Friday, July 15, 2011

The Future of the Video Game Industry

A guy hears video game sound FX coming from the living room. He goes to investigate and sees his roommate playing a FPS video game. His roommate is doing impressively well killing every enemy with headshots. "Damn Dude, you're pretty good at this game, what is it?", he asks.

Without looking up his roommate replies, "It's Call of Duty 21 on the new Playstation EZ1." 

"Oh really?, the first guy says, " it looks pretty cool. Mind if I try it out?"

"Sure thing, dude, have at it", the roommate agrees, and hands over the controller.

"Dude, what the hell is this? This looks like an old joystick from the Atari 2600 or something only it's wireless?! The first guy inquires with surprise. 

"That's exactly what it is dude, the roommate confirms, "it's the same design revamped for modern gaming." 

"You're shitting me, really? How the hell can you play a game with a single analog stick and a single button? The old controllers had like 14 buttons and 2 analog thumbsticks... this seems like a technological regression instead of a progression. Games started out with like 4 bit graphics on a shitty controller like this and then evolved into the Nintendo controller with a D-pad, and 2 buttons and eventually evolved in to the 14 button controllers on the 6th and 7th gen consoles... now were back to a single analog stick and a single button? What gives?" The first guy rambles.

"Well dude it's like this", the roommate explains, "The gaming industry got choked by casual gamers that thirsted for games that were easier to play. You see, the video game industry wanted to expand to reach a wider audience and garner more profits which they did but the new gamers don't have the attention span of a toddler in a toy store and a 14 button controller may as well be a cockpit in a rocket ship. And the games themselves became progressively easier to play. Shorter single player campaigns, regenerating health, unlimited ammo, and auto-aiming. So it's come down to this", -The roommate points at the 60 inch LCD HD 3D monitor behind him and continues, "This game does just about everything for you. All you gotta do is move and shoot which is why all you need is the stick and the button. The game aims for you... just picks one target after another automatically and all you have to do is follow the path and fire your weapon. In fact it targets each enemy with an instant head shot so gamers can feel like a real bad ass with lots of skills."

"Skills!? What fucking skills!? The game does everything for you! I'm surprised that you even have to move and shoot on your own!" The first guy exclaims, "What's the fucking point in even playing it? Fuck this shit."

The first guy hands the wireless joystick back to his roommate. "I have no interest in playing that shit. If that's what passes as a video game today I may as well just watch a fucking movie." And he leaves the room as video game sound FX continue.


  1. This was a short story I wrote and originally posted on Facebook a few months ago and thought I'd share it on my blog here.

  2. Good story. There were no 4-bit systems though, that's a myth. The 2600 is an 8-bit system with an 8-bit cpu and 8-bit system bus.

  3. Yeah I know. That was actually an exaggeration by the character in the story.