Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There's a point that the article only brushes on that seems important.

My generation (born in early 70's) was the first to really come up with access to video games pretty much as a given. We had space invaders etc in the arcades (or wherever else they could fit a cabinet), hand-held Nintendo and basic home consoles in primary school and then of course came the boom with PC, PS, X-Box and all that followed.

But a lot of people only a few years older than me are just as dismissive about games now as they were then - this is kids' stuff, a waste of time and money. I'm not an obsessive gamer, but I do play every now and then and I absolutely see games as just another option on the entertainment landscape.

And being that older people weren't into them, I guess I'd always had the thought in the back of my mind that games were something you grew out of, like binge drinking or not caring about your retirement (your examples may vary). But the other day I was playing with friends and I looked around at these ~50 year olds and realised we're never going to "grow out" of this - particularly if the hardware and software just keep improving the way they have.

So for me one of the big reasons that gaming will keep growing is because those older, non-gaming generations will die out, replaced by new generations who start gaming ever earlier while eventually you may find yourself playing call of duty with a platoon of 80+ year-olds.

I'm mixed on this. I grew up with games, similar age as you. I haven't completely stopped but I'm down to a 2-3 games a year. Why? Because they are all the same damn game!!! FPS # 12446, 2D side scroller # 692134, Yet another twin stick shooter, Yet another shmups, Yet another Metroidvania, etc... They aren't changing enough to hold my interest.

Even games that seem "new" don't feel new. I played "Baba is You". Got maybe 50 levels in. It did have new ideas but at its core it felt like I was playing Adventures of Lolo NES from the mid 80s.

VR has added "presence" and being in new places feels novel as well as using hands instead of joypads but there's so few good well made titles and I'm sure that novelty will wear off as well.

I've tried to compare this to movies and TV. I'm not tired of movies and TV. I think the biggest difference is games are about the game, movies and TV are about the story. Games can have good stories but the majority are pretty crap and generally the more story the less game. I don't generally play for the story.

Have you tried Disco Elisium, by any chance? I'm in a very similar position - despite spending my whole professional life in gamedev, I'm mostly disillusioned in games right now. Especially from story perspective: too many titles seem to be written with the same old tropes targeted at teens, at best.

But among all the games that tried to challenge this in the last 10-15 years, Disco Elisium did it the best. It's not just a good story in a shape of a game: it's a very engaging gameplay, built very organically around a story and it's world and characters.

There's a reason this obscure indie game from a no-name Polish studio swept the video game awards. This the only game I've A) ever recommended to other people unprompted B) finished, then immediately started a new game.

> Polish studio

ZA/UM is absed in Estonia.

Maybe that's an ancillary point to that of the article. Games aren't near being fully explored as a medium, and both storyline and gameplay elements have a huge space of potential that hasn't been explored yet.

It's promising that there's many indie games that really push the frontiers of the gaming experiences one can have. E.g. This War of Mine and Firewatch were really big experiences for me, in terms of what stories a game can tell while being quite novel on the gameplay front.

I recently played 'Everyone's Gone To The Rapture' - for a lot of people it's not enough of a 'game' for them, but from a story point of view it's really engaging. Once the most enjoyable gaming experiences I've ever had. Totally recommended.

I don't buy it. It's not like every single episode in every single TV series is completely mind-blowingly different than everything else. At this point you've probably seen all the tropes, seen all the plot twists. I also doubt that TV series are captivating because of the story. They're more about the characters, and how you either like them or like to dislike them, or how their experiences make you feel. With the advent of mass-produced media, story no longer has the unifying role within a culture that it once had, we no longer care about the moral of a story, on the contrary we'd rather there weren't any. Story has been downgraded to a vehicle for emotion, or for a punchline in the case of Seinfeld.

And sure, I also play a lot less than I used to. But there are still fantastic games out there worth playing. I loved Hollow Knight and Cuphead and Hyper Light Drifter. And they all were created by people who grew up with the same games as I did.

