Jaded – made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit.
I think that I may have come to a realization that I am jaded about video games. They have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I played games before I even knew what they were called, on systems who’s names I never knew. I played truck driving text adventures, and lunar landing games on ancient PC’s with no hard drive and a 5.25 inch boot disk. I held a Colecovision controller in my hands and it felt like new religion to watch my little guy, jumping barrels in Donkey Kong. I beat Battletoads, for crying out loud!
Flash forward to present day. Now, I can’t help but yawn at every experience. I critique trailers instead of enjoying them. I am baffled by many games that have received prestigious Game of the Year awards. It feels like, after decades of games, no game is worthy of my attention anymore. I still buy games and play them all the time, but I wouldn’t say that I enjoy them, not like I used to. I go through the motions of the experience, waiting to be surprised one day, waiting to find a video game that can get me a little misty-eyed. I have yet to find it. I understand that my expectations are a bit much. Many would say that the gaming industry is still growing up, but I feel like it may be growing out.
Each year, games are becoming more and more mainstream. The blessing is that we have beautiful cinematic stories that take us through these high impact, albeit brief, experiences. The curse is that we’ve refined the formulas down to a Hollywood level of precision, leaving very little room for creative freedom. I don’t pretend to be a very creative person, but I can only imagine the many creative people out there, living with the shackles of the modern gaming industry. It makes we wish that someone could come by and define a new experience that does not involve strapping a piece of plastic onto my body.
I want to have that feeling I had after my first lunar landing, or my first experience with an 8bit console. I’d like to believe that someone out there wants to make me cry, and I want to let them.