Monday, September 10, 2007

A Shift of Paradigm

I know that there's a whole community of people out there looking for and reporting on cool video games that fit my criteria. I read a lot of blogs and gaming news sites out there in the vast expanse we call the "World Wide Web". And by "we", I mean lame-os. What surprised me was, a few weeks ago, my local newspaper ran an article on the "casual gamer" phenomenon. I'd read more than a few articles about the revolution that the Wii is bringing to the market, but I never imagined that there was a sizable enough group of frustrated gamers out there to warrant an article in a nationally syndicated paper regarding the downfall of the "simple" gaming experience and how there's a whole group of people out there creating meaningfully fun experiences for others.

Don't get me wrong. A complicated storyline and detailed character development in an RPG or the advanced tactical skills necessary to compete on are not what I and many have been frustrated with. There has always been a lot of crap out there, but with the graphics revolution has come a sad time for fluidity in games; for stories and game play to mesh harmoniously. What I've been looking for in a game is threefold: innovation, beauty, and simplicity.

Included in this article was a link to a game that exemplified all three of these qualities. Check out the Games link above for a full post on little game called "flOw". In this post, I'm really hear to direct your attention to an article in The Escapist entitled "A Childhood in Hyrule" that accurately captures quite a bit of why this decline has occurred; why games seem to have lost their depth at the same time their complexity and polygon count have gone up. The Escapist is a fabulous zine (I can't believe I just said zine...). Check out the other articles there while you're browsing too, but be sure to read June's cover story.