Gaming in Prime Time

It’s a great time to be a gamer.

I’m serious. We live in one of the best if not the best time to be involved in this hobby. More people are gaming than ever, more great games are available than we could ever imagine and competition both among game companies and retail is driving prices down faster than ever.

Multiplayer games are reaching al new heights. Battlefield 3 is an example, Hey Dez, C4!

So why is it so many gamers can do nothing except point out the negatives? Don’t get me wrong; I am very aware of the problems which currently exist within this pastime of mine. I just think many gamers have gotten so jaded they cannot see just how good we have it. A few weeks ago, while reading yet another comment on Twitter about how some issue was ruining gaming, I decided enough was enough. I felt it was time to remind gamers just how great a time it is to be a gamer. This series was born out of that frustration.

So sit back as over the next few weeks I explain why we live in a Prime Time for gaming.

The Misconceptions

So just where has this idea that everything is horrible for gamers get started? That’s a difficult question to answer. A couple years back, it seemed that the industry could do no wrong. The consoles were selling, games were breaking sales records all over and it seemed gaming was almost immune to the recession.

Somewhere in this time of gaming explosion, however, something happened. Studios began closing. Online passes started to creep in to the gaming community, going from being something a couple of publishers were doing to the norm for multiplayer games. Core gamers began to see the rise of casual and social gaming as a threat instead of more people being introduced to this hobby we all love. Slowly, gamers went from being excited to share their interests with others to being jaded, and they took to the Internet by force to start decrying the death of gaming as we know it.

Gunstringer proves Kinect could really provide some unique experiences.

Is gaming dead? Far from it, yet it seems that many people want to convince you of this. If you read Twitter, forum posts, comments on gaming sites and even some opinions from well known gaming writers, you would begin to think it was. Every change to what we have come to know as gaming is being viewed with cynicism if not outright criticism. Many have treated Kinect as the end of core gaming. When Double Fine turned to Kickstarter for funding, many people freaked out over how it was unfair for an established company to use that service. EA chose to release an indie bundle on Steam, and all many gamers could mention was how EA had no clue what the phrase indie meant as opposed to just being happy EA was bringing attention to some good games. While I am not trying to say there are no issues surrounding these examples, the response from the gaming community has been blown severely out of proportion. The game industry is still alive and well, and it is not going anywhere.

Why This Is Prime Time

I understand there is a big difference between realizing gaming is not dead and actually stating we are in possibly the best time to be a gamer. I don’t just expect you to agree with me without some evidence. Over the next few articles, I will be covering many of the reasons why I think we live in a Prime Time for gaming, but the following is an overview of just a few of the reasons:

  • There are more people gaming than ever before.
  • There are more unique gaming experiences than ever before.
  • Gamers can take their gaming experience anywhere they go.
  • Gamers have the ability to track down games thanks to various sources including the internet which were not available even just a few years ago.
  • Steam, Amazon and other forms of digital distribution have made games both cheaper and more readily available.
  • Retail competition has truly put the power in the hands of gamers.

The Vita is making gaming portable like never before.

These are only a few of reasons why I would argue we live in the best time to be calling ourselves gamers. There are many others, and over the next several articles in this series, I will look at many of them in much greater detail.

So just what is the point of this series? Why am I taking the time to write about something we as gamers should already understand? I think it is time we as gamers stopped just complaining about everything and realize just how good we have it. No, we should not turn a blind eye to some of the concerns we have in regards to what is happening to our favorite pastime, but we also should not automatically jump to the worst case scenario once something happens, even if it is a negative. If we can learn to appreciate just how good we have it, we not only will enjoy gaming a whole lot more, but we may just find creative ways to deal with the problems within the industry.

It’s a great time to be a gamer. It’s about time we took the time to realize that.

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