I like to keep connected I guess. I kind of feel like games have grown up with me, too, almost in parallel.

When I was a kid they were simple and clumsy. I hit puberty in the 80s as games started to come into their own and the industry formed a bit of an identity. In my 20's (the 90's) there was this flurry of activity and games started to be a bit cool and not just for kids and geeks.

By my 30's, games had started making a bit of money and the industry got more professional. Now I'm in my 40's and gaming is kind of bloated and complacent and compromised, but still capable of amazing things, much more amazing than 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

Plus gaming is one of our generation's biggest contributions to culture. Really, it's that and hip hop. Everything else is just a sub genre, but those are two sensational contributions, imo.

Games can create worlds, and the feeling of being present in that world, sometimes better than movies. It is not just about the plot and gameplay. Atmosphere plays a big role.

For examples, try Paris and Sapienza missions in Hitman 2016. Or GTA 5, which will be an amazing snapshot of what 2010s were like in the US.

Well to be fair, the same is true of films and tv. Story arc# 1234, character development #2, twist #3. I am not sure though if it is true of books though. Possibly because the information is much more in books than can be fitted into a 2 hour film / 40 hour game.

Try the last of us and celeste.

Try the original Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, Silent Hill 2.

The last of us is just a generic 3rd person shooter saved by its cinematics.

Hard agree. I don’t understand why everyone liked it - it felt old fashioned and boring to me even when it came out. It had boss fights and a sewer level, for god’s sake, a sewer level!

I feel like a lot of people “hate” the last of us due to its many praises. But if you didn’t read any reviews about the game would you really rate it this low? Did you finish it?

I finished it when it released and liked it back then. Recently, I got the remaster and played it about half way through until I admitted to myself that it's just not a great game. It's not bad either. But it doesn't really stand out gameplay wise and the story can't save the game. I don't want to convince you to dislike the game, but maybe consider if TLOU is really a game that stands out among 3rd person shooters on its own merit.

I'm a tad younger than you and I'd like your opinion. I stopped caring about the gaming industry because

1) even if it's entertainment, I think the deep value is .. as a kid thing. It's not dismissive, I just think that gaming value has limits. It's a dreamy world you interact with and that fits the younger brain. As adults you'd rather master the real world more.

2) I find games today not much more original than in the past, it plateau-ed somehow [0] and they're mostly selling more technical oomph to justify new things.

[0] to be honest I interact very lightly with games, only a cousin younger than I show me some stuff, this plus the fads you can hear about online.

Do you really think a PS5 game will be that much more enjoyable than a PS2 game ? The other question .. well you answered it. You and your friends are still into them.

> Do you really think a PS5 game will be that much more enjoyable than a PS2 game

Can be, absolutely.

I played Read Dead Redemption 2 last year. There's a wild west cowboy outlaw game in there somewhere with a storyline that you can finish, but what completely blew my mind is how stunningly beautiful it is, how beautiful the world you're riding around in is, and how ugly human encroachment on nature is. Because as time progresses in the game, the frontier moves a little bit further, more trees are felled, more clearings made, more houses built, more railway tracks are laid, more humans, more civilization, more stinking cities.

You absolutely could not make a game like that on a PS2. You need a 4K screen and hi-res textures and HDR lighting to really make the world pretty, to really make you care about that world.

I played Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Switch as well. It's also an open-world game, and because it has infinite draw distance, they've managed to craft a world where no matter where you stand, you can see something interesting in the distance. I have never played a game that made me be so excited to explore and to get sidetracked as that game. The actual gameplay is also expertly bite-sized, so it doesn't matter if you play for 15 minutes or 15 hours, you still have the same sense of progression.

You absolutely could not make a game like that on a GameCube. You need hardware enough to do a seamless open world with infinite draw distance and no loading screens, otherwise the experience just doesn't work, just wouldn't be able to show you all it has to offer all at once.

LIke I say, I'm not a hardcore gamer so I don't know if I'm best qualified to answer your questions, but basically...

1) Everything has its limits. There are seven basic plots[0] and while human creativity has an amazing ability to retell them in different ways, after a while you definitely start to see patterns. The real world is great and I definitely keep up with current affairs etc, but if you look too closely in any direction things are kind of messed up. Sometimes a dreamy world is a nice place to be, particularly if you can get there without risking too much damage to yourself.

2) I guess every art form is constrained by its boundaries - you could say that nothing much has happened in portaiture in the last 600 years. I think that story telling is getting better in gaming, and player choice and branching is definitely something that keeps pushing outwards. The whole online/collaborative scene is something that we've wanted from the start and is really only being solved satisfactorily now.

> Do you really think a PS5 game will be that much more enjoyable than a PS2 game?

Not necessarily - some old games are great, and the whole retro-gaming craze is a testament to this - but that will only feed the cumulative growth of games. People will be playing the classics and the new releases.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots

> There are seven basic plots[0]

That book's theories should be considered critically, not as an accepted view of literature.

1) I don't see it. All adults I know who aren't into gaming still enjoy non-real world things for entertainment. Be they books, movies, sports, TV, etc. You work at mastering your profession, raising your kids, and all the other real world stuff and sometimes you just want to enjoy life.

2) Yes and no. I think this comes around to the fact that there are only so many stories and that there have been original games but they tend not to be big. The big genres in games have been pretty well defined and while original things do get introduced, most are refinements. Also execution matters much more than original content in games and that seems to be hit and miss.

Personally I went through a period of about 15 years where I gamed very little. A time when my kids were young and work was much more demanding. I got back into gaming maybe 6-7 years back when my kids were old enough to have their own interests and I professionally became confident enough that I didn't need constant study. So it might be something that changes as you grow.

I recently started gaming after a good 8-10 years of non gaming. I installed Dirt Rally and bought a racing wheel controller. It is a blast to drive in a simulator-like game. I don't think it is a game I would've have enjoyed as a kid or a teen. The current gaming landscape is broad and covers more niches than ever before. Explore games that align with your interests.

Your 1st argument could be made for watching television. Television shows also range from self-learning to toddler cartoons to historical dramas.

I am surprised many of my non-gaming friends/relatives, even if they do not play themselves, do not seem to be absolutely amazed by modern games. The fact that we can have such rich worlds as GTA 5, affordable to so many, run in one's living room, with such amazing graphics and overall richness, that we can control and interact with, rendered in 4k in real time! Even as a tech person I find that almost unbelievable. And all of that created in such a short period of time, too!

To me, it seems like an absolutely astonishing achievement of humanity, one of the marvels of this world. Completely mindblowing. And yet the reaction I get from a lot of people, e.g. my older relatives, but also people in their 30s and 40s, is of complete indifference - "meh, games are for kids". I struggle to understand that.

I interact less with games not because I don't like playing them but because I have far less time for them. Honestly, I do casual games a lot more simply because they are easier to pick up and put down.

Gaming got me into programming (mods are fun).

> 2) I find games today not much more original than in the past, it plateau-ed somehow

This can be typically said about the mainstream AAA market but much less so about indie games from small teams.

Good point, it's mostly about the mainstream market structure. Higher stakes => less risk.

AKA how movies and TV get made

>Do you really think a PS5 game will be that much more enjoyable than a PS2 game

The PS5 will be the first console to support VR at launch. Thats a huge difference. VR games are light night and day compared to flat screen gaming.

Nigh 50 year old reporting in - I agree 100%. Some of my fondest memories are related to video games, and I still have friends I've never met in real life that I enjoy more than many people I have. My wife, son, and I are a gamer family, and I think better because of it. I had very little connections to my parents (who were great) at the level my wife and I have with our son (11). We laugh and joke about gaming, share memes, and watch each other play. We also do other things together (hikes, fishing, board games etc), but I see people that don't play video games in the same light as those that don't watch movies or don't listen to music or don't read books - they're missing a fascinating part of life.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact