appreciate SMB because it is “too easy,” or because the “graphics suck.”  I ask, do you understand how hard a game like that is to a 5 year old?  I used to help host LAN parties here in Columbus, and one idea that a friend of mine came up with was having retro challenges.  We found specific instances in old games that people would have to play and beat.

For a bunch of guys who claimed that old games were too easy, you would have thought small autistic children were trying to beat these challenges.  Most people failed miserably at these challenges.  So much for those old games being too easy.

Anyway, this is sort of the reason why new gamers suck compared to old gamers: they don’t like it when games are too difficult.

The same friend of mine that came up with the retro challenges has a policy of sorts about playing games.  He will always, from jump street, play the game on the hardest difficulty setting possible.  I’ve started doing that as well, because of course my competitive nature cannot allow him to one-up me.  I have to say, I’m the better for it.

Old salts get a lot of satisfaction out of beating a very difficult game, and that’s not the case with newer gamers.  They care more about the story experience and the graphics.  Difficulty setting is just something that gets in the way of instant gratification.  What they don’t realize, however, is that the gratification one gets from trudging through hours of frustrating failures, only to emerge triumphant, is far more satisfying than having the victory handed to you.

Don’t get me wrong: story and graphics are important.  In this day and age, a game needs to keep up with the trends of technology and push the limits of what it can visually accomplish, and it must have a compelling story that keeps the player interested.  What seems to have become an epic fail, however, is that difficulty has been thrown by the wayside, because newer gamers for some reason just can’t stand it when something is too difficult.

Some good friends of mine are newer gamers, by my definition, and they complain when games are too difficult.  We’ve already seen the ridiculous effects this has had on games these days.  It’s so ridiculous that when enough people complain, game developers actually lower the difficulty on the highest difficulty setting.

For example, the “nightmare” difficulty on Dragon Age II was literally a god damned nightmare.  One boss actually took me 3 hours to beat.  On the final attempt to fell the cock sucker, it took me 45 minutes from start to finish.  Well, people thought that nightmare mode was too hard, so the developer Bioware patched the game and made nightmare easier.  Seriously, what the fuck?

This bullshit is the norm in MMO’s, too.  These games are made so that even the biggest R-Tard can play and be “good.”  Although the communities are incredibly large, the relative ease of the games themselves attract complete morons that suck ass at even the easiest shit.  All that does is piss off old salts like me.

So the difference between old gamers and new is that old gamers have a wider range of appreciation for games.  We can recognize that graphics is not the sole determining factor in whether or not a game is “good.”  We also don’t shit on games simply because they’re “too hard.”  Games aren’t just meant for instant gratification.  They’re meant to be forms of entertainment that are engaging and require thought.

After all, if instant gratification is all you care about, then there’s always masturbation.


Anonymous said...

Im the first to say that the content of WOW is too easy.. i havent played other MMO's to tell you different.

The CHALLENGE is getting 5-25 peopel to actually give 2 shits and do what they need to do to down a boss.

its a social challenge instead of a personal one. and ya, megaman 1 is hella harder than WOW any day of teh week.


Damien said...

I am heaps older than 27, an original dice-rolling D&D person when the late great Gary Gygax actually gave out the rules in parts around 1976.

Should add that I was on the original beta test group for Everquest and part from that being so busy with work and other hobbies I have to say I am only interested when Diablo III or the next improved version of Titan Quest comes out ...

No, you kids have no idea what hard gaming is....

Anonymous said...

So yes i too believe that today's gamers are spoiled. But some development companies are still shooting for us old fucks. example #1. team ninja. YES I KNOW THE RAPED SAMUS. but in Ninja Gadian one boss was so hard that the developers admitted to screwing up. It was overlooked because they had genius play testers. and that was on the normal difficulty.
#2. Mojang. You know what im talking about, Mine Craft, Even with gifting mats you still have to contend with the environment. Without gifting, yeah lets just say enjoy the armor and picks?
#3. the company that made Super Meat Boy. Just play it. after about 3 hours on one level you will understand.
#4. zombie atom smasher. not as difficult but i jumped in to it and had no idea how to win.

I can name a few more but this is enough. The thing i hate about today's gamers is they have to have unlocks and modifiers. the main point of a game is sustainability.
If the game gets easier as you play whats the point. BF2 is my forever love. if you were good it was because you could coordinate an attack not who had what enhancement.

----rant over----

Harrison said...

I had an Odyssey 2. How's that for old school? I still have it, actually.

Damien said...

I think in the attack is a MicroBee and an Amstrad 128....

Though I was once proud of my tech skills I am most certainly lost in the world of technology these days. I learnt to touch type about thirty years ago and was so excited because it was on a Sony PC the size of a TV with 10inch floggy disks and I could use WordStar2000! Loading a program like "Pong" on my MicroBee via a tape player was press load and then get a cup of tea. Hell, I remember the first 45s and watched Elvis in a concert in Frankfurt!