A Reflection on: “Five Problems with Modern Video Games”

The video in question.
If you’re not interested in watching, here’s the summary:

Video Games have become lame since the 90s, because:

  1. They’re all the same.
    Targeted mostly at AAA FPS titles.
  2. They treat you like you are an idiot.
    Hand-holding, QTE, omniscient mini-map, lack of fast travel.
  3. They are too focused on realistic graphics.
    Want to be too much like movies.
  4. They’re boring.
    Repetitive challenges, no narrative structure, no interesting characters, ludo-narrative dissonance.
  5. They are not challenging.
    Delivery quests, predictable obstacles, games don’t make you feel smart for figuring them out, hyper-“masculinized”.

Unfortunately, the video doesn’t go into much depth with its points, or seem to be aware that video-game opportunities exist outside the mainstream highly marketed titles like COD. This is totally understandable, but it doesn’t speak well of our community that outsiders are aware of only big-name titles.

It’s also comedy, so he’s probably exaggerating his own ignorance to some degree, if not fabricating it outright for effect.

Here are a few more thoughts on each of the points:

  1. While this seems to be mostly a problem with AAA games, the “indie scene” chases their tail a lot too. I’m looking at you artsy-2D-side-scrolling-platformers. As Keith Burgin likes to say, what we call “genere” in games are really are just copies of individual games that are re-themed.
  2. I can’t disagree here. This is one of the main reasons I decline to play nearly all video games. There are some exceptions, but they are rare.
  3. Can’t really add much more than what I’ve already said, other than that I’m not sure “good graphics” was a valuable direction even in the 90s.
  4. This point is not invalid, but it feels like a cop-out. There’s so much depth to explore here. In short, I think the comment “they’re boring” is, itself, boring. Recursive self-aware critique? Perhaps. Laziness? No doubt.
  5. It seems that games have largely gravitated around things that are dangerous, sensational, or forbidden in real life as hooks for excitement. Without real-life peril, though, boredom is the inevitable result.

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