New Video Games Sort of Suck

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Since the days of Pac-Man and Tetris, video games have challenged us, brought us together, torn us apart, and pushed our imaginations to new frontiers. Today, video games are still a fun pastime, but as many ’80s and ’90s kids we’ll tell you, some things just aren’t the same. Here’s a breakdown of what we like and what we want back.

What We Like About New Video Games

Realism

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There’s no denying that graphics add a dimension to the gaming experience. Many of today’s PC and console games sport stunning landscapes, buildings, and motion graphics that straddle the line between virtual and reality. And with virtual reality headsets making their way into the market, it might not be long before we can literally immerse ourselves in a vivid, first-person gaming world.

Online Gaming

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Video games have transformed from a Saturday afternoon with three friends to intense competitions against dozens of players across the world. It’s never been easier to trade for rare items, and online forums let players collaborate to get all the goodies they want. Online venues like YouTube and Twitch even allow people to earn a living from broadcasting gameplay and commentary to the world.

Community

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The internet allows gamers from around the world to build friendships, and meet up at real-life events. Events such as AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) bring together premier gamers to raise money for charitable causes.

Innovation

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While the major gaming companies continue to dominate, the advent of Steam, Kickstarter and independent game publishers have paved the way for creative breakthroughs. Some of today’s wackiest games allow you to attack enemies with anything from fly swatters to magical garden tools. Play as a polygon in a geometric world, or as a slice of bread on a quest to overcome vicious household obstacles. There are no longer any limits, and we love it.

What We Want Back From Old Video Games

Secrets

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In the good old days, we spread all kinds of playground rumors on how to unlock a secret character or find a hidden item. Most of these rumors fell flat, but the uncertainty kept us enthralled and attached to the games. Today, the internet ensures that every gamer and their grandmother knows all the secrets, sometimes before a game hits store shelves.

Challenge

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While graphics have improved, the difficulty of most of today’s games can’t compare with hair-pulling classics of the 8-and-16-bit era. The most notorious offenders are pay-to-play games, in which a player can forego time and effort and simply buy all the virtual bling they could want.

Originality

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It’s the age of remakes and disappointing sequels, and we’re tired of it. Many companies would rather re-master old titles and port them to new systems instead of taking the time to craft new, original ideas. And let’s not mention the countless installments of first-person shooters clogging store shelves. That’s not to say there aren’t gems in the rough, but we want more than the same game in a new set of clothes